It is just about a month now since I traded my 06 Mondeo 2.0TDCi Edge for an 08 Vectra SRi CDTi. Some of you may feel that I have been quite negative about the car, but some of that was just because it took quite a bit of getting used to. Here are my thoughts about the car after a month and 2000 miles:
Exterior 10/10 - this car is in better exterior condition than any other car I have bought (including newer cars with far fewer miles). I also like the look of the car. Never rated the original Vectra C front end, but the face lift makes the car.
Interior 5/10 - I don't like the drivers seat, and my wife does not like the front passenger seat. They are too narrow and too hard. The Mondeo (and previous cars) were far nicer to sit in. On saying that I have got used to the seat, and as long as I take my wallot out of my back pocket it no longer seems such a torture. The lack of practical cup holders in the front is a negative (but the rear ones are better than was to be found in the Mondeo). The centre arm rest also feels flimbsy, creeky and cheap compared with the one in the Mondeo (being a partial paraplegic, I have to use my arms a lot in getting into and out of the car, so the arm rest gets abuse). The stereo is also not nearly as good (either sound quality or its lack of Aux). On a more positive note the trip computer is much better in the Vectra and my son loves having his own rear cabin light, arm rest and 12v socket for his DS charger. He is not so fond of his feet touching the back of the passenger seat (they didn't in the Mondeo).
Performance and Handling 9/10 - Unfair comparison with the Mondeo. Although its engine was bigger at only 113 bhp it obviously can't really compete with the Vectra at 148bhp, although the Mondeo was good enough at mid range acceleration the Vectra does easily beat it. I have knocked a mark off for the greater turbo lag (I assume because at only 1.9 it is a small engine relying on more turbo input to achieve its performance). The Vectra is also much better as a tow car for my caravan, both more powerful (obvious) but also more stable and the back end does not sag in the same way it did in the Mondeo with the caravan hitched up. In terms of handling I find the Vectra steers and holds the road just as good as the Mondeo (just as fair professional reviews say about the post face lift if not the soggy old pre-face lift). The larger wheels and low profile tyres look great but I really think the car would actually be a nicer car to drive with 15 or 16 inch wheels and proper tyres (not about to change however). I am also worried that the good handling is partly down to the very expensive Goodyear tyres the previous owner had fitted. I never spent more tha £50 per corner on my Mondeo, and will get the cheapest possible rubber when the Vectra needs it, so I am worried that while the Vectra handles as well now, that is comparing the vectra on rediculously expensive rubber with the Mondeo on properly priced rubber.
Over all 7.5/10. The Vectra is better than I had expected but I would still score it behind the Mondeo (8.5/10). I am also worried about the instant when the engine cut out and the manement warning came on. It quickly restarted and has so far not repeated but it will take a while before I feel trust in the car after that.