I bought my car new in June 2007. It's a Vectra design CDTi 150 hatch, standard spec apart from the Star Silver paint.
It was my first new car (the last one was 15 months old when I bought it - also a 1.9 turbodiesel) and I was excited to finally own a brand new car. That excitement wore off a lot faster than I was expecting, to the point where I'm considering trading it in.
After owning and driving my car for almost 3 months I decided to write down my personal likes and dislikes about the car to help decide whether to keep it or not. I thought I'd share them with you.
I apologise for the length of the post and I will understand if you get bored and wander off part-way through.
Looks - The Vectra is a very attractive car from the outside and although it is a bit dark inside I like the 'design' trim.
Space - Very roomy car, fits 5 adults in relative comfort and the boot will accomodate a small japanese supermini parked sideways. Roominess is definitely its best feature and it was a big factor in my decision to buy it.
Specification - loads of gadgets, although in a £20,000+ car (before discounts) that should be expected.
Driving position(comfort) - I have a long-term knee problem and this has been one of a very few cars in which I've been able to get a comfortable driving position which doesn't aggravate it too much.
Acceleration - Not happy with the pick-up, particularly when trying to overtake at motorway speeds when even dropping a gear doesn't make a huge difference. In my last car if I put my foot down at 60 - 70 mph in sixth gear (around 1900-2000 rpm) I got a kick in the back and the car jumped to it. Putting my foot down at 2000 rpm in sixth now is a pointless exercise and even in fifth it feels like I wait forever before it starts to go anywhere and even then it feels like I'm towing another car. I have to drop to fifth gear just to maintain motorway speeds on steepish hills, (specifically the A55 westbound at Rhuallt hill) unlike my last car which happily accelerated up the same hill in sixth. Snap overtakes are a thing of the past.
I did have a test drive of another vectra before I bought it and noticed the acceleration lag but thought I'd get used to it - I haven't and its worse than I expected at motorway speeds.
Road noise - Maybe it's the Bridgestone tyres but I find the car very noisy at motorway speeds. Loads of road/tyre noise. Not the relaxed motorway cruiser I expected in what is supposed to be an executive car. Maybe I'm expecting too much but I'm comparing it to the near-silence in older Vectras and Mondeos that I've driven in the past.
Air con/heater - Okay I had proper climate control in my last car compared to the 'automatic' air-con in this one but what I want is a 'set and forget' control to keep my car at a comfortable temperature at all times - coolish in my case (19 degrees C or thereabouts). The last car achieved this with ease no matter what the weather. This one is a nightmare - on cool mornings like the last few (4, 14 and 12 degrees outside) with the dial set to 19 degrees it felt like I was sitting in front of a roaring fire whether the air-con button was switched on or off. At one point my face was so hot I actually checked that my eyebrows hadn't been burned off lol. In hot weather the air-con just doesn't seem as cool as I'd like (and I'm used to).
Driving position (view) - I hate the position of the rear-view mirror with a vengeance. I've seen another post on this in which others have said it isn't a problem but for me It's too near to me and too big. I NEED to be able to
see 150 yards ahead on a left hand bend without ducking my head to see round the mirror. The other day I was approaching a give way at a T-junction and a smallish car waiting on the main road to turn right was completely hidden from my view by the mirror until the very last minute. I can't achieve a comfortable driving position where it doesn't obscure a huge portion of the view forward even by lowering the seat till I feel like I'm sitting on the floor. I'm 6 ft tall which is not that far away from average so it's unlikely that I'm the only one with this problem - maybe the designers don't expect us to care what's coming round the bend at us.
Fuel economy - I was used to a minimum of 46 mpg average even when driven hard in my last (130bhp) car. No matter how delicately I drive I'm lucky to reach 40 mpg average although I once saw 43mpg for a 120mile journey which was mostly motorway and I'd really nursed it and didn't go over 70 mph at any time. (speed limit trolls please don't bother). Now I didn't buy it primarily for the economy but I regard it as a measure of the efficiency of the engine and as a nice bonus that comes with the great acceleration and power rofl of a turbodiesel.
Oil consumption - It drank almost a litre of oil in 2000 miles, alarming me when the oil light came on on the motorway. Okay I should have checked it before then but the bl**dy thing was brand new and my last car didn't use that much in 20,000 miles.
It sounds like I'm still hankering after my last car but I'm just trying to compare like-to-like i.e. reasonably specced 1.9 turbodiesels. The car before that was a 6 year old (petrol) Nissan Primera so it can't really be used as a comparison, except for space as it was reasonably roomy.
Having read through my list it seems that I've chosen the right car to sit in on my driveway but the wrong one if I want to actually go anywhere in it.
I think I need to start pricing other cars. Oh yes, there's another one for the dislikes list - depreciation!
I realise some people might be offended if they think I'm slagging off their choice of car but these are my personal opinions of my own car, paid for with my own money which I worked hard to get and, having looked at my list, I feel like I've flushed it down the drain. I did my research before I bought it, including reading this site, and considered several other makes. The Vectra looked fine on paper and in a test drive but I'm not sure any more. Then again maybe I'm just having a bad day and I'll feel better tomorrow.