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Thread: Should I buy?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I buy?

    Hi guys

    New to your forum from Australia! I'm considering purchasing a manual ZC Vectra CDXi (3.2l GSi UK equivalent) on the used market here. Due to market perception (in Aus most GM buyers would rather spend AUD$48,000 on a Holden with a 5.7l Chevy V8), these are a fantastic used buy in Australia (2 years old with less than 40,000kms on the clock for less than AUD$28,000 or less than £12,000).

    Having read the thread of common problems I'm becoming rather cautious about buying the car and finding expensive problems ahead in the way of what appear to be largely ECU related problems. I've decided on not buying one unless GM will throw in an extended new car warranty with the car.

    I'm asking you Vectra C owners, from your experience with the Vectra C can your objectively say I should purchase what I've mentioned above, or should I give my other 2 options more consideration (Subaru Legacy 2.5l manual estate or Mazda 6 2.3l manual luxury sports hatch). Both Japs will attract an AUD$3,000 premium on the used market and will not have the power of the 3.2l V6.

    If you can wholeheartedly recommend the Vectra, my planned mods are as follows (and your feedback would be appreciated): -

    Air box mod with K&N panel filter (I've not seen induction kits available for the 3.2l V6 and the availability of "cold air" to make an induction kit work in my part of Australia is somewhat limited; read hot as an oven here!).

    Cat back exhaust, 2.5" with muffler branching out to a twin 2" system with muffler for each branch (hate the drone but want the performance).

    Suspension mods: due to Australia's rubbish roads lowering the car much further and increasing the spring rate is not my preferred option. The CDXi runs the Sach's dampers out of the factory and should already have good body control. My preferred option is to fit thicker diameter swaybars front and rear (more comfort with flat cornering) as the dampers should be able to handle the increased "effective" spring rate. My further mod would be a strut tower brace, as the chassis could do with some additional rigidity with the 3.2l twisting the front wheels (should also sharpen turn-in with less variation of dynamic castor and camber). This where I would the most help from you guys, as one of our most renown local suspension tuning shops (Whiteline), have yet to develop any products for the ZC Vectra due the profile of ZC Vectra buyers in Aus (non-modifiers). I may need to source a strut brace from over your side if none are available locally.

    On the subject of suspensions mods, my understanding is that most European suspension houses have restricted their suspension kits for the Vectra C to springs, dampers and moving up the scale coil overs. If I can concince Whiteline in Australia that there's a market in the UK for more sophisticated suspension tuning (camber kits, castor/anti-lift kits, tuned adjustable swaybars, bump steer kits, matched spings and motor sport dampers), he may consider developing such for local and UK consumption (and with the AUD/Sterling FX rate the products could prove very price competitive). If you guys are interested in this, go to http://www.whiteline.com.au and have a look at the suspension kits and products they do for other cars. Take a look in particular at the Mitsubishi Magna/Diamante suspension kits, as these are large, powerful front drive cars with strut front and multi-link rears; the high powered Vectra C's follow a similar design philosophy I can tell you these suspension kits work a treat (my other ride is a FWD manual Magna with 215bhp+).

    Thanking you guys in advance.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Gsi3.2's Avatar
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    Hi Sabum,

    If you can find one without the rain sensing wipers, go for it..They are a fantastic drive and I am very pleased that I bought mine..
    It's already had the airbox mods and panel filter, and as for the exhaust the tubing isn't far off 50mm already. Several 'sports' exhausts are on the market for them. Handling..on a good road it's like a rocket ship on rails..Does seem to depend on what tyres you have fitted thou..Poor roads get a little choppy but it's the price you pay in the trade off..

    This is my 9th VX though so I could be a little Bias..

  3. #3
    Regular Member Ozz's Avatar
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    G'day sabum.

    Mate, I have a veccy C CDXi (Auto) Nov 04 build, Feb 05 delivery but one of the first with all the new stuff like electric memory seats, auto dim mirrors/wipers, lights etc.

    Can highly recommend it mate. Touch wood, I have had no problems. The auto is pretty good & smooth & the 3.2 V6 is absolutely the muts nuts. It really is a pearler of an engine. If you are looking at a 2 year old car it would be the first version of the veccy C that came here. There have been changes made to the car from version 1 to vers 2 & the last vers 3. There were mods made to the ECU for a number of things. Can't remember all of them (they are in this forum though) except for the transmission being slightly remapped etc. I find the car handles really well for a good size medium car & at this stage the only changes I would make would be to go to 18" wheels & if I could xenons. Holden didn't even offer them as an option the b@#%*^ds.

    If I were you i'd would look for a CDXi that is 1 year old & an ex Holden car as it will have all the updates. A little rare to find but they are around.

  4. #4
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    sounds like we need a Vectra - C cruise downunder folks.... I agree with Ozz - get as new as possible to get the updates

    t

  5. #5
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    I concur. I suspect there are many subtle little faults in the earlier models that have subsequently been remedied. Plus you get loads more gear in the newer CDXi's.

  6. #6
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    Default Should I buy?

    Thanks guys, your feedback is much appreciated. I will be looking to update sometime around May 2006 onwards and will keep your suggestions in mind. I would also prefer to obtain the MY04 onwards model to get the additional fruit and increased likihood of updates being done. That being said, if I can obtain an MY03 and have them extend the factory warranty for a few more years I'll probably consider it (the price is far too attractive to dismiss this as an option).

    As for mods, ICE is a certainty, as is the air box mod with panel filter. The exhaust I will contemplate further, but my examination of the factory exhaust indicates it's a 2 1/4" system that branches out to a twin 1 2/3" system, with 3 mufflers in total. Given the capacity of the engine (3.2l), decreasing back pressure will reap significant performance improvements; ie the factory exhaust is too restrictive! I'm certain a well designed free-flowing cat-back system will see noticable horsepower improvements. Remember that all factory BMW in-line 6 cyls, whether they be 2.3l up to the M3's 3.2l, all run twin systems from the cat back (twin 2 1/4" in the case of the M3).

    Given the timeframe till my purchase I'm hopeful manual MY2004 onward CDXi's will be available on the used market at good prices. Hopefully by then Whiteline will have also developed sway bars and strut braces for the ZC Vectra as well.

    Thanks again guys, and hope you had a great Christmas!

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