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.