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Thread: Test Drive - Vectra VXR this afternoon....

  1. #1
    spoons
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    Default Test Drive - Vectra VXR this afternoon....

    Well I had some time on my hands this afternoon and decided to go and test drive the Vectra VXR.....

    Now I have high expectations with this car as its a 2.8 Petrol Turbo and as the design is understated, I had built up in my mind that it would be very quick indeed (almost as compensation for the lack of outward styling).

    I have also read car magazine journalists write things like 'awsome power' and 'incredible mid range acceleration' etc etc

    So I turn up at the dealers and outside is a '55' plate Silver Vectra VXR waiting for an owner... £18,999 - 11,000 miles on the clock.

    Sales guy welcomes me and does a bit of qualification, then hands me the keys. Nice one...

    (please dont reply to this yet as I am writing in stages (word count per post etc))

  2. #2
    spoons
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    Default First Impressions

    OK, so I jump into the driving seat and grab the steering wheel, like you do, and have a good look around. Looks familiar as you would expect.

    Turn the key to fire up the engine and a smooth deep burble enters the cabin from the exhaust system. Really sets the mood, I can tell you. So far so good.

    (set all the mirrors and seat position and that stuff)

    Brings up the clutch and we start moving...

    I found the accelerator pedal to be super sensitive compared to my Diesel, and we pull away with a seemingly massive power reserve. Still in the carpark at this point so I'm restraining myself... whilst making idle chatter with the sales guy, to keep him relaxed.

    Thankfully I can pull out straight onto a duel carriageway and put my foot down, massive surge of power and then held back at around 50mph cruising along.........

    So far so good.....

  3. #3
    spoons
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    Default Power and Acceleration

    Caught up in a little traffic, we burbled along for a couple of miles before I managed to get a clear run on a 70mph carriageway, where I could see what this thing could really do.

    50 mph, dropped it into 3rd gear and pressed hard on the accellerator....60-70-80 mph.... then backed off.

    50mph, dropped it into 2nd gear and pressed hard on the accellerator.....60-70ish, change gear, lurch, 80mph..... then backed off.

    I found that its very easy to get carried away and end up with a silly spead on the needle if you didnt keep looking at the speedo.

    Came to a round about, slowed to a stop, then pulled away hard.....10-20-30-40mph then backed off.

    Brakes seemed OK, Road Noise seemed same as my Diesel, Handling probably is OK too... it was raining with wet roads, so I'm not going to test that one today....

    Hmmmmm.........
    Last edited by spoons; 8th May 2006 at 17:20.

  4. #4
    Regular Member vectra 2.0 t's Avatar
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    so the big question is

    are you going to have one ???????

  5. #5
    Regular Member MLC's Avatar
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    Don't interrupt Paul....he's bumping up his post count!

  6. #6
    spoons
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    Default Conclusion

    Conclusion.... this is where I am going to get flamed BIG TIME.....

    I dont like it.... and I wont be buying one....

    Small Reasons...

    i) I thought the carbon detailing on the dashboard was tacky and didnt suit my taste.

    ii) I also didnt like the seats, which really suprised me. The car has only done 11,000 miles and I honestly think my SRI seats had more lateral support.. explain that one??? The seat back rest wasnt that supportive and felt wallowy (maybe the lumber support setting wasnt on)

    Big Reasons...

    i) Now I'm not saying that my tuned diesel is as fast as this VXR, but I can tell you that the VXR does not give me the 'feeling' that it is sensationally quicker. You do not get a 'thrust' of power over what I get already, and I didnt leave with a 'jeeze - that was quick' smile on my face

    ii) The power is definatelly there, as I often looked at the speedo and didnt realise how quick I was going... and that is exactly my point. It doesnt feel a lot quicker than my current Diesel. On paper, it would kill mine for sure, but bum in seat... No way.

    I was so suprised how this car left me 'unimpressed'.. have I been spoiled by Diesel power.... cos I havent gone mad, thats for sure..

    Really suprised me, so I wont be buying one.. I honestly dont think its worth it.

  7. #7
    spoons
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MLC
    Don't interrupt Paul....he's bumping up his post count!
    Keeping you in suspense..... this is bumping up my post count...

    The question is.... what do I do now.... I had set my heart on one of these VXR's cos they look cool.....

    I suppose I could buy some bits for mine and make it look like one.

    See, in my Diesel, honestly it does put a smile on my face, especially when people have no idea whats under the bonnet.

    and.... I get super economy, road tax, insurance etc etc...
    Last edited by spoons; 8th May 2006 at 17:23.

  8. #8
    Regular Member peterm's Avatar
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    When I had a Mondeo TDCi (130bhp) I had a go of a Saab 9-5 Aero (250bhp) and thought the same thing about the lack of 'thrust' with being used to a turbo diesel. It's an illusion though - a diesel will always have more outright thrust but a petrol turbo can sustain it for much longer. Have another go, without a salesman next to you!

  9. #9
    Regular Member MLC's Avatar
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  10. #10
    spoons
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterm
    a diesel will always have more outright thrust but a petrol turbo can sustain it for much longer. Have another go, without a salesman next to you!
    But thats my point....

    Surely cars are about the feeling they give you when driving. Like Clarkson once said, supercars can loose their 'driving' appeal as you need to drive at silly speeds to really enjoy them... which is why he is seen sometimes driving 'quirky' older cars, and putting a huge smile on his face..

    With the VXR, this 'illusion' you refer to means that you end up driving at silly speeds to get the same 'fun factor'

    I dont know whether I am prepared to risk my drivers licence in pursuit of this.

    Honestly, I would have bought a VXR if I had got in, turned the key, and stormed up the road... thinking, this is much faster than my Diesel... it just didnt... (like the feeling I got when I drove my mates Sierra Cosworth, bum on seat... that was fast and it was unmodified)

    The sales guy actually told me that I should be looking at the VXR Astra, as he said the Astra gives you the power surge, that I thought was missing...
    Last edited by spoons; 8th May 2006 at 17:46.

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