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Thread: A tale of a crunch, a big cat, and a Vectra...

  1. #1
    Full Member Penfold101's Avatar
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    Cool A tale of a crunch, a big cat, and a Vectra...

    I've had my insurance with Direct line for about 5 years now, with full no-claims and no accidents of any sort in that time. i've also not needed my (10-year old...) driving licence for anything important in years, so I recently decided to update my photo and get a new one as keeping it in my back pocket had reduced it a 4 piece driving license...

    A few months ago I switched my insurance company to Highway Insurance through Adrian Flux, mainly to declare all my mods, move my address to Preston and get a decent price. Obviously, someone upstairs decided this was reason enough for my faith in car insurance to be tested, and thus begins the tale...

    I came out to my car about a month ago, sat in the driver's seat, and immediately noticed something wasn't right. It's that feeling you get when you know something isn't quite right, but you can't quite put your finger on it...

    Something caught my eye, and I immediately flicked my head round to the right (whiplash claim if ever I heard one...) and found a post-it note on my wing mirror... It apologised for the damage, and left a contact number of the boss of some Air Cadets staying on summer camp. Wondering what on earth it was on about, I climbed out of the car and had a look. i quickly found this:




    Said female officer had reversed her minibus into my front wing, and left a huge crumpling effect...

    Given that I was going to Cyprus for a week 6 days after that, and am being posted to england next month, this wasn't exactly soemthign I needed right now...

    A few phone calls and I found she'd filled out all the RAF's paperwork for a hire van accident, and had the MOD's insurance details. The next morning I phoned Highway insurance, who started the claims process. As I had the hire car option on my policy, they said I could either have whatever the repair company could offer me (a small Corsa type thing...) or they could source soemthing more similar to what I was used to driving... Needless to say, I went with that idea...

    Within an hour, I had been phoned by both the garage (Baillie Brothers in Elgin) and the vehicle rental company Drive Assist. the had also phoned eachother, and everyone was getting on brilliantly...

    I dropped the car off a few days later, and had arranged for the hire car to be dropped off at the garage at the same time. As is turns out, the bloke had driven it up from Falkirk that morning, followed by a bloke in a Corsa, and was then going to pick up another car to take back down. it is a bit of an understatement to say I was shocked at what was sat in front of me...




















    ...wait for it...

















    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my hire car was a Jaguar X-type 2.2 Diesel Auto SE...





    Initially, I was quite impressed. I took advantage of the in-built Bluetooth and started phoning everyone who cared (and a few who didn't...) gushing about my new car...

    After a few days though, a few things became apparent. the chassis is that of a Mondeo, and the rest of the car can be described in one word.






    Cheap.





    I saw the cream leather interior, and initially was happy with that - after a while though having EVERYTHING coated in cream became a bit overpowering... A few bits of cream trim would have set off the seats nicely, along with the black carpet, but doing everything that colour was just too much. Even the one piece dash didn't help matters: it's simply painted another colour...



    Along with the fake plastic wooden dash trim:



    ...it just made the interior feel tacky. The gauges light up a funny green colour, and the trip computer is rubbish compared to the Vectras. It's come straight from a Volvo S40 (what my dad drives...) and took me a while to make sense of it.

    Heated front windscreens are good in the winter, but any other time all I can see through it is the heating element itself, and it's very distracting. Front seats are electric in all directions, apart form moving them forward and back which is manual...:

    But the biggest letdown for the car is the engine/gearbox combination. it's meant to have 150bhp, the same as my Vectra, but it really didn't feel like it most of the time. it had a good bit of torque at about 2-3000 rpm, but at all other points it jsut felt gutless. I mainly put this down to the autobox, which is absolutely pathetic. It takes at least a second or so for it to change gear after you put your foot to the floor, and even in the seqential/sports mode it had a huge hesitation and jerkiness when changing...

    It also achieved about 30mpg while I had it - although to be fair this was probably caused by my using it a lot around town, and driving it like I stole it... (it's a hire car, you have to...)

    Good things: it's a very comfortable car to cruise in - soft suspension like the Elite models makes it nice to drive long distances, and with the auto and cruise (which was not very easy to use if you as me...) would be great for motorway touring.

    The combined Nav/Audio/Phone/Climate 5" Touchscreen was good to use, and connected to my phone with no issues. it reminded me of how much fun Climate control is to have - I just set it to 20 degrees and didn't touch it for 3 weeks. I'm definitely getting an Elite next time... Navigation was a bit tricky compared to the CD70, but the main issue I had was that it didn't dim when you put the headlights on. If you were driving at night you had to manually go into the settings and change it to night to stop yourself being blinded...




    Boot space was rubbish, but then that's the same for all saloons (a car style I have never seen the point of...



    So there you have it - a 30 grand car which I'm not sad to see the back of. It was making me into such a lazy driver, one hand on the (very light) steering wheel and the other resting out of the window as I cruise around like a pimp, sometimes not even bothering to use the indicators...



    I have my Vectra back now, and it looks superb. They've done an amazing job replacing the fron wing, stripping the drivers door down, replacing the moulding, spraying it all and blending it all in with the bumper and the doors.









    The boss of the company was a pleasure to deal with, had a long chat about the Vectra's and how rubbish the Jag was, and all that's left to do now is claim my policy excess back, which the insurance company are in the process of doing...

    Total cost of the hire car for the 3 week period - 1600 squid...

    Ladies and gentlemen - my Vectra...



    Thankyou for reading, assuming you could be botehred getting to end of it all...

  2. #2
    Regular Member mradz's Avatar
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    Nice write up, sorry to hear about the damage but glad it all got sorted in the end.

    Nice review of the jag think i'll steer clear though

  3. #3
    Regular Member Tadpole's Avatar
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    Nice one m8 & thanks for taking the trouble to get it all down for us lot to read .........

  4. #4
    Ex Vec-C Admin ed taylor's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra Estate

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 3.2 V6

    Year : 04

    Mileage : 55000

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    Sorry the Jag is too good for you. You should donate it for a club car, so we all can use it. Hope you get your motor sorted and back to how it was soon. Nice write up by the way.

  5. #5
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    I always thought Clarkson was a bit OTT when he constantly rubbished Jags - but I can see why now after what you've said about it.

  6. #6
    Regular Member 67688c's Avatar
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    Interesting read matey, have used one of those myself, I quite like them myself.

    Unfortunate that it happened in the first place, but most importantly it was refreshing to hear the person was honest enough to leave details.
    Seems to be a rare event these days.

  7. #7
    Full Member Penfold101's Avatar
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    I suspect that because all she had to do was fill out some paperwork she didn't really care - not her insurance...

  8. #8
    Regular Member Vectralicker's Avatar
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    wow, you got my mum in the last pic as well, good shout

  9. #9
    Full Member Penfold101's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Regular Member ditchp's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra cdti estate

    Trim : Get a

    Engine : Dirty diesel

    Year : 2006

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    i used to work for drive assist as they are based in nottm, we used to deliver car's all over the country at the drop of a hat, they are god as they get you a decent car, and glad you got your's all sorted out
    Midlands Mod Shop - NFFC.

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