• Built in Europe, Vectra is a stylish car available as a five door hatch or a four door sedan in 2.2-litre four cylinder or 3.2-litre V6.
  • Recent price and spec' adjustments make Vectra a more tempting package than when it came out.
  • The 2.2-litre four is now in CD grade at $31,990 plus on roads for the five speed manual while the five speed auto is an extra two grand.
  • On paper power deficit compared with competition doesn't translate to on road due to good torque and gearing. Peak output is 108kW/203Nm.
  • Engine has twin cams and balance shafts, 16 valves and a dual mass flywheel which help smooth things out as well as improve response.
  • Will run well on standard ULP, better on premium.
  • Surprisingly economical for a biggish, heavyish car with 8.0l/100km easily achievable.
  • Automatic test car was excellent all rounder, particularly in city driving. Auto fully taps engine output, adapts and changes smoothly. Has a sequential mode for "manual" shifting.
  • Ride and handling dynamics have typical European feel with comfort and control under most conditions.
  • There's a firmer feel to the steering and brakes but it's much better than the mushiness of other makes.

    Puts you in touch with the car.

  • Electronic controls (traction, brake and cornering) for dynamic functions are not overly intrusive.
  • Seats are comfortable offering plenty of adjustment and support.
  • Three in the back is a tight squeeze but five three point belts are welcome.
  • Big boot and plenty of storage in the cabin.
  • Love the styling, some don't but there are radical and conservative thinkers all through society.
  • Upgrades for '04 are difficult to spot – clear side repeater lights, rear indicator lenses and some body coloured bits on the low spec' cars.

    Oops, nearly forgot the new colours and a bit more flash on the dash.

  • Interior is stylish too, the dash layout particularly pleases as it breaks new ground, moves away from generic/boring.
  • CD model is well equipped, pretty well nothing is left off the menu, check air con.

Verdict
Good looker, well specified and priced, needs more poke to stay with competition.