Opel Vectra C Review Specs, Problems And Reliability

Although the Opel Vectra is known as a lower-class car and a good 12 years have passed since the end of production, it is still a very good proposition in the category of spacious, cheap family cars. It has several successful engines under the hood, and car prices start at less than $ 1,330.

Opel Vectra C Review Specs Exterior Problems Reliability

Opel Vectra C History

Opel Vectra C is gradually being replaced by its successor – Insignia – which is much easier to buy. Many Vectras ended up scrapped for various reasons, not necessarily after the accident. Cars can corrode a lot if they have been repaired with bodywork, although they are holding up well without any accidents. It should be one of the more important items to look at when buying.

Another important area is the suspension, the design of which is no longer as simple as in previous generations. The independent system drives the car well, but is also more sensitive to changes in geometry and play. Removing all of them can cost over $ 270. Particularly important is not the front, but the rear suspension, which can be badly neglected. It is also worth knowing that some cars may have adaptive shock absorbers, which are quite expensive to replace (regeneration around $133-$159 each).

Opel Vectra C Exterior

The purchase of Opel Vectra should be considered in two ways – a car for several thousand dollars should first of all pass a technical examination and do not show strange behavior on the road (vibrations, pulling, etc.). On the other hand, a car for $3970-$5300, which is to serve for a long time, should be in good physical and mechanical condition, preferably accident-free. In both cases, however, the engine version is quite important.

Opel Vectra C Specs

The safest option is to choose a 1.8 liter petrol unit with 122 HP and enjoy good durability, simplicity and the ability to drive on LPG. The 140 HP motor is also suitable for this and has slightly better performance, but the valves are more difficult (more expensive) to adjust. Here, the situation can be saved simply by installing the valve seat lubrication. Important note – the 155hp 2.2 engine has direct injection and is not suitable for gassing.

Another safe option is the 1.9 CDTi diesel engine, no matter which variant. However, the power is important, if you want good dynamics – it must be the 150-horsepower version. It is not worth trying other diesels.

If the car has a well-documented history and not too high mileage, you can recommend the 2.0 T gasoline engine, which is a compromise between performance and reliability. V6 engines are best left to mechanics or enthusiasts, because service costs may exceed common sense. The risky 3.0 diesel engine is worth buying, provided that it comes from good hands and it is one of the last years.

What often breaks down in vectra is primarily the electrics (often corroded contacts and harnesses), equipment and fixtures. The mechanics know this model and its problems very well, so such things should not scare you away. However, the spare parts market is huge, especially used ones. There are many English speakers, so each item can be bought, even the most unusual.

Gasoline engines in Opel Vectra C:

  • 1.6 (100 and 105 hp)
  • 1.8 (122 and 140 hp)
  • 2.0 T (175 hp)
  • 2.2 (147 and 155 hp)
  • 2.8 T (230 and 250 hp)
  • 3.2 (211 hp)

Diesel engines in the Opel Vectra C:

  • 1.9 CDTi (100, 120 and 150 hp)
  • 2.0 DTI (100 HP)
  • 2.2 DTI (120 HP)
  • 3.0 V6 CDTI (177 and 184 hp)

Sports version:

  • OPC 2.8 V6 Turbo (255 and 280 hp)

Typical problems in the Opel Vectra C:

  • Equipment and electric faults
  • Faults of some engines – DTI diesel and V6 gasoline
  • Quite low durability of the suspension
  • Strong corrosion in cars repaired with bodywork
  • 1.9 CDTI diesel equipment (to be taken care of by a specialist)


Looking at Vectra as a car for approx $1,325-$2,650 – simply for driving and without any sentiments – this is a good proposition. It offers a spacious interior, a great sense of security and often good equipment. The car is comfortable and relatively cheap to maintain. However, when thinking about buying a car in the vicinity of approx $ 5,300, it is worth looking for a really nice copy or an interesting version (e.g. one with an OPC package).

  • Years: 2002–2008 (2005 facelift)
  • Market prices: From $ 800 to $ 5,300
  • Failure rate: Average
  • Operating costs: Low
  • Body versions: Sedan, Liftback, Hatchback (as Signum), Station Wagon
  • Trunk: liftiback and sedan: 500 l; station wagon: 530 l; Signum: 365 l
  • What to look for: A facelift car, which has several shortcomings corrected
  • What to avoid: Versions with a V6 engine (gasoline and diesel)
  • Optimal amount to buy: $ 2,700


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