The Vectra was General Motors' response to the ultra-successful Ford Mondeo and the replacement for the Vauxhall Cavalier. Launched amid a big-budget TV campaign as the car for the next millennium, the Vectra immediately caught the public's imagination and got off to a successful start.
The motoring press, however, gave the Vectra fairly lukewarm praise. The styling was felt by many to be too similar to the old Cavalier and, apart from those swoopy external mirrors, the Vectra certainly lacked the radical touches of, say, the latest Mondeo.
That criticism was addressed partly by the March 1999 facelift which sharpened up the styling a little and brought new engines and tauter suspension and steering to many of the mainstream models. The new 'hearing aid beige' interior colour option was less welcome. As a used buy, however, the Vectra range makes a lot of sense. The large range, proven mechanicals and of course, Vauxhall's extensive dealer network all add up to sensible, low cost family motoring.