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Used Vauxhall Vectra Tempts Sales Professionals

The Vauxhall Vectra is perceived as an uninspiring motorway mile-muncher most suitable for middle aged insurance salesmen.

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The Vauxhall Vectra is perceived as an uninspiring motorway mile-muncher most suitable for middle aged insurance salesmen. However, this image problem unjustifiably detracts from a good value used purchase.

The final generation Vectra was produced from 2002 to 2009 and underwent significant revisions in 2005. There is a choice of nine engines - specifically six petrol and three diesel units. The most thrilling choice for 'target focused' professionals is the top of the range VXR. This 2.8-litre V6 produces 278bhp, hits 60mph in 6.5 seconds, and reaches a staggering 161mph.

At first glance these performance figures make the VXR the most thrilling Vauxhall since the legendary Lotus Carlton. However, the front-wheel drive chassis struggles to apply its power and is inclined to under-steer. This detracts from otherwise decent handling and a fairly comfortable ride.

By contrast the standard Vectra is softer and rather bouncy. It wallows more than many of its rivals but remains sufficiently composed to satisfy most drivers. The Vectra is clearly not the best in class - but its wide choice of engines, reasonable handling, and spacious interior make it a practical everyday rep-mobile.

A used 2006 Vectra 1.9-litre diesel costs in the region of £7,500, whereas the range-topping VXR costs approximately £11,500.