Vauxhall Vectra

The fastest Vectra that Vauxhall has ever built has hit the UK! And, following on from our international drive in issue 882, we couldn't wait to see how the newcomer would shape up on British roads - so Auto Express grabbed the keys to one of the first right-hand-drive models.

Not for the shy or retiring, the Vectra VXR is brashly styled, brightly painted and, if driven hard, a bit rough around the edges. Audi's A4 2.0T quattro and the Ford Mondeo ST220 offer a far more composed driving experience for similar money. However, neither can match the brawn of the VXR. The powerful turbocharged V6 has plenty of character and gives the Vectra massive acceleration. For many buyers that will be all that's needed to justify the high price tag.

The fastest Vectra that Vauxhall has ever built has hit the UK! And, following on from our international drive in issue 882, we couldn't wait to see how the newcomer would shape up on British roads - so Auto Express grabbed the keys to one of the first right-hand-drive models.

Straight away, it's clear that the Vectra VXR is an extreme machine. Deep air intakes, big spoilers and 19-inch alloys make for a brutal-looking saloon, particularly when painted bright metallic blue.

Under the bonnet is a 255bhp 2.8-litre V6 turbocharged power-plant, hooked up to a close-ratio six-speed gearbox. Lowered suspension, adaptive electronic dampers and bigger brakes complete the package. The V6 engine's searing punch and great throttle response ensure that the VXR feels every bit as quick as the claimed 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds and 161mph top speed suggest. Shame, then, that the gearbox is clunky and can't be rushed.

And take a corner too quickly and the car's limitations become all too apparent. Despite the Vauxhall's clever dam-pers, there's lots of wheelspin in the lower gears under hard acceleration, but little steering feel. The Vectra is more at home on fast, sweeping bends where you can use the torque and enjoy the taut ride. But if it's straight-line speed you're after, the VXR won't disappoint.

Most Popular

New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
The best 0% finance car deals 2021
Best 0% finance car deals - header
Best cars & vans

The best 0% finance car deals 2021

Tempted by a 0% APR deal? Here are our best 0% finance deals starting from only £145...
21 Oct 2021
Citroen Ami Cargo confirmed for UK launch in 2022
Citroen Ami Cargo - front
Citroen

Citroen Ami Cargo confirmed for UK launch in 2022

The Citroen Ami Cargo is the commercial vehicle version of the tiny city car, and it will join the two-seat passenger model on sale in the UK next yea…
26 Oct 2021