Opel Vectra Review: 2007 Model | Vectra | Car Buyers Guide

2007 Opel Vectra Review

I can’t say I care much for Opel’s policy of piling on the power regardless of how much the chassis can handle. The Astra, Meriva and Zafira OPC are rather unruly, unpleasant things to drive and to travel in, with their all-or-nothing power delivery, rock hard suspension and alarming degrees of torque steer. Before the arrival of the Corsa OPC, though, there was one OPC model that I absolutely adored, although it tended to slip beneath the radar because it was relatively underpowered and understated compared to its siblings. The Vectra OPC is the hidden gem of the current Opel range but is so underrated it beggars belief.

So what makes it so good? For a start, it’s sensibly powered, producing 280hp and 355Nm of torque, enough for a stonking 0-100km/h time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed limited to 250km/h. But because that power is produced by a lightly blown 2.8-litre V6 rather than an overblown 2.0 litre four-banger the delivery is smooth, cultured and controllable, making the Vectra OPC not only swift, but effortlessly so. It sounds good, too, with a gruff baritone note under hard acceleration that’s much more pleasant to listen to than an over-boosted four-banger trying to eat its own internal organs. A light and slick clutch and gearbox combo and beautifully linear throttle response all do their part to enhance the engine’s performance also, and while ESP is standard it’s rarely troubled by unruly wheelspin or unwanted surges of power.

The Vectra OPC is also the only Vectra that looks good. The aggressive bumpers and skirts, darkened light lenses, gorgeous 18” alloys and neat deck spoiler give the fastest Vectra an air of purpose sadly lacking in the rest of the watery range. It’s a tad loutish given the increasingly conservative nature of buyers in this segment but for those who need a big, comfortable car that can still turn a few knowing heads, the Vectra OPC is just extrovert enough without looking too cartoonish.

The OPC treatment could do little to lift the Vectra’s cabin, however. It’s as dreary and depressing as ever despite the Recaro buckets, sports steering wheel, daft square gear lever, special instruments and ambitious 300km/h speedometer. Not that you’ll be staring at the dash too much – you’ll be too busy watching the world go whizzing by, because what makes the Vectra OPC truly great is its chassis. The steering is perfectly geared and excellently weighted, full of delicate feedback without any kickback or fussiness. The ride quality is excellent, making the chassis very exploitable on our pock-marked roads, while its willingness to steer on the throttle makes each roundabout a joy and makes the Vectra feel like it’s half as big as it actually is.

Sadly, the Vectra OPC is not long for this world now, and it’s difficult to imagine that its replacement will be any better. The Opel Vectra is one of the very best handling front-drive cars to go on sale in recent times, but given how many I’ve seen on the roads, it looks like I’ll be the only one lamenting its passing.


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