OPEL Vectra Sedan Models/Series Timeline, Specifications & Photos

Generations: 6
First production year: 1988
Engines: Gasoline, Diesel
OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

Opel refreshed the third and last generation of the Vectra lineup in 2005 and dramatically improving its styling, but it was a little too late for the European sedan.

The German carmaker built the third generation of the Vectra on the GM's Epsilon platform and introduced it on the market in 2002. It made it in three body shapes: three-box sedan, two-and-a-half hatchback, and station wagon.

On the outside, the most striking difference was on the headlights, where a pair of swept-back, tear-shaped headlights replaced the previous, squared-looking lamps. The Vectra finally received the face it deserved. It provided an improved appearance on the road with a taller grille and a wide V-shaped chromed trim. The carmaker also changed the taillights at the back, introducing clear turn-signals lenses on the upper side of the lamps.

The top section of the cockpit and the door trims were redesigned by leather-like grain. Its front bucket seats offered better support. For the infotainment unit, the Vectra C offered a Bluetooth connection. A new steering wheel with rotary knobs and buttons improved the controls over the infotainment unit.

Opel improved the engine range, according to the Euro 5 emission standards. For the gasoline versions, the Vectra was available with five choices that offered between 100 and 230 hp. Fiat and Isuzu supplied the turbo-diesel engines. The carmaker enhanced the independent suspension on all corners with adaptive dampers that could have been stiffened via a button on the dashboard.

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OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

Opel introduced the third generation of its mid-size contender, Vectra, on the European market at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, and it was a big departure from its predecessors.

GM developed the Vectra on the Epsilon platform shared with the Saab 9-3, and it was available in three body shapes: sedan, hatchback, and station wagon. The four-door version was considered a middle-management vehicle aimed at Volkswagen's Passat and Ford's Mondeo customers.

The exterior featured a new design trend for its headlights, with a rectangular, swept-back look and a pair of headlamps inside. Its grille sported a horizontal slat and the round badge on it. The flat trunk lid amplified its three-box shape, and surprisingly, it lost the small glass area behind the rear doors. Both its predecessors, the Vectra A and the B, featured that small window, but the C version received a wider C-pillar instead. At the back, it sported corner-mounted taillights and a wide, flat panel adorned by a chromed slat.

Inside, the German carmaker designed the car with the middle-manager in mind and suitable for a family. It installed comfortable bucket seats at the front and a bench for three adults in the back. The dashboard featured, as an option, a navigation system mounted between the center air vents. Opel's only problem was that it offered the vehicle a bland interior that sported different shades of gray, and that made.

Under the hood, Opel installed a choice of gasoline and turbo-diesel engines paired as standard with a five-speed manual transmission. Later on, the carmaker added a more powerful version tuned by the Opel Performance Center (OPC).

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OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

In 1999, Opel introduced a mid-life cycle refresh for the Vectra's lineup and brought more appeal to its sedan version with better engines and a revised look.

At a glance, there was nothing changed on the Vectra, although the carmaker stated that it changed or improved 2,500 parts. Opel tried to fix some technical issues which affected the reliability.

For the facelifted version, the Vectra Sedan received new headlights and smoked taillights. The original shape remained with a mix of biodesign and conservative styling like its artistic department was divided. If they couldn't agree on the 1995 model, they couldn't make peace for the facelifted version either. At least, it lost the black rubber strips from the bumper and from its sides, which didn't look that good unless the car was black. A chromed trim adorned the grille while the lower apron received a new design. A set of side sills enhanced the car's profile, making it look like it had a lower ground clearance.

Inside, the bucket seats at the front were mounted low on the floor to create the impression of a sporty family sedan. The concept worked well for the front passengers but left little legroom for the rear ones. On the 1999 model, the carmaker installed new buttons and a new automatic climate control unit system.

The engine lineup was improved, especially on the diesel side. Thanks to its new engine factory from Kaiserslautern, it managed to get fresh, direct-injected diesel and turbo-diesel engines, which improved fuel efficiency.

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OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

Opel introduced the second generation of the Vectra in 1995 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was one of the most important premieres from that year.

GM placed its bets on the Vectra. After a not very successful first generation, the design department burned the midnight oil to came up with a better-shaped vehicle, and the result was the 1995 Vectra, also known as Vectra B. It was a world car since it was sold under different names and badges. GM used the same platform for the Saturn L-Series, which was not that successful.

The 1995 Vectra was a significant improvement over its predecessor with more rounded areas and fluid shapes. It looked like GM partly agreed with the biodesign trend. A particular form was for the door-mirrors connected to the bodywork via an aerodynamic pillar that followed the hood's V-shaped lines. Its curved lines were extended over the greenhouse and formed an arched shape ended with a third window behind the rear doors.

Inside, the bucket-seats at the front were mounted low on the floor to create the impression of a sporty family sedan. The concept worked well for the front passengers but left little legroom for the rear ones. GM installed a refreshed dashboard with curved lines that looked appealing to its customers. Depending on the trim level, the instrument cluster featured an additional LCD for the on-board computer installed next to the dials.

Under the hood, Opel offered the Vectra B with a choice of five gasoline and a turbodiesel engine. Later on, in 1997, it introduced a new generation of direct-injected diesel versions fitted with four valves per cylinder. The carmaker paired all of them to a five-speed manual gearbox. For selected versions, the Vectra was available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

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OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

Opel introduced a facelifted version for the first Vectra generation in 1992, four years after it launched the model on the European market.

When Opel decided to retire the old Ascona lineup, the new model was a complete change. It was no longer wedged-shape and, also, designed for the rising European middle-class. It was also used as an executive sedan in former East-European communist countries. In 1992, the German brand introduced a facelift after four years of the vehicle on the market.

It was the bio-design era, but Opel lost time developing the car, and it was too late to catch it. Still, it rounded the car's shapes and made the headlights smaller. The formerly used three-slat grille received a new, body-colored surrounding. Its new wrapped-around plastic bumper received an extension downwards, forming an apron and improving the car's aerodynamic. Behind the rear doors, Opel added a small triangular window, which was considered a luxury feature for a mid-size sedan. Its flat trunk sported a vertical panel at the back that wore part of the taillights.

Inside, Opel offered the Vectra with comprehensive trim options. From cloth upholstery to a leather-clad interior and from cranked windows and a simple ventilation system to four power windows and mirrors plus automatic climate control. On the top-performer version, the Vectra Turbo, the carmaker installed sport bucket seats and a sporty interior with white dials and red needles.

Under the hood, the base version featured a 1.6-liter single-point injection that provided just 75 hp. The sportiest version received a Cosworth-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that sent 204 ponies in all corners through a six-speed manual. For a more relaxed, executive-level drive, it provided a 2.5-liter V-6.

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OPEL Vectra Sedan photo gallery

Opel changed its game when it replaced the Ascona with the Vectra, going into a completely new direction in 1988.

Before the Vectra and the Astra, Opel played the sportiness card with the Manta GTE or the Kadett GSI. But with the new range, it tried to say that it changed its direction towards the regular family-oriented vehicles and the car-rental companies. The Vectra's first-generation played on the safe side: new platform, front-wheel-drive, and engines for every taste.

At the front, the Vectra featured a front fascia with rectangular headlights and corner-mounted turn signals. A three-slat plastic grille, black or body-colored depending on the trim level, filled the space above the wrapped-around plastic bumper. The sedan featured a greenhouse with curved panels and a small window behind the rear doors. It was Opel's way to say that the car was suitable as a middle-management vehicle. At the back, the trunk lid featured a downward panel flanked by the taillights.

Inside, the base trim level featured cranked windows, manual adjustable mirrors, and a ventilation system. On the full-spec version, it offered a leather-clad interior with power everything and a climate control system. Its front seats provided adequate room for average-sized occupants, while the rear bench was less comfortable due to limited legroom.

Under the hood, Opel installed a 1.6-liter, single-point injection system that provided a mere 75 hp. The carmaker offered two turbo-diesel versions with 1.7-liter displacement, Isuzu-sourced powerplants, which were highly fuel-efficient.

full description and technical specifications