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Old 03-03-2008, 07:21 AM   #1
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new used car dillema

i may be looking at getting a new car, my dad tipped me of on a very low milage 94 mint shape opel vectra for a decent price. i can't think about it to long however... i should know more details and look at it somewhere this week.

the vectra is more refined than what i have in every aspect , my dad has the same car for a few months now and he's worked on them since they came out.
he tells me they're solid...without any real design flaws... parts should be fairly cheap so form an economic point of view it should be ok.

my car is beginning to show its age but probably got 2 more years in it or so.
the vectra should last at least 7.

it's got much better arodyncamics Cd of only 0.29 as opposed to 0.32 now with perhaps only slightly more frontal area.

but it's heavier... about +250kg max but maybe a little less
it's one of the few cars where aerodynamics seem to have been favored over style so it's a bit boring to look at... wich is why i'm tempted to get it although it's a sedan rather than a hatch.
but here's the catch.

my curent engine is a 1.3l with 75hp (not the base model)
the vectra has a 1.6 with 75hp (base model)


roughly 17 horses less per ton.... autch...

my car is no power house but if you do need an extra puch, at the price of the sound of a ww2 bomber takeing off, the power will be there.

i'm worried the vectra will be sluggish to drive, leading to more throtteling and a worse FE than now... on the other hand superior aerodynamics and a 5th gear that i curently lack may make this into a real FE mashine.

any advice?
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:31 AM   #2
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The Kadett is running fine right now? You are getting decent mpg with the Kadett? Still have at least two more years in the Kadett?

The Vectra is 7 years newer? The Vectra has the same horsepower with a larger engine than the Kadett? The Vectra is 550 pounds heavier than the Kadett but has better CD?

Getting something 7 years newer (since your vehicle is 21 year model older now) is probably a plus. Even tho the HP is the same the Torque/kw might be much better with the 1.6L in the Vectra. MPG might end up being the same for both. I would drive the Vectra and see if it meets or beats your expectations. You could probably keep the Kadett (might not be worth selling it) and make it even lighter for a FE Project car. Drive the Vectra everyday and work on its FE slowly.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:21 AM   #3
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lunarhighway -

Since your Dad knows a lot about the car, I think you are in good shape if you decide to get it. I don't know the gear ratio differences, but I do know that I couldn't live without a 5th gear for MPG.

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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The Vectra is designed for highways, it was designed almost specifically for sales representatives, albeit designated a large family car, but tax laws changed in the UK and elsewhere making them uncompetetive. The vectra A (Cavalier in UK) is regarded as a well put together and reliable car. The B less so until the bugs were ironed out about 3 years into production. It's a comfortable machine for lots of highway driving, and should return reasonable fuel economy on the highway. Used for lots of city driving, you will probably find your Kadett preferable.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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IMHO, the Japanese tend to produce some of the most powerful, fuel efficient and reliable small 4-cylinder petrol engines.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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If I was back in Europe again, I'd look for another Fiat Uno, had one in the UK in the 90s and liked it. Guess the one to go for would be a circa 1994 one with the F.I.R.E. motor, preferably the 45 model, but I saw 50mpg imperial out of an older 55. Cd is 0.30 which is fairly impressive for a small hatch.

Edit: crazy plan mode... hmmm 1993 and older ones would be importable here, last time I checked it was about $2000 to rent a container, and about $3000 to ship it, I wonder how many clean mediterranean Fiat Unos I could stack into it....
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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yea that makes sence.

it's a bit of a tough choise... most of my home to work driveing is around 70-90 km/h over a rather ling stretch of road so it's not all out city but not all out highway either

here's a sketch i did over a google map for fun:


there's about 12 forseeable full stops along the route all in the green areas so mostely it's just driveing at a fairly constant speed.

the kadett is more suited to my needs, but when it comes to second hand cars you can't be overly picky either...

i'll think it trough... the vectra's a bit to big for me maybe but by the time it's expected to retire i might have kids running around...
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