Vectra varies its valves
1 February 2006

Variable valve timing is now available in the Vectra and Signum – Vauxhall is selling them with the 1.8 litre petrol engine launched in the Zafira last year. Power is usefully up to 138bhp from 120bhp, 0.6 seconds is shaved off the 0-60 time and fuel economy is marginally improved to 39.2mpg on the combined cycle.

Perhaps the most substantial benefit is the drop in CO2 emissions, from 182 g/km to 173 g/km in the SRi models and from 175 to 173 g/km in the non-SRi models. For a company car driver in an SRi paying tax at 40%, that’s £566 saved over three years.

Vauxhall claims that 90 per cent of the torque (of which there is 129lb ft) is available between 2000 and 6000rpm. So the high-rev peakiness associated with some VVT engines should be avoided.

Prices are unchanged at £14,750 for the hatchback, £15,750 for the estate and £17,995 for the Signum.

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo 159

Fleet-friendly Alfa 159 leaves too much to be desired on quality and refinement to rival the best in class

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