Vauxhall's isn't the sexiest badge in the company car park, which is a shame. Remember the exciting GTE and Sri variants?
Also, for the time, the Nova and Astra GTE. Oh, and there was the Lotus Carlton and the VX220.
Vauxhall, then, really is a manufacturer of contrasts. So let's look at its mixed bag of often rather wonderful used cars.
Although large rear-wheel-drive saloons can be bought with all sorts of posh badges, we think that the traffic cops had it right in their big white Senators and Omegas with the blues and twos. It’s a big old barge that's very forgiving and always feels safe. In top trim it is extremely comfortable and the estate is massively practical.
Thank heavens for the real men Down Under who created the primeval Monaro, an unapologetic throwback to a simpler age. Vauxhall officially imported (though never type approved) the original 5.7 V8 LS1 model. There was also a limited run of a more powerful VXR version. In 2005 a VXR version with a 6.0 LS2 V8 and uprated suspension arrived.
It’s a long Vectra with a massive 2830mm between the front and rear wheels. So legroom isn't an issue, especially with the FlexSpace system. In seconds you can fold the rear centre seat away to create an even more spacious four-seater and then individually slide the two rear seats back by up to 130mm, creating 985mm of legroom. Not only that but the seats also recline to a highly amenable 30deg angle.
The VX220's 2.0-litre turbocharged unit tugs the lightweight body along so that it gets to 60mph in less than five seconds. The gearbox is well matched, too, being usefully slick and helping to power along the car whether it's tackling twisty country lanes or just cruising on the motorway. You should still get around 30mpg overall, which is pretty good for a car that delivers almost supercar levels of handling and performance.