Vauxhall Omega 3.2 V6 Elite Estate | Spotted

It was big and it was clever. And we'll never see a Vauxhall quite like it again

By John Howell / Sunday, March 27, 2022 / Loading comments

Change is inevitable, that’s a fact. But while accepting the transient nature of everything, including myself, I still find it sad when certain car brands fall off the perch. Saab, for instance. Saab never did anyone any harm did it? Even if you had no intention of buying one you couldn’t dislike them, and the world’s a sorrier place now it’s gone.

Then there’s the question of brands that are still here but have lost some of their original standing. Sure, people have always hankered after a BMW or a Mercedes, yet there was a time when a Ford Granada or a Vauxhall Carlton was a perfectly respectable alternative. These days those two big hitters don’t even field a large executive, and I rue the lack of choice that brings.

The Vauxhall Omega was the last big offering from Luton, and in estate form it was the next best thing to a van. That’s because you got a mighty load bay and, in this case, a smooth, longitudinally mounted, 3.2-litre V6 driving the rear wheels. Perfect. And seeing this one reminded me again what the world is missing thanks to our obsession with only buying brands from Stuttgart, Munich or Ingolstadt. Whatever you think of the badge, the Omega was a solid car. I’ve been having a read up on them to refresh my memory and all I could find is people – including those on PH threads – saying laudables like: ‘seriously underrated cars’, ‘brilliant big comfy cruising machine’ and ‘fantastic waftmobiles.’

The only negatives seem to concern electrical gremlins – although that appears to be mainly the earlier, pre-facelift B1 models – and the Omega’s ability to chomp through tyres and suspension bushes. But here’s the thing: I’ve just had a look on Euro Car Parts and how much do you reckon a front lower wishbone bush is? 97p. Or how about an anti-roll bar bush? 45p. That’s not all, because a pair of front ventilated discs will cost just over £20, and even chunkier parts, like an alternator, is yours for less than £60. Plus you don’t need to worry about the tyres on this one for a while, because the advert says it’s just had a new set of Uniroyals fitted. The other expensive bit is the cambelt, but apparently that’s just been done, too, along with a service. Which is one of the ten service stamps it’s had over its gentle, 83,000-mile life.

I say gentle because looking through the pictures that’s what I see. The paintwork is spick and span, and the condition of those beige leather seats – even the matching carpets for that matter – seem to suggest that its three owners existed only as hallucinations who insisted on wearing disposable shoe covers. It really is very clean for a twenty-year-old car. And look, it’s got denim blue dials and plastic wood, which, and I will here no arguments about this, I’m classing as kitsch. Also, for a car that’s two-decades old, it’s not exactly spartan is it? It’s laden with mod cons like heated front seats that are powered with a memory function. There’s also an electric sunroof, xenon headlights, a Bose sound system and even rear parking sensors, which, unlike Porsche’s attempts at around this time, aren’t great protruding boils on the back bumper.

I’ll finish up with another quote from the PH forums to explain why you should buy this Vauxhall Omega. It’s from 2013 and was written by Lowtimer, who said, “If you can get a late 3.2 then they rumble along quite nicely. Pretty much the same overall performance as a modern BMW 320D, make quite a nice sound, and on a decent run you should be able to coax 30 mpg out of one.” Badge aside, that’s all you really need in life, isn’t it? In fact, the only thing wrong with it, is that it’s not a Carlton GSi 3000 24v. That would’ve made me even happier.

Specification | Vauxhall Omega 3.2 V6 Elite Estate

Engine: 3,175cc, V6, naturally aspirated
Transmission: 4-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 215
Torque (lb ft): 214
CO2: 274
MPG: 24.8
Recorded mileage: 83,000
Year registered: 2003
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £9,995

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