On this day in auto history - October 20th

Wed 20th Oct 2021

It was on this day in 1995 that the much-maligned Vauxhall Vectra was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Replacing the hugely popular but ageing Cavalier in Vauxhall’s line-up, the large family car - offered initially in both hatchback and saloon form - garnered lukewarm reviews on its inception with Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson famously dubbing it a ‘box on wheels’.

In 2013, Top Gear Magazine went one step further by naming the original Vectra amongst the worst 13 cars of the last 20 years. Despite everything sales held up ok.

A more spacious, new generation of the Vectra was unveiled in 2002 and was marginally better-received than its bland predecessor but sales still fell below expectations. That's despite the estate variant of the model being voted Estate Car of The Year in 2007 by What Car? magazine.

Though a 2005 facelift improved the styling and added more handling sharpness, the Vectra still couldn’t shake off its drab reputation with the car-buying public and dwindling sales saw it phased out in 2008 to make room for the all-new Insignia.