Vauxhall Senator 'B'

The Series 3 Senator or Senator 'B' was launched in the UK in May 1987. The original line-up was a 2.5i, 3.0i and high specification 3.0i CD. In October 1989, the 3.0i 24V CD was added to the range with a price premium of approximately £1800 over the 3.0i 12V CD. In 1991, the 2.5i engine was discontinued due to the introduction of catalytic converters across the range. This engine was replaced by the 2.6i engine which pushed out the same power with 'cats' as the, now, replaced 2.5i. In 1992 the base 3.0i was removed from the range and the 3.0i CD was discontinued in 1993 along with the base 2.6i. A new 2.6i CD was introduced and sold for a year. The 3.0i 24V CD was sold for a short period as the only model in the line up until the Senators replacement by the Omega in 1994.

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Interior Features

Exterior Features

Colours & Trims

Options & Prices

Technical Specifications

Interior Features

Details for the 2.5i and 3.0i were as the models stood in 1990. Details for the 2.6i were as the model stood in 1991. All the base models had an identical specification for the interior features.


  • Kendal wool trim
  • Open-type adjustable front & rear head restraints
  • Fully reclining front seats with valances
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Height adjustable front passenger's seat
  • Front seats with two-way lumbar adjustment
  • Front seat centre armrest
  • Split-folding rear seat back
  • Fold-down rear seat centre armrest with load-through facility

Facia, Instruments and Controls

  • Colour-keyed facia with wood veneer inserts
  • Rev counter, trip odometer, water temperature gauge, instrument panel light dimmer
  • Multi-function check control warning panel and low fuel level warning light
  • Lockable, illuminated glovebox.
  • Quartz clock

Heating and Ventilation

  • Air blend heater with 5-speed fan and illuminated controls
  • Automatic temperature control with variable side-to-side settings
  • Side window demist vents and adjustable face-level air vents
  • Rear passenger compartment heating ducts
  • Adjustable rear ventilation nozzles

Audio Equipment

  • DC681 stereo radio/cassette player with security coding - 6 speakers
  • Cassette storage area
  • Electrically operated aerial

Interior Lighting

  • Interior courtesy light, with delay cut-off, operated by front and rear door switches
  • Adjustable map reading lights integral with courtesy light. Rear reading lights
  • Illuminated boot and engine compartment

Additional Interior Features

  • 5-position height adjustable inertia reel front/rear seat belts and centre static lap belt
  • Front seat belt buckle mounted on seat frame
  • Soft-feel tiltable front and rear assist handles with coat hooks
  • Internal bonnet release, tiltable/illuminated fusebox, steering column lock
  • Extensive sound insulation
  • One piece soft touch moulded headlining, soft-feel A-pillar covers
  • Leather covered handbrake handle/gaiter
  • Velour carpet on rear parcel shelf, velour carpeted boot with sill protection, carpeted rear seat back
  • Provision for load retention straps in boot
  • Spare wheel cover
  • Velour door trim panels with wood veneer inserts, carpeted front door pockets, continental-style front door armrests
  • Illuminated front and rear cigar lighters, front ashtray with fingertip control and two rear ashtrays
  • Fabric covered twin sunvisors, dipping rear view mirror
  • Illuminated vanity mirror with cover for driver and front passenger
  • Integrated centre console
  • 4-spoke steering wheel
  • Tiltable steering column
  • Colour-keyed cut-pile velour carpet

Exterior Features


  • 4-speed automatic transmission (on 2.5i)
  • Computer-controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with economy , winter and sports driving modes
  • Twin 3-way closed loop catalytic converters (NOT 2.5i)
  • Speed-sensitive power assisted steering
  • Electronic anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Multi-link independent rear suspension

Exterior Lighting

  • Halogen headlamps with dim-dip facility. Parking lights
  • Dark-style rear lamps
  • Lights-on warning buzzer
  • Twin reversing lights
  • Twin rear fog lamps
  • Hazard warning lights
  • Side repeat indicators
  • Electric headlamp levelling system
  • Integral halogen front foglamps
  • Long range halogen driving lights with headlamps
  • Headlamp wash/wipe
  • Kerb illumination door lights and door-open warning lights

Exterior Styling

  • Dark grey bumpers and side protection mouldings with bright insert
  • Body colour front and rear under bumper valance, lower part of valance in black
  • Aerodynamic sill mouldings in grey, bootlid spoiler with bright insert
  • Body colour door mirror housings
  • Double coachline stripe

Wheels & Tyres

  • Low profile tyres
  • Flush wheel covers

Additional Exterior Features

  • Laminated windscreen with graduated tint shadeband
  • Green tinted glass all round
  • Electrically operated front and rear windows with one touch operation
  • Auto-reverse safety facility for electrically operated windows
  • Central locking (doors, boot/tailgate, fuel flap) with security deadlock and torch key
  • Manual sliding/tiltable glass sunroof with interior blind
  • Heated rear window with automatic timed cut-off
  • Heated twin jet windscreen washer nozzles
  • Twin electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • 2-speed windscreen wipers plus intermittent and flick wipe. Electric screenwash
  • Boot pushlock
  • Twin gas assisted bonnet struts
  • 2-tone horn

Colours and Trims

The following colours and trims were available for the base level Senator (details taken from the 1991 brochure):

Solid Colours
Glacier White Grey Kendal Wool Trim
Regency Blue Grey Kendal Wool Trim
Mexico Red Beige Kendal Wool Trim
Two-coat Metallic Colours
Star Silver Anthracite Kendal Wool Trim
Westminster Blue Grey Kendal Wool Trim
Haze Blue Blue Kendal Wool Trim
Mistral Grey Grey Kendal Wool Trim
Two-coat Pearlescent Colours
Rembrandt Silver Anthracite Kendal Wool Trim
Diamond Black Grey Kendal Wool Trim
Spectral Blue Beige Kendal Wool Trim
Bordeaux Red Grey Kendal Wool Trim

Options and Prices


5-speed manual transmission (no cost option)

Cruise control

Electric operation of sunroof

Blaupunkt Memphis and CDP09 audio equipment

Air conditioning

Seven function trip computer

Heated front seats

Spoked front alloy wheels with anti-theft centre caps

Electronic ride control

Limited slip differential (NOT 2.5i)

Security alarm system

Two-coat metallic paint

Two-coat pearlescent paint


These are the prices of the Senator saloon and estate and the dates from which they were valid.

Senator 2.6i Saloon
September 1990 £19,920
October 1991 £21,130
October 1992 £22,630


Senator 3.0i Saloon
September 1987 £19,940
September 1990 £22,214
October 1991 £22,815

Technical Specifications


2.5i (2490cc) producing 140PS (103kW) @ 5200 rpm and 151.2 lb.ft. (205Nm) of torque @ 4200 rpm. 6-cylinder, cam-in-head, hydraulic tappets, temperature-controlled viscous drive cooling fan, 12 crankshaft counterbalance weights. Bosch LE2 Jetronic fuel injection system. Deceleration fuel cut-off. Idle air control. Electronic breakerless ignition with electronic ignition timing. Compression ratio 9.2:1.

2.6i (2594cc) Cat generating 150 PS (110kW) @ 5600 rpm and 162.3 lb.ft. (220Nm) of torque @ 3600 rpm. 6-cylinder, cam-in-head, Dual Ram intake system, hydraulic tappets and temperature-controlled viscous drive cooling fan. Motronic M1.5 engine management system. Activated charcoal evaporation control canister. Two ceramic monolith 3-way catlytic converters and Lambda sensor. Compression ratio 9.2:1.

3.0i (2969cc) producing 177PS (130kW) @ 5800 rpm and 177.0 lb.ft. (240Nm) of torque @ 4200 rpm. 6-cylinder, cam-in-head, hydraulic tappets ,temperature-controlled viscous drive cooling fan, 12 crankshaft counterbalance weights, thermostatically controlled engine oil cooler. Bosch Motronic fuel injection system. Computer controlled multi-point fuel injection and ignition. Two ceramic monolith 3-way catlytic converters and Lambda sensor. Compression ratio 9.2:1.



1 2 3 4 5 Rev.
2.5 Manual 240 mm 3.95:1 2.19:1 1.39:1 1.00:1 0.84:1 3.53:1 3.45:1
2.6/3.0 Manual 240 mm 3.95:1 2.19:1 1.39:1 1.00:1 0.84:1 3.53:1 3.70:1
Automatic - 2.40:1 1.48:1 1.00:1 0.72:1 - 1.92:1 3.70:1

4-speed automatic transmission, with fuel saving lock-up clutch fitted as standard on Senator 2.5i. Computer-controlled 4-speed automatic transmission, with three different operating modes for sport, economy and winter driving, standard on Senator 2.6i and Senator 3.0i (not available on Senator 2.5i). 5-speed manual gearbox with mechanical asbestos-free, single plate clutch.


Front: Independent. MacPherson struts with damper cartridge, coil springs. Anti-roll bar. Negative scrub. Gas pressure dampers.

Rear: Independent. Multi-link suspension system with progressive rate miniblock coil springs with telescopic gas pressure dampers. Anti-roll bar.


Dual circuit, servo assisted.

Front: 11.0 inch diameter discs

Rear: 10.6 inch diameter discs

Ventilated front discs. Asbestos-free brake pads. Handbrake-on and low brake fluid warning light. Front brake pad wear warning light. Plastic coated brake pipes. Electronic antilock braking system (ABS).


70 amp alternator

55 Ah maintenance-free battery

Boot Capacity (VDA method)

18.7 cu. ft.

Performance & Fuel Economy




FUEL ECONOMY mpg (litres/100km)

Maximum Speed (mph) Acceleration 0-62mph (s) Simulated urban driving Constant 56mph Constant 75mph
2.5i 5-speed manual 130 unknown 20.5 (13.8) 40.4 (7.0) 32.8 (8.6)
2.5i 4-speed automatic 124 unknown 20.5 (13.8) 40.4 (7.0) 32.8 (8.6)
2.6i Cat. 5-speed manual 132 10.3 20.0 (14.1) 36.7 (7.7) 30.1 (9.4)
2.6i Cat. 4-speed automatic 129 11.3 19.5 (14.5) 36.7 (7.7) 30.1 (9.4)
3.0i Cat. 5-speed manual 140 unknown 18.1 (15.6) 35.8 (7.9) 29.4 (9.6)
3.0i Cat. 4-speed automatic 134 unknown 18.6 (15.2) 38.2 (7.4) 31.4 (9.0)

Weights & Towing Data

  Kerbweight (kg) Gross vehicle weight (kg) Max. roof rack load (kg) Maximum towing weights (kg) Max trailer noseweight load (kg) Rear overhang (metres) Speed (mph) per 1000rpm manual transmission
Trailer with brakes Trailer without brakes
Man Auto Man Auto Man Auto 4th 5th
2.5i 1425 1445 1985 1985 100 1700 1500 720 75 1.18 21.3 25.4
2.6i 1425 1445 1985 1985 100 1700 1700 720 75 1.18 19.9 23.7
3.0i 1425 1445 1985 1985 100 1700 1700 720 75 1.18 19.9 23.7


6J x 15 steel wheels with flush wheel covers


205/65 VR 15 low profile

Fuel Capacities

16.5 Imperial Gallons (75 litres)


ZF Servotronic speed sensitive power assisted recirculating ball system.

Energy absorbing steering column.

3.2 turns lock-to-lock.

Turning circle - 10.1m (33.1 ft)


Aerodynamic drag co-efficients:

Saloon - Cd 0.30

All steel body with extensive anti-corrosion protection. Safety crumple zones, front and rear. Rigid passenger safety cell. Concealed windscreen wipers. Flush fitting glass all-round. Flush door handles. Concealed front towing eye. Single two-way key operated locks and ignition. Burst proof door locks. Child-proof rear door locks. Polypropylene front bumper/valance and rear bumper capable of withstanding impacts up to 2.5mph without permanent damage.

Anti-Corrosion Protection

Partial use of zinc-coated sheet metal, zinc phosphated bodyshell primered electrostatically (cathodic). All weld seams and joints sealed with special compound. Areas prone to stone damage on underbody coated with stone-impact primer. Anti-corrosion primers used extensively on bonnet, boot lid, tailgate, doors, wings and other panels. Paint finish applied electrostatically. PVC coating applied to wheelarches and other underbody areas. Polymer reinforced anti-corrosion wax pumped into door sills and other underbody cavities. Plastic front wheelarch liners.


Philips DC681 stereo radio/cassette player

  • 4 figure security burnt in memory chip
  • Microprocessor-controlled quartz tuning
  • 20 station electronic memory
  • Additional 10 station autostore memory
  • Transflective liquid crystal display for frequency, waveband, preset number, FM stereo mode and FM signal strength
  • Automatic three-level search tuning for all wavebands
  • Up/down manual tuning
  • Single button station storage with confirmatory (bleep) signal
  • Loudness button
  • Stereo/mono mode button
  • Autoreverse stereo cassette deck with LCD tape direction indicator
  • Manual tape direction reverse facility
  • Radio reception during fast forward and rewind
  • Auto cassette insertion with auto start
  • Auto replay after fast wind to end of tape
  • Dolby noise reduction system
  • ESC Electronic Speed Control
  • Metal and Chrome tape facility
  • Autostop: tape 'salad' protection
  • Electronic volume control and desired setting memory by means of large revolving commutator
  • Illumination of radio controls with car lights on