Vauxhall Tigra -

Used Car Review

Vauxhall Tigra, side

CONVERTIBLES really hold their value over the years and many of them come from the car makers at the top of the pecking order.

So if you're looking for an open two seater that won't cost the earth to insure or to run, the Vauxhall Tigra could be the one for you.

They are now getting on a bit - production finished in 2009 - but there are many good examples still available with low mileage.

Other smaller coupe-convertibles look great with the roof down but quite ugly when it's up.

But the Tigra is a little sportscar which is as pretty as a picture roof up or down.

Earliest models are now down to around £1,000 and even the base 1.4-litre 90bhp engine offers plenty of driving fun. The bigger 1.8-litre, with no less than 123bhp on tap, just makes the whole car that much better.

I once took the humble 1.4 on a 400 mile trip to the west country on a sunny summer's day. I had the roof down for the whole trip and despite the lowly power output, the good handling and road-holding made the trip - on ordinary roads all the way - hugely enjoyable.

The Tigra was also available with a the Vauxhall 70bhp 1.3 turbo diesel, with no less than 60-plus mpg economy, but it's not the fastest thing on the road.

The tiny roof doesn't take up too much space in the boot and it goes up and down at the touch of a button in just a few seconds.

And the power steering is wonderful, helping towards vice-free handling, and the road-holding is good enough for safe and quick corners. Comfort is also well up to the best in class.

Standard equipment is more than enough for most people, with aircon and electric windows, central locking and a good stereo.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £1,000 for an '08 08-reg 1.4, or £1,600 for a '10 10-reg Exclusiv

Mechanical: 88bhp, 1,364cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 12 seconds.

Combined MPG: 46

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 146g/km

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