Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vehicle of Two Halves

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vehicle of Two Halves

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill McCarthy

Great backside ( pity about the face. The Signum is a story of two halves ( an eye-catching rear twinned with a forgettable front.

But with a name like Signum you expect a few surprises and you get them.

At first glance it doesn't look much different to a Vectra Estate but it is five inches longer and has the look of, if not luxury, then upmarket limo about it.

It may not rate in the David Beckham super league, it's more a mid-table performer. But when it comes to bending it like the England skipper, Vauxhall has the edge ( bending headlights that is.

It is the only car in its class to feature Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) which combines swivelling bi-xenon headlights that spin 90 degrees for turns and corners.

It threw me. I could see the extra light but couldn't figure where it was coming from or how I was switching it on.

There is no excuse to scrape wheels along kerbs when cornering in the dark and for safety reasons it only functions at 30mph. It sounds complicated, but it didn't take long to appreciate the benefits.

The back profile has a dome-shaped rear window that is very appealing to the eye and houses an enormous boot. But the tailgate needs a strap to close as it is virtually impossible to reach for the vertically challenged.

Comfort and interior space is excellent, if limited to only four seats, equipment levels are lavish and everything feels durable. It should do for a price tag of pounds 20,000.

The 3.2 engine is powerful and it cruises with impeccable road manners. It is not that thirsty, returning around 25mpg, but high CO2 emissions make it an expensive company car.

The Signum comes in three spec levels consisting of the base Elegance through the Design model and up to the top-end Elite.

The standard package, on the Elegance, includes air-conditioning, cruise control, rain-sensitive wipers, anti-glare rear mirror and alloy wheels.

The controls and dash offer plenty of well-placed, well-made equipment. …

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