Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Joy to Drive a Tigra Made for Two

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Joy to Drive a Tigra Made for Two

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Scantlebury

THE original Tigra relied almost exclusively on pert looks for its appeal; the current version has a lot more going for it, not least the introduction of a retractable hard roof, turning the car into the coupe/roadster style that is so popular now.

Vauxhall did a good job all round on this Corsa variant, producing a car that has a sporty nature but not so much that comfort is lost or frighteners are put on the inhabitants. A good balance, in fact.

Making the little Tigra a pure two-seater was a wise decision, too. Others of this breed have gone for a 2+2 formula, whereby the rear, either for people or luggage, is an impossible waste of space. Here you get a useful 70 litres of in-car stowage space behind the two seats and, for the type of car it is, useable boot capacity.

So here you have a babe that will have appeal across a wide age range. The standard models will catch the eye of empty-nesters while young ones will go for the Sport variants, of which the 1.8 test car is the range topper.

Either way you get perky lean-forward looks, large wheels very much in the corners and with a steeply-sloped windscreen, side sills and bold pinch lines on the flanks emphasising the eager stance, stressed still further by the rear end, chunky, of course, to house the retracted roof. Vauxhall has come up with a neat idea, here, part of the sections being stored vertically, a space-saving device.

In open-top mode the Tigra is impressively rigid, and the firm, lowered suspension deals competently with most road-surface challenges. A widish track and Vauxhall's Dynamic Safety chassis system also help.

However, you don't enjoy that sat-on-the-road sensation of the true roadster and you are aware of a comparatively high centre of gravity. The car performs satisfactorily on weaving roads rather than outstandingly and I would have liked more feel through the steering.

It was the 1.8 engine in this particular car that I found interesting. It is easy to get the initial impression of power shortage, but explore and it will dawn that full torque comes in at above 4,500 revs - in fact, you get minimal pull under 4,000 - and driving the car with that in mind produces a fair amount of fun (though having a detrimental effect on the 36. …

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