Wednesday, October 12, 2011
2011 Vauxhall Opel Tigra
If you were to ring Harrods and say you wanted to spend £100,000 in their luggage department, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they sent a car and gave you a genuflecting personal assistant with a PhD in obsequiousness.
But if you were to ring a car dealer and say you wanted to spend £100,000, they’d put you on hold for half an hour. After which you’d be put through to a disinterested yob with nasty hair and a cheap suit who would explain that they have no demonstrators at the moment so maybe you could pop in some time later on the off chance.
When you do, you’ll be told there are still no demonstrators, that the windscreen wipers are optional extras, that you can have it in a choice of only five colours — all of them ghastly — and that delivery is expected some time in 2008.
And this is for a car costing £100,000, so I dread to think how shabbily you are treated if you “only” want to spend £15,000. Frankly, I’d be surprised if you could get out of the showroom with your life.
Let me give you an example. Last week, while driving around in Vauxhall’s little Tigra, I ran over a screw. This meant the tyre went flat, which in turn meant I had to pull over and change the wheel. Hard, because there was no jack, and doubly hard because despite what it said in the handbook there was no spare wheel either.
All you get is a can of foam and a set of instructions that explain what to do with it. Step One, apparently, is to remove whatever it is that caused the tyre to go flat in the first place.
The Vauxhall Tigra offers excellent driver appeal, from sport suspension, low profile tyres to 15 or 16-inch alloy wheels, the Tigra provides a very enjoyable ride. It’s not a sportscar, but performs very well for a vehicle in this sector. The 1.8-litre Sport, has a chrome tailpipe, and a pleasantly sporty feel during acceleration. The car is able to 125bhp and has a 0-60mph time of 9 seconds.
This is not a family vehicle. The Tigra lacks the space necessary to be a practical family car. It could be used as a sedcond car, or an expensive teen car.
The Tigra would make a good first car. In many ways the Tigra would make an ideal first car. The majority of buyers are likely to be female, despite the fact that the Tigra is more masculine than the 206 CC or Ford Streetka. Image conscious young buyers on a limited budget will find the car’s blend of style and personality at an affordable price irresistable. Insurance rates will run high though.
Past generations of Vauxhalls have been boring and too predictable, leaving the newer more exciting generations the burden of countering that image. The cara are well made and cars like the Monaro, VX220 and now the Tigra coupe/cabriolet will definitely win more than a few buyers over. The lack of quality in the cabin will hurt matters even more though. The car might age quickly and ifso, that will lower resale values for the little Tigra.
The drive & handling of the Opel Tigra wins an 8 on 10. The steering is firm and has a decent grip. There is no body roll, even around sharp corners. The ride is quite comfy at the same time has a twinge of peppiness to it. If over-assisted, the steering is sharp and quick. This is probably one car that you can enjoy roof down as well as on top. (That is if you don’t mind the wind blowing through your hair!).
I would probably rate the interiors only a 3.5 on 10, simply because you wouldn’t expect something that looks so great on the outside to be so old fashioned on the inside. The cabin is a bit drab, plasticy and looks aged. The driving position is not too great either, though it’s not completely unbearable.
My lowest score of 2 on 10, would easily go for the space & practicality of the Tigra. But then again, you wouldn’t select this car as a family wagon. There is very little space in the car even if you compare it to rivals in the same segment. The boot is super tiny and practically unfeasible.
In terms of the engines, I would give the Tigra car a 7 on 10. The only reason I have cut points is because of the minimal options. Performance wise, both the 90bhp 1.4 and the 70bhp 1.3 CDTi, are great. But if I had to choose, I would pick the 1.4 petrol as the better option. That’s honestly because I personally prefer the roof on top and the petrol version just adds that zing to a cabrio.
In terms of performance, I would give the Tigra only a 5 on 10. now, I have no particular complaints against the performance so much as I have against the speed. The Tigra is promoted as a sports car; but the 1.3 CDTi takes 15.5 seconds to reach 100km/h while the 1.4 needs about 12.4 seconds. I assure you no racers or adrenaline pumping youngster is going to opt for this car.
ABS, driver, passenger and side airbags, active head restraints, seatbelt force limiters and a pedal release mechanism are all thrown in to help you out in the event of an accident. Those with young children will be disappointed to note the absence of a passenger airbag cut-off switch, making it dangerous to fix a rear-facing child seat in the front. The roll bars and strengthened A pillars should be more than strong enough in the event of a roll over. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls eliminate the need to avert eyes from road to fiddle around with the stereo.