Fleet News

Vauxhall Tigra

Vauxhall

Review

THIS Tigra is almost a niche within a niche – a hatch-based coupe-cabriolet powered by a small and advanced turbo diesel. It’s an odd combination, but despite the incongruity of pairing diesel power with open-air style, the Tigra 1.3 CDTi really delivers.

What the Euro IV powerplant lacks in cubic capacity, it easily makes up for with advanced technology.

The Fiat-sourced engine – it’s the same unit used in the Fiat Panda – is the smallest and most advanced common rail direct injection turbo diesel in the world, the makers claim.

It develops 70bhp at 4,000rpm and a big-hearted 125lb-ft of torque at 1,750rpm, enough for a 15.5 second sprint to 62mph and 104mph top speed, while still returning an amazing 61mpg on the combined cycle – good for a claimed 600 miles between refills.

Service intervals are a usefully long 20,000 miles, insurance is an affordable group 8 and there’s a low CO2 rating of 128g/km that will keep the car in the 15% BIK banding for the forseeable future.

All figures that are bound to put a smile on the face of any fleet manager.

When it arrives in Vauxhall showrooms this month, the diesel Tigra will be pitched between the existing 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrol models.

The standard CDTi model costs £14,250, which compares well with the £13,750 and £15,530 for the 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrol models.

Opting for the Sport model will command a £750 premium on top of that.

Do 60,000 miles in it over three years, and a driver will save the extra money paid out at the front end through reduced fuel costs, while residual values are projected to be pretty much equal to the petrol models, making this a great little user-chooser car.

Behind the wheel

THE combination of a chunky 1,203kg kerbweight and a tiny 1,248cc diesel engine hardly sounds like the ideal ingredients for a fun and feisty coupe-cabriolet. But on the road, the diesel Tigra is a delight. Despite only packing a tiny powerplant under its bonnet, the Tigra never feels underpowered. Hardly a surprise, given the engine’s deep torque reservoir.

Acceleration from standstill is leisurely, but above 40mph, the diesel Tigra has the ability to humble far bigger-engined cars on the motorway and make short work of inclines and overtaking.

It’s a gem, this engine – always punchy and willing, as happy to pull cleanly from idle in any gear as it is to run up to its 4,000rpm powerpeak. Even when driven hard and fast over our test route, the Tigra diesel returned an excellent 49mpg.

And it’s easily refined enough for this open-topped application. There’s none of the anticipated combustion clatter, even on start-up from cold. Just an unobtrusive hum with the roof up and a murmur that’s all but drowned out when the roof is down by wind and road noise.

Delete the tell-tale CDTi badge on the Tigra’s rump and neither passenger nor pedestrian would realise the Vauxhall is a derv drinker.

As an easy-driving and stylish two-seater, the Tigra makes perfect sense. It’s an ideal motorway cruiser and makes short work of fast A-roads.

But ask more from it, and untidy understeer sets in early and the chassis feels oddly inert and numb. Hardly a surprise. The Tigra is, after all, based on the ageing Corsa – not the most driver-oriented supermini on the market. Buyers looking for a more engaging drive should consider the Mini Cabriolet.

This diesel is arguably the pick of the Tigra range. It has enough torque to provide impressive in-gear acceleration – easily enough pace to make the 1.4-litre petrol feel comparatively weak-kneed.

And while it can’t match the top-end punch of the 1.8-litre petrol model, the diesel unit sounds sweeter and offers significantly better economy.

Driving verdict

FOR young user-choosers looking for a stylish and affordable two-seater and fleets looking for agreeable running costs and an anticipated strong grip on residuals, the diesel Tigra ticks every box.

Fact File
Model: Vauxhall Tigra 1.3 CDTi
Engine: 1,248cc
Max power (bhp/rpm): 70/4,000
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 125/1,750
Max speed (mph): 104mph
0-62mph (secs): 15.5
Fuel consumption (mpg): 61.4
CO2 emissions (g/km): 124
Fuel tanks capacity (l/gal): 45/10
Service intervals (miles): 20,000
On sale: Now
Price (OTR): £14,250, £15,000 for Sport model

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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