It was not so long ago that hard top convertible roofs were only found on models such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK.
Ease of Use
It was not so long ago that hard top convertible roofs were only found on models such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK. Such is their popularity and desirability that we now find them within the model line up of more affordable brands such as Peugeot and Vauxhall, which puts companies like Saab and Porsche, who are still using soft tops to shame.
Inside the cabin all the controls and switchgear are to hand - lowering the roof is an easy affair, simply release the two latches above the side windows and press the button on the driver’s door. The roof lowers in about 20 seconds folding neatly into the boot - it certainly is the Tigra’s party piece. The roof mechanism uses four hydraulic cylinders, five electric motors and twenty contact sensors to perform this miracle of engineering. To raise the roof, simply press the button and the roof will go back up, lock the two latches back down and off you drive. For safety reasons the roof cannot be operated on the move and the handbrake has to be engaged. Unlike the Peugeot 307 CC's roof which can be operated on the move at speeds of up to 6 miles per hour. The 307 CC also does away with the latches that you have to unclip on the Tigra.
Usually when we think of convertibles, we envision ourselves crammed into a tight cabin and in need of a shoe horn to get in - but the Tigra is refreshingly comfortable. The doors open wide and have low sills to step over - making the Tigra a very easy car to enter and exit - of course with the roof down it is even easier.
The driver’s seat can be adjusted for height, making it easy to find a good driving position, whether you are tall or short. Legroom, headroom and shoulder room is very respectable and surprisingly good for a compact two seat roadster.
The passenger’s seat is height adjustable and can be leaned forward to allow easy access to the useful storage compartment behind the front seats. This compartment could accommodate a couple of occasional bags (70 litres VDA) and there is a net to stop your cargo from sliding out.
The leather-covered sports steering wheel is tilt adjustable and features integral audio controls keeping your hands safely on the wheel.
The ‘Sport’ specification model is fitted with aluminium pedals which look very nice but when it rained our feet tended to slide off them.
The boot is surprisingly spacious for a convertible however, with the roof down, it does swallow up some of the boot space, but it will accommodate 250 litres of luggage and with the roof up this increases to 440 litres. In total with the roof up you can stow 510 litres of luggage, which is more than the 445 litres that the Jaguar X-TYPE estate can accommodate in the boot with the seats up!
The only pain is that to open and close the powered electric boot lid, you have to press a button and wait. One touch opens the boot, but to shut it you do have to keep your finger on the button (for safety reasons). There is also an internal button, so you can open the boot from inside the car.
Around town with the roof up, visibility is very good, except over your right shoulder when objects could disappear behind the relatively thick rear ‘C’ pillars, which help support the weight of the roof. With the roof down visibility is excellent all round.
Vauxhall Tigra Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Tigra 1.4i 16v Sport|
|Body Type||Coupe Roadster|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||112 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||56.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||All Vauxhall vehicles are covered by a one-year unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty. A second and third year no-fee customer option warranty to 60,000 miles from first registration|
|Price (when tested on the 09/07/05)||£ 15,000|