Used Vauxhall Signum Hatchback 2003 - 2008 review

Category: Executive car

A lot of car for the money - predictable and competent, but lacklustre

Vauxhall Signum Hatchback (03 - 08)
  • Vauxhall Signum Hatchback (03 - 08)
  • Vauxhall Signum Hatchback (03 - 08)
Used Vauxhall Signum Hatchback 2003 - 2008 review
Star rating

What's the used Vauxhall Signum hatchback like?

The Signum is a fabulous motorway cruiser, thanks to its soft suspension and flexible, economical engines. However, that same soft set-up means it can struggle on twistier roads - there's plenty of body roll, especially at speed. And, although the Signum's light steering aids parking manoeuvres, it provides little in the way of feedback.

At least the steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach, and the seats are very supportive. As a result, it's easy to make yourself comfortable, especially as the controls are well laid out and easy to use. However, there's no sort of image inside. The Signum's dash is based on the Vectra's, which means it looks too ordinary and downmarket next to the Signum's executive rivals.


A lot of car for the money - predictable and competent, but lacklustre

  • Refinement and comfort make it a great motorway tool
  • Clever seating layout
  • Fidgety body control over bumpy roads
  • Not as good quality as some rivals

It's also effectively no more than a four-seater, but the real trick is its clever FlexSpace system. This enables the rear seats to be folded down individually or together, and the two outer seats also slide back and forth, so you can choose between extra legroom or boot space. And, when you want maximum boot capacity, it's very impressive.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Signum hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Signum hatchback?

One of the main criticisms of the Signum when it was launched was its list price. They are more expensive than the Vectra and the 3.0-litre diesel costs almost £25,000. Not many people wanted to spend this much money on a Vauxhall.

However, as a used purchase, the tables turn. The Signum depreciates astronomically from new, so it has become a cheap and good-value second-hand purchase.

Depending on which model you go for, running costs should be reasonable, too. The diesels all have decent fuel economy and low emissions, particularly the direct-injection models. Our pick of the bunch, the 150bhp 1.9-litre CDTi, returns 47.1mpg.

Insurance costs are reasonable, too - even the 3.0-litre diesel sits in group 12. Compare that with group 15 for the BMW 520d, for example.

If it goes wrong, it shouldn't cost a bomb to fix. Vauxhall parts are generally cheap and servicing costs are average.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Signum hatchback should I buy?

The Signum was launched in 2003 with four petrol engines - a 1.8, a 2.2, a turbocharged 2.0-litre and a 3.2-litre V6 - and two diesels (2.0- or 2.2-litre).

A year later, the two diesel engines were replaced by a 1.9-litre common rail unit with either 120bhp or 150bhp, and a 3.0-litre CDTi V6 diesel was introduced.

A face-lift in 2005 included new headlamps, interior and revised chassis. The 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine was replaced by an all-new 2.8 V6 and colour satellite-navigation was added to every model.

But, if all that is starting to get just a little bit confusing, let us cut your shopping list down: your best bet is the nippy, economical 150bhp 1.9-litre CDTi diesel.

And buy it in entry-level Exclusiv trim, with its 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite-navigation with colour screen, air-con, front foglights and cruise control, which should be enough for most.

Like every model, it also has an impressive standard safety equipment list that includes driver, passenger and side airbags, as well as curtain airbags that run the length of the cabin, anti-lock brakes and traction control.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Signum hatchback?