Used Vauxhall Tigra 2004 - 2009 review

Category: Sports car

A coupe-cabriolet for those on a budget

Vauxhall Tigra Coupe (04 - 09)
  • Vauxhall Tigra Coupe (04 - 09)
  • Vauxhall Tigra Coupe (04 - 09)
Used Vauxhall Tigra 2004 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Vauxhall Tigra sports like?

By the time this second, all-new, Tigra arrived in 2004, things had changed. Just being a cute coupe was no longer good enough, so Vauxhall went hi-tech with a folding metal roof to compete with cars like the Peugeot 206 CC, Ford StreetKa and Mini convertible.

And, very good it is, too. The electric roof stows quickly and easily, and boot space is reasonable when it's down. Protection from buffeting is good and, with the roof up, it feels like a genuine coupe.


A coupe-cabriolet for those on a budget

  • Folding metal and glass roof
  • Not as good as the Mini convertible to drive

Like the previous Tigra, this model is still based on a Corsa, but it doesn't try to pretend it's a four-seater, and instead provides adequate space for just two occupants.

Unfortunately, its origins mean it's never going to be that sporty - it's nowhere near the Mini Convertible for driver enjoyment, for example. But, at least the Tigra's rigid body resists vibrations from poor road surfaces, copes well with bumps and has a supple ride in town.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Tigra sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Tigra sports?

The Tigra is based on a Corsa, so it isn't difficult to service and will cost about the same as the equivalent version of the hatchback.

Insurance isn't unreasonable, either, but it's noticeably cheaper on the lower-spec 1.4 and diesel car, which are in groups 9 and 8. The 1.8-litre is in group 12.

Fuel economy is another reason to opt for the 1.4-litre, with an average fuel consumption of 46mpg. The diesel beats this with 61mpg and the 1.8 returns 37mpg.

The Tigra holds on to its value well compared with other models in the Vauxhall family and rivals like the Peugeot 206 and Colt CZC. However it can't compare in any way with the Mini convertible, with its excellent residuals and lower maintenance costs.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Tigra sports should I buy?

The entry 1.4 is the best all-round buy as it keeps insurance and fuel costs down. It has only 89bhp and you might be tempted to opt for the 1.8-litre car with 122bhp, but in reality the larger engine doesn't feel much faster.

There's also a smooth 1.3 CDTi diesel (even slower than the 1.4 and very hard to find on the used market) and an auto option available on the 1.4 (which doesn't add anything to the driving experience), but neither are really worth bothering with.

Don't bother with anything more than a base model, either, as these are fairly well equipped. However, air-con was a £500 option when new, and it's worth finding a car with it fitted.

CD players with steering wheel-mounted controls and alloy wheels are standard on all models, while Sport trim adds an alloy wheel upgrade, some improved cabin trim and an MP3 player connection - but don't pay over the odds for them. Finally, the top-spec Exclusive gets leather and an electronic stability programme and air-con as standard.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Tigra sports?