Vauxhall's replacement for the Omega was based on the Vectra, so it didn't win many fans as it was seen as an overpriced family hatch rather than a distinct model worth a premium. That's good news for used buyers; the Signum's lack of visibility has ensured that residuals are less than rock solid. However, with a high specification, practicality galore and a decent choice of engines, the Signum has a lot to offer.
3/03: Signum introduced in 2.0 Turbo, 2.2 Di or 3.2 V6 petrol and 2.0 DTi or 2.2 DTi turbodiesel forms. There's also a 3.0 V6 CDTi turbodiesel.
1/04: The 2.2 Di is replaced by a 1.9CDTi unit in 120bhp and 150bhp forms.
5/04: All cars get extra standard equipment.
10/04: A 1.8-litre petrol engine is now offered.
7/05: All Signums get a facelift, with a fresh nose. A turbocharged 2.8 V6 petrol also arrives.
1/06: The frugal high-spec 1.8 Exclusiv Nav is introduced.
Vauxhall Signum (2003-2008) Checklist
- On the 2.2 turbodiesel, the engine's timing chain pulley can fail - but there's no warning of the impending disaster.
- With the 1.9CDTi engine, power can be lost when the throttle butterflies seize up. It's an easy fix, but is involved.
- Most Signums are gadget-laden, so check that everything works - especially xenon lights, sat-nav systems and the alarm.
- Many Signums have over-sized alloy wheels, easily kerbed and which can destroy the ride. It's best to stick with wheels no bigger than 17 inches across.
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