Vauxhall Tigra (2004-2009)

Baby coupé-cabriolets often end up as something of a joke - you've only got to look at the Mitsubishi Colt CZC and Nissan Micra CC for the proof. Some work better than others though, like Vauxhall's Tigra for example. Quick enough, reasonably well packaged and decent to drive with the roof up, things only go awry dynamically when the roof is dropped - which kind of defeats the object really.

Key Dates

5/04: The second-generation Tigra debuts, with 1.4 or 1.8-litre petrol engines.

12/04: The 1.3CDTi turbodiesel joins the range.

1/06: A new range-topping Tigra appears, the Exclusiv, with 1.4 or 1.8-litre petrol engines.

11/06: Vauxhall's Easytronic clutchless manual gearbox is available with the 1.4-litre engine. A special edition is also introduced, based on the Exclusiv and called the Exclusive, with a red leather interior.

3/07: The Exclusiv Red special edition debuts, based on the petrol-engined Tigra, with red leather trim and 17-inch alloy wheels.

4/08: The Sport Rouge limited edition arrives, available with any of the three engines.


  • Water leaks through the side window seals into the doors and cabin.
  • The electric boot closing system is prone to failures and leaks.
  • The roof mechanism can play up.
  • Camshafts can fail worryingly quickly; make sure the engine idles and revs happily.
  • The electrics can be unreliable; check everything works.
  • Steering racks aren't always very durable.
  • Premature brake wear can be a problem, affecting discs and pads.

We Like

  • Practicality
  • Affordability
  • Design

We Don't Like

  • Bland cabin
  • Reliability
  • Vauxhall image