Sue's Vauxhall Tigra 1.4 Sport

My first ever new car, not pre-owned, new. Bought January 2005 shortly after they were announced and available in the showrooms. So 2 years and over 10,000 miles later, what's it been like?

History: None - bought new
Purchased: From Pentagon Vauxhall, Derby (Vauxhall main franchise dealer) Click here to visit their site
Servicing: To date all servicing has been done by the franchised dealer
Mileage on purchase: 0, zero, nil, none
Current mileage: 20,122
Fuel consumption: 34.335 mpg (average since date of purchase) at a fuel cost of 12.13 pence per mile

Faults to date:-
* Rear disc brakes (see bottom of this page)

Roof up - looks nice.

Roof down - looks better.

Smiles per Mile
This car delivers more "smiles per mile" that any car we've owned or I've had opportunity to drive. With the roof up there is a surprisingly large boot. With the roof down - there's still enough room for a week's shopping for the family. So it only seats two, that's good - after years of being the taxi driver I now only drive when there's just me or two of us. At the end of a rough day at work I only have to lower the roof for the short commute home and the smile returns. At 34 mpg overall it is economical when you consider my daily commute is 5 miles each way in urban crawl. Roof down, windows up and it's surprisingly refined and a pleasant place to be - much better than a Peugeot 307CC we test drove.

Rear Disc Brakes
The rear brakes have been a constant source of irritation with the Tigra going back to the dealer for attention on numerous occasions. The problem has been a loud metal on metal noise from the brakes when used while reversing.

At first all they did was strip and clean. After several visits and my contacting Vauxhall Customer Services, they told me that it was a manufacturing issue and that Vauxhall were investigating the problem. Eventually I was issued with a recall notice and the car received a rebuild of the rear suspension/rear brake assembly. This seemed to solve the problem, but, it did come back some months later and the car was again returned to the dealer. Whatever they did seems to have sorted it out as the brakes have remained silent ever since (some 6 months now) but I still maintain that it shouldn't have taken them 18 months to resolve this issue.

This whole episode with the brakes soured my experience of buying my first (and probably only) brand new car. The dealership only really took notice when I demanded (after 12 months of frustration) they took the car back as “not fit for purpose”. That's not good enough! Brakes are a safety issue and noises like that should not happen. Their assurance that “it is not a safety issue” does not hold water when they also state that they “don’t know what’s wrong”.

Additionally, is it simply co-incidence that Vauxhall responded to the problem by switching production to fitting drum brakes instead of discs on the rear of later model Tigras? The natural conclusion can only be that Vauxhall have been making cars for one hundred years but still haven’t learnt how to make rear disc brakes.

Plus, both car manufacturers and (more importantly) franchised dealers have got to come to grips with female customers - our money is the same as that spent by men so we should get the same respect and much better treatment than we generally get currently. It shouldn't get to the "it's fit for purpose" stage before the dealer starts to take us seriously.

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