Definitely one for the ladies – a testosterone free, compact cutie, drop top darling. If you fancy a spell out of the dog house to watch all the football you want, this could be just the sweetener she needs
Now, I may be a blonde sex in the city lover and not adverse to the odd high heeled totter but honestly! Apart from an episode with a ginger Kia Picanto, I can’t recall feeling such a need to drive in disguise. OK, I’m exaggerating and being a tad unfair. I grew rather fond of the Picanto. Could I be persuaded to go all soft and mushy towards this topless titch too, and leave my Defender languishing in the driveway?
You could be forgiven for thinking this Tigra is a rag top, but it’s actually a disguised hard top. Roof deployment takes 20 seconds – after you’ve stretched up and across the cabin to yank the rather stiff safety catches on each side of the windscreen. Such a shame they’ve not changed this to something more akin to the effortless onefinger switch operation of Peugeot’s 207 CC. The boot is a fair size, but its push button operation is frustratingly slow.
Inside, height adjustable sports seats, aluminium pedals and leather covered steering wheel with audio controls hint at the car’s sportiness, while the cabin is comfortable, stylish and logically laid out. A windbreak is fitted as standard together with a remote control alarm and you can upgrade to a choice of 17-inch alloy wheels, a full leather pack with heated sports seats, plus a stylish VXR pack, which incorporates a bodykit at extra cost. Air-conditioning doesn’t come as standard, so if you want it you’ll need to fork out another £500.
On the road, the Tigra is no sprinting cheetah and takes a positively tardy 15.5 seconds to reach 62mph. The engine, with 69bhp and 125lbft of torque just lacks punch to play with, but with a combined mpg of 61.4, you can almost forgive its lack of pace. It is neatly geared, however, and once you’ve gathered speed it actually bowls along quite pleasantly, performing a lot better when driven harder. It’s still messy through corners though, and visibility when the roof’s up is poor. There is some trace of the dreaded scuttle shake, but overall the car feels surprisingly robust for its small size.
The Tigra is the type of car which you either love, cosset and give a pet name to, or hide from and loathe. For my money, I’d plump for the cheaper Peugeot 207 CC Sport, equipped with the 110bhp 1.6-litre HDi engine. It may not be as frugal, but dynamically and for living day to day, it is the better bet.
RIVALS: Peugeot 207 CC Sport HDi 110
- Engine: 1248cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 5-speed manual
- Max Power: 69bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 125lb ft at 1,750-2,500rpm
- Max Towing Weight: n/a
- Combined Consumption: 61.4mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 124g/km (C)
- 0-62mph: 15.5secs
- Max speed: 104mph
- Insurance group: 9
Economical, cute and quirky
Too girly for many, annoyingly slow boot opening and stiff roof levers, slow performance