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Used car: Vauxhall Signum 2002 onwards

Signum has never caught the imagination of buyers in the UK. As a new car, Vauxhall dealers sell it in low numbers, though car supermarkets usually have plenty – at massively reduced prices. As a result, used prices are low for what is a well-spec’d, good to drive and reliable car.

Driving and performance
Similar to those found in the Vectra, so there’s 1.8, 2.0T, 2.2, 2.8T and 3.2 V6 petrol engines and 1.9 CDTi, 2.2 DTi, 2.0 DTi and 3.0 V6 diesels. Most buyers steer clear of the petrols and focus on the excellent diesels.

The 1.9 CDTi is the most popular; it’s quick – getting from 0-60mph in 10.2sec in 150bhp form (a 120bhp version is also available) and to a top speed of up to 127mph.

The 1.9 CDTi wasn’t launched until 2004, so buyers looking for an earlier diesel prefer for the 2.2-litre. It performs similarly to the 1.9-litre, but is much cheaper. The 2.0 DTi is old fashioned, noisy and best avoided.

Signum is at its best on the motorway, where its soft ride makes for relaxed long distance cruising. Models from mid-2004 benefit from a re-tune; the result is that the steering is sharper and the car rolls less.

Good multi-adjustable driving position with a clear view of the road ahead; visibility out of the back isn’t as good, especially with a full load.

The two passengers in the back get lots of legroom, plus the seats slide and recline, and it’s remarkably quiet on the move.

Boot space is excellent, it’s easy to load and the seats fold for even more room. Safety
Gets a four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. All cars have remote central locking, an alarm and an immobilizer.

On the forecourt

Fast movers
Signum 1.9CDTi
Great diesel completes this convincing used package.
Trade: 0303-0505: £7800-10,100. Retail: 0303-0454: £10,100-14,200

Signum 2.0 DTi
An old fashioned diesel, but its price catches buyers’ eyes. Trade: 0303-0505: £800-13,000.
Retail: 0303-0505: £6,100-10,000

Ones to avoid
Signum 2.8T
Even after it’s heavy depreciation, it’s still not popular.

In the workshop
Recall to correct a slipping exhaust pipe in 2004 and another to fix a rear axle hub.

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