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Long term: Vauxhall Signum 1.9 CDTi Exclusiv



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This is a nice looking executive car, complemented beautifully by tinted glass, so it was something of a shock to be greeted with an interior that is so uncluttered in its design it’s almost austere. The next surprise was to find an up-to-the-minute full colour sat-nav system nestled in the middle of the somewhat retro centre console.

Touch activated indicators are advertised as a plus, but the silent mechanics and ‘neutral’ position took some getting used to. Even the ‘feminine touch’ seemed too clumsy.

This car came with £850-worth of Adaptive Forward Lighting incorporating xenon headlights – worth every penny. But it was surprising that parking sensors are a chargeable option (£425).

The Signum has a smooth drive and is deceptively nippy. The only fault here is that there was more than a few “oops, I think I’ve left my exhaust behind” scares on B roads.

Legroom for passengers is superb. Vauxhall has put the long wheelbase to good use for the comfort of its occupants; boot space is generous, too.

New Signum is definitely an improvement of the older model, but it’s still missing a bit of spark.

Price: £21,890
Engine: 1.9-litre turbodiesel 148bhp
Price: £21,890
Engine: 1.9-litre turbodiesel; 148bhp @ 4,000rpm; 232 lb ft @ 2,750rpm
Performance: 0-60mph: 9.5sec; top speed: 129mph
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Efficiency: 47.1mpg (combined); 162g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £6,675 (33%)
Rivals: Honda Accord Tourer, Ford Mondeo

Driven: Vauxhall Astra GTC 2.0 CDTi SRi

Two door handles and a roof aerial are the only bodywork items the GTC has in common with other Vauxhall Astras.

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