Merry Shednesday. Don’t worry, there are no American cars this week, although the Vauxhall Signum arrived under the stewardship of the US giant General Motors. Remember when Jeremy Clarkson drove a Signum from the back seat?
Similar to the Fiat Croma, the Signum is essentially a large five-door hatchback. Whereas the Croma looks more like a people carrier, the Signum looks more like an oversized hatchback. Or possibly an estate with a small boot. I’ll let you decide.
It shares a similar wheelbase to the Vauxhall Vectra estate, so it boasts more legroom than the Vectra saloon. As previously mentioned, I care a great deal about rear legroom. It's important, especially if you have children and don’t like being kicked in the back.
The Vauxhall Signum was available with everything from a 1.8-litre petrol to a 3.2-litre V6. In fact, its American cousin, the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS, had a 3.9-litre V6 producing 240 horses – racy!
I was going to flag a good looking V6 petrol option but it’s sold, so how about a 2004 plate 3.0-litre diesel instead? Should you really want a fast petrol you could also consider this remapped option in Bristol.
Yes, I know this is PetrolBlog but bear with me. The diesel still puts out 177 horses and can hit 60mph in just over eight seconds. More importantly, the car is £325. The petrol V6 was three times that price.
What’s the catch?
Inevitably there are some issues: problems with the power steering and a whine from one of the pulleys. The boot has also stopped working. It also looks like the front driver's side wheel needs attention. Some of these issues may make taking it home troublesome, especially as it's in Castle Douglas in Scotland. That said, it does have an MOT. It has also done 151,000 miles. But it is only £325. The car is here.
Over to the walking contradiction: he who is classic, retro and modern.
What does PetrolBlog think?
I've been meaning to write a feature on the Vauxhall Signum, so I'm glad Ben has propelled this oddity to the front of PetrolBlog. It won't surprise you to discover that I'm a big fan; it's a properly niche vehicle. A Signum 3.2 V6 makes absolutely no sense, which is why it's so appealing.
You just know that the Signum will spiral into the abyss as values plummet and people lose interest. It looks strangely familiar yet weirdly oddball, like the Vectra nobody asked for. I'm totally with Ben when it comes to rear legroom, which is why I'm the only person in the UK who fancies a Nissan Pulsar. The recent one, not the classic.
Great Shednesday update, Ben. Keep 'em coming.