1995 Opel Tigra 1.4 from Portugal


The perfect first car


Alternator blew up 1 week after I got it. This was due to a faulty stereo installation. 250€ for the repairs.

One of the valves pipe ripped. 25€.

General Comments:

I got my starsilver Opel Tigra 1.4 in the end of the summer of 2009. The body work had dents and scratches all around, but the engine had very low mileage (58000KM), it sounded perfect (and it still does) and the car had no rattles or squeaks or anything like that. The interior, aside from some kid-made stains (this car belonged to a woman) was in great shape. My family thought that it would be a nice first car for me, and it would be better if we got a good engine instead of good body work, since the latter is cheaper to fix. It cost me 2000€ plus the 600€ to fix and paint the exterior. But now it looks brand new (-ish of course :) )

Equipment wise I got many extras; ABS, airbag for both the driver and the passenger, fog lights, air con. and alloy wheels.

The performance is quite nice. The handling is steady and secure. You can corner fast without having it rolling too much or losing grip. It's also not that uncomfortable. A little stiff but that's what you get for having sporty suspension. Steering is semi-assisted, so it's not as light as modern cars, but you get to feel more about what is going on. The engine is also good. Sounds awesome, likes to rev, although its party piece is the recuperation in higher gears. 80KMH to 120KMH is fast, even in 5th gear.

Talking about such thing with under a year of driving experience can be quite suspicious, but I'm comparing to my family cars (Rover 25 1.1 and BMW 316I) and other cars I've driven since.

Fuel economy depends on how far you go with your right foot. But don't expect great mileage.

Its looks grew on me. I was never a big fan of the Tigra's big round shapes and that back glass, but over time I started to love it. It looks really great, specially when it's dark. I also used to hate silver (too many silver cars nowadays), but in this I find it very appealing. It's great to just look at the car, at midnight, under a lamp post. Looks so damn good :D. It still rolls heads when passing by, and it is a 15 year old car. It's very popular among the youth, all my friends love it. And contrary to popular belief, it's not meant for women.

Living with it everyday is good. It's a small car, so it's easy to park, and the steering, although not as light as more modern cars, is easily done. The clutch, on the other hand, is light and the gears are easy to change. It is very easy to get the car moving. This is good for rookie drivers, it's very easy to learn the friction point, and they'll find easy to move the car while on a hill. With that much glass around it, it's very easy to see what's happening outside.

There's a lack of general spots to put things. There's a drawer underneath the passenger seat, and the glove box and the ash tray (which I don't use). That's it. I resort to the seats.

There is enough space for the persons going in the front, but in the back, you really need to be small, or else you'll face a very uncomfortable ride. It's very cramped. And since the car is pretty low, be careful when exiting, you might hit your head on the roof on the way out.

The boot is quite big, enough for Saturday shopping and for the usual travel bags and skateboards :D.

This is a perfect 1st car for anyone. It looks good, modern, sporty for guys, cute for girls. It handles well, it rides well, it's safe (ABS, Airbag, and the way it handles), and although not very economical, the engine is very good. It's not very fast, and it has quite a reputation for being somewhat of a cancer because of all the faults. But you have to own one to know what it feels like. When other cars feel plain and boring, this car, with its great looks, will make you feel good every time you look at it. And it is quite satisfying when you're passing by someone in a Fiesta or a Punto and you see the envy in the eyes... :D To me, it is that X-factor petrol heads keep talking about. The reliability also depends on how often you take care of it, and from whom you bought it.

Little things:

- The car has an internal locking system, good when you're roaming around at night. Just press the driver's door locking thingy.

- There's a minor annoyance when the car is too 'foggy' inside. The side windows get very blurry, and hard to see through, blocking the side mirrors. It's hard to clear up using the car's vent system. But the front windshield clears up fast.

- The back seats can be folded down.

- The front splitter will hit every curb if you try to climb it head on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2010

1995 Opel Tigra 1.4 Ecotec from Sweden


Economical sports coupe, not too fragile


Exhaust system is vulnerable if you make the car lower, or drive around in the snowy winter.

Plastic handle to pull over the seats (for passengers to enter backseat) are easily broken.

Button for the ventilation system can fall off if you pull it with to much strength.

A rubber hose for the cooling system was leaking, imported new one from Opel in Germany for 20euro and refitted it myself under the air filter.

Windscreen wiper engine stopped in middle of sight with the slowest speed on. I could still take it down out of sight by switching to higher power. I refitted with another used one from another crashed tigra on the Car-crunch place and refitted it myself. It's relatively easy to find this engine because you can reach it from the engine room and you don't have to take too many screws off to reach it. And at the same time I recommend changing the cabin filter as its in the same area.

Most serious problem is the engine will just turn off sometimes when you drive 50kmh and changing gears, don't know why I think it has something to do with the gearbox. It doesn't turn off when you just drive at a motorway it only happens when you slow down and change gears for a crossroad ahead.

If you are the shifter-type you will find that the gearbox will make horrible sounds when shifting at around 5000-6000rpm.

Very small backseat, my passengers always complain about hitting their heads in the back window.

Headlights have blewn several times, but they are easy to replace on the left side, but on the right side you must first remove the air filter to get enough space. Dim lights, the strong lights and the headlights share the same type of lamp which is good. The parking light has another lamp.

General Comments:

The car has exceptional handling.

I have installed extra sport suspension and lower springs and 17 alloy wheels (fits exactly into the hole) and its not comfortable at all, but all the tourists on the streets in town will take photos of you instead of ancient churches :)

I have extra low springs and found that the exhaust system is a bit vulnerable and will fall off if you hit something. Its easy to pull back, but it might leak some gases that the motor inspectors will complain about. I contacted my father and he welded the leak and it was compact again.

I love the gas economy of this car, I smile every time I go to gas station. U can drive real carelessly at high torques for long times and still the engine doesn't use more than 0,9 liters per 10 kilometer.

The cabin has OK style and nothing in the panel is making sounds after 20 000 kilometer of driving.

However plastic buttons and "shields" to cover ugly mechanics everywhere in the car feels cheap and fall off easily.

Comfortability marks are very low because I have my sport suspension, springs and 17 alloy rims. Says "Bam" every-time I drive over a little stone. But if you use the car for "driving" you will want that instead of comfortability. Can turn fast at kinda high speeds with good control. With winter tires the comfortability is a bit better, but less handling.

Changing the original springs and suspension is recommendable for making the handling even better, which is this cars best asset.

The 1,4 engine must struggle to keep up the speed at around 130kmh, but on longer straight motorways and pedal to the bottom you can reach 180kmh. However it is dramatic at those speeds, and even more without sport springs, sport tires and hard suspension :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2006