Upon the release of the Signum in 2002, Vauxhall already had a strong competitor in the mid-range car market i.e. the Vectra. The Vectra was already testing the reserve of its closest rivals the Ford Mondeo
and the Renault Laguna and seemed to offer motorists an attractive combination of big saloon luxury at an affordable price. The Signum was built on the established Vectra chassis but aimed to offer an alternative, increasing the luxury appointments and providing lots more space.
The reception on it's release was less than positive. Many motorists and members of the press were unsure where the Signum sat in Vauxhall's range and therefore wondered why the Signum was needed. It appeared that it was just too similar to its donor car and uptake stalled. Vauxhall tried to kick-start a lease market around the vehicle by offering special deals on servicing. Later on in 2005, a facelift model refined the Signum's looks with new bumper and sporty body modifications. However, this was all to no avail as the Signum was removed from the Vauxhall range in 2008. In retrospect, the Signum does offer genuine improvements over the Vectra and if seen as a successor to that range offers genuine value in the used car market.
Bang for your buck
Vauxhall noticed that in a rapidly enlarging market the key to success is versatility, a fact borne out of the accomplishments of their Zafira and Meriva range. With its Vectra based chassis, the thinking behind the Signum was to offer motorists a modern hybrid version of the best-selling Vectra featuring the flexible options of their MPV range. For only a few thousand pounds more than the equivalent Vectra, the motorist could take advantage of some truly innovative features.
The used Vauxhall Signum for sale is all about the passenger and features like Vauxhall's flagship Flexispace seating system are included which allowed the customisation of the rear seats. The rear seats can be slid back and forth which offer the opportunity to convert into a four seat configuration increasing foot space and luggage space. In addition, the rear seats can be reclined for comfort or can be folded flat for extension of the boot. An optional travel assist unit can be fitted to the rear which offered a folding table, cup holder, rubbish receptacle and even a fridge!
What you'll pay
Prices for a used Vauxhall Signum start at around £3000 for a basic 2002 model vehicle. Elegance models offering a higher level of trim can add an extra £500 to those prices. Larger engines are difficult to find and you should expect to pay a premium for them. Insurance starts at group 8.
What to check
The car went through a rigorous and costly development process at General Motors, this thorough approach has ensured that the Signum maintains excellent reliability with no major faults reported as of yet.
Vauxhall is an established brand and as such replacement parts for the Signum are readily available and reasonably priced. A clutch kit can be bought for around £100, a set of brake pads will cost you £35 and a starter motor comes in at just £75.
How it drives
There a lot of engine options on the Signum. At entry level, 2 turbo diesel engines are available; a 2 litre which outputs 100bhp and the 2.2 litre which outputs 125bhp. Petrol models are also available and of particular interest is Vauxhall's first direct injection petrol engine which generates 155bhp from a 2.2 litre engine. The beefier 3 litre option is borrowed directly from sister company Saab and offers 177bhp from a diesel CDTi V6 engine.
Vauxhall have not scrimped on appointments with the cabin feeling well built and equipped. The Vectra chassis has proven to be a solid base to build the Signum on. It is much wider than other models which has allowed Vauxhall to construct a chunky centre console housing an array of cleverly designed controls. However, because space is not a premium, buttons have been kept to a decent size making for excellent visibility and ease of use. The Signum features steering wheel mounted controls for the entertainment options.
The Vauxhall Signum did not do well on release. However, on the used market the Signum could be a good investment; offering an attractive combination of luxury, power and flexibility which makes it a wise investment to meet the needs of the modern family.