What is it? Is a question you will become very familiar with if you choose to buy this car – a Tiger GTA.

You may know it if you’re a kit-car aficionado because that’s the market in which Norfolk-based Tiger has made a name for itself. And so of course, the new GTA can be ordered in bits for the more spanner-inclined at £13,800, or for £3000 more you can have it ready-for-the-road, complete with its 170bhp 2.0-litre Zetec motor and five-speed manual.

The chassis is taken from the firm’s established Avon model, and the glass-fibre body has been designed wholly by the father and son team that own and run the company.

Looks are a difficult thing to judge but we think that its quirky and interesting in all the right ways, though the fit and finish hints at the cost-saving that the low price inevitably forces.

You would hardly expect something high-end if you were looking at a car such as this, so many will forgive the intermittently flimsy interior, but unfortunately the way it drives just doesn’t live up to expectations. It isn’t a bad car to drive, but it lacks polish. A slightly sticky throttle, which then gives way to a very light pedal weight, makes smooth progress difficult and a heavy clutch can also become wearing in the wrong sort of traffic.

The steering is decent, turn-in is sharp enough and the engine offers a good amount of punch in a car this weight but the GTA still ends up encouraging less vigorous, more relaxed progress.

Many of the niggling issues with the GTA’s handling is down to the chassis, and having driven a higher-end Tiger with the company’s more sophisticated tubular chassis it’s evident that it does have the know-how to create seriously entertaining and competitive sports cars.

But on evidence of this test car (and it’s worth pointing out that each one will vary dramatically given that the buyer even has a choice of Ford-sourced four-pot motors), we’d say your money would be better off spent on a different Tiger or something else altogether.

Tiger GTA 2.0 170

Price £16,800; Engine 4 cyls, 1998cc, petrol; Power 170bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 150lb ft at 5200rpm; 0-62mph 5.5sec; Top speed NA; Gearbox 5-spd manual; Kerb weight 570kg; Economy 32mpg (est); CO2 NA

Top 5 Lightweights

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Tiger range

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    Latest Passat Alltrack is one of the best examples of that most inoffensive of things, the all-seasons estate
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 1.0 T-GDi 120 SE Nav front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    A UK drive in the Hyundai i30 reveals a rounded and capable hatchback, but not one to challenge the class best
  • Peugeot 5008
    First Drive
    16 February 2017
    Handsome seven-seater offers a smart interior with certain key practicality benefits, but it’s a slightly mixed bag to drive.
  • Car review
    15 February 2017
    The fifth-gen Discovery is simply one of the world's most capable cars, even with the addition of a 2.0-litre engine
  • Tesla Model X
    Car review
    15 February 2017
    The electric propulsion pioneer takes aim at the seven-seat SUV market