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2009 Vauxhall Insignia Driven - (Global)

October 3rd, 2008

General Motors has just held the European press launch for the all new Insignia, the Vectra replacement, which is sold under the brand name Opel in Europe, Vauxhall in the UK and Holden should it end up going on sale in Australia.

UK magazines Autocar and Car have just published first reviews after attending the launch.  Autocar reviewed the 2.0L petrol four cylinder turbo and the top of the range 2.8L petrol V6 turbo whilst Car tested the 2.0L turbo diesel four cylinder.

Car magazine noted that the Insignia is a handsome car, only questioning the rear styling of the vehicle.  Inside they praised the design of the new dashboard and commented that only the rear seat accommodation is less than satisfactory.  Autocar agreed, saying that the rear seat legroom is the Insignia’s biggest letdown.  Apart from this, they praised the interior noting that the trim and switchgear would be fit in a large luxury segment sedan.

On the handling front Car concluded that the Insignia doesn’t quite reach Mondeo level of sporty dynamics.  No surprise here from us, this is the key strength of the Mondeo over all its competitors in the medium sector.  Autocar agreed, noting that the handling doesn’t quite reach Mondeo standards.

First up the 2.0L petrol turbo four cylinder generates an impressive 162kW (217bhp) which when combined with a kerb weight of 1500kg results in a 0-100km/h dash in 7.2 seconds. 

The range topping 2.8L petrol generates 192kW (257bhp) drops the dash to 100km/h to 6.7 seconds.

The 2.0L turbo diesel with 95kW (128bhp) takes a more leisurely 11.1 seconds to hit 100km/h from rest.  Car magazine commented that this is not the pick of the engines available and that if you want to go down the diesel path, the 118kW (158bhp) version is a better, if more expensive choice.

In summary, Car magazine gave the 2.0L turbo diesel with 95kW three out of five stars but note that this variant does not bring out the best of the Insignia.  Likewise the top of the range 2.8L all-wheel drive model which costs significantly more than the other variants.  Definitely the best all round Insignia is the 162kW 2.0L Petrol.  Autocar note that the Insignia is miles and miles ahead of the outgoing Vectra and conclude that it’s a ‘damned good car’.

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