Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Economical and powerful engines
- Clean, modern design
- Comfortable cabin
- Lifeless handling
- Very limited body paint options
The Insignia was first launched in 2009 and proved to be a popular executive car. In 2012 the Vauxhall Insignia has received only a slight face lift, but considering the significant powerplant upgrades and changes in specification, the 2012 model year car is being treated as new. The Insignia is a respectable car that is popular both as a family cruiser and a company car.
Exterior and Interior
The Vauxhall Insignia replaced the long-lived Vauxhall Vectra in 2009 and signified a shift in design direction from the old Vectras bulky and abrupt body features. The Insignia is much smoother; it resembles a futuristic single-volume concept car with streamlined transitions from the bonnet to the roof and the tail-gate. It was designed by a British-born car designer Mark Adams, who currently oversees the design production at the whole European division of General Motors.
The new 2012 Insignia hasnt undergone any significant changes. The front end design has received more detailed features to appeal to the executive market. The most important change in the interior design is apparently renaming the mahogany trim to the nicer sounding macadamia. The new Insignia still comes with a comfortable, well-built interior; and compared to its main competitors, it is offered with a good level of kit.
Disappointing is the scarce body paint options. There are only 10 choices, comprising white, blue and various shades of grey. A red Insignia is only available in Germany!
Performance and Economy
The 2009 Insignia was often accused of not being green enough. Now these accusations can easily be dismissed. The new 2.0-litre CDTi ecoFlex turbo diesel makes this executive car as green as any executive car. The CO2 emissions of the 130bhp engine stands at just 115g/km CO2, an impressive level for an executive sized vehicle. It also offers a mind boggling 64mpg on average, mainly thanks to the start-stop system. The idling time is cut to the minimum, which actually makes a lot of difference. The same engine on a 2009 Insignia could barely return 48mpg. Suddenly, the Insignia looks more affordable to run and you dont have to limit your choice to just small cars if you are looking for cheaper running costs. This improved economy doesnt mean that the diesel Insignia is slow even the smaller ecoFlex offers acceleration only slightly over 10 seconds. The version with power add-on, producing 157bhp, accelerates to 60mph in 9.2 seconds, but the fuel economy drops to 56mpg.
In the petrol range, the 1.4-litre 16v has replaced the 1.8-litre engine. It has got a similar power rating, it is a whole second quicker in acceleration (10.1 second now) and it gives you extra 8 miles per gallon, bringing the fuel economy up to 48mpg. Not as brilliant as the ecoFlex diesel, but if you insist on a petrol car, this is the one to go for.
Like to Drive
Unfortunately, the oomph and buzz is still missing from the driving aspect of the Insignia. It is successfully competing with the Ford Mondeo, but the driveability is nowhere near as pleasing. The main disappointment with the Insignia is its numb power steering. You dont get any response from the road. The Vauxhall Insignia is not a lot of fun to drive, however, it is a very reasonable car; and it mainly attracts people with its convenience and lack of pretence. It is a comfortable, good-size cruiser and the car is very convenient for regular use on motorways. Its cruiser nature is reinforced by the advanced sat-nav system with built in sightseeing tips and traffic-jam alerts. Despite its large size, the car is easy to park.
If youve opted for the extra kit, you might find that your car is equipped with frontal safety cameras that can also recognise traffic signs. Its a great tool for drivers who often forget about keeping their distance from the car in front. If you do get too close the system will quickly alert you and start screaming if youre dangerously close to the car in front.
Faults and Repairs
The current Insignia is too new to be able to single out any particular faults. Statistically, the car being as sophisticated as it is now, there are bound to be problems with the brain and supporting electrical system. The earlier Insignias are known to develop faults in the engine management system, security and entertainment systems. The manufacturer is now pretty confident about the quality of their cars many parts are covered by the so-called lifetime warranty, however, when buying a used Vauxhall Insignia, you have to remember that the lifetime warranty is only available to the first owner of the car and is not transferrable.