Vauxhall’s all-new Mondeo rival finally revealed to the public

This is the new Vauxhall Insignia, which has not been merely unveiled at the British motor show, but actually delivered to the arena by a helicopter.

General Motors is hoping that a new name and image – that of sleek, sophisticated near-luxury – will turn its family saloon into a genuine rival for the Mondeo and Passat.

Underneath GM has put a lot of effort into giving the Insignia a class-leading ride and improving comfort. The suspension is isolated from the body and the car comes with the option of FlexiRide, a new adaptive damping system that also enables drivers to vary throttle response and steering feel.GM is making bold claims for the 'green' Insignia, which will carry the Ecotec badge. "Ecotec Insignia will set a new benchmark for low CO2 and powertrain performance," said Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe, at the the launch.

The cabin interior is just as much of a departure from Vauxhall saloons of old. The Vectra’s uninspiring interior has been replaced by an expensive-feeling environment, in which the driver sits low with the car’s dashboard ‘wings’ wrapped around him.

Plenty of the Vauxhall Insignia’s cabin will be used in the next Astra and even in future Chevrolets; it’s establishing a design theme for many of GM’s new models.

Vauxhall is also introducing four-wheel drive with the Insignia. Adaptive four-wheel drive will be launched when the car goes on sale next year, and it comes with a limited-slip differential on the SRi models.

>> See more pics of the Vauxhall Insignia

>> Watch our exclusive video of the Vauxhall Insignia

Vicky Parrott

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Insignia

The Vauxhall Insignia is only small details away from rivalling the class best

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Comments
4

22 July 2008

Even if the Insignia trumps the Mondeo and becomes class best, i doubt it will tempt many buyers away from BMW, Merc or Audi because of what it is - a Vauxhall. This car could be a mini S-Class in its abilities but that wouldn't matter.

Totally brilliant as the current Mondeo is, it's still a Ford which is the only reason why it isn't good enough for many while the Ford doesn't appear to have dented sales of the 3-Series as much as we expected, so what chance does the Insignia have? Vauxhalls probably have a worse image than the blue oval in the UK.

22 July 2008

[quote Roy Fullee]Vauxhalls probably have a worse image than the blue oval in the UK[/quote]

On what basis? A quick straw pole of my workmates (Bluechip technology company, driving mix of X-Types, BMW 3 / 5 series, IS250 and an A4 all 28 - 39 years old) and all put Vauxhall above Ford - many happy memories of Vectra SRis!!!

The new Fiesta looks nice but has taken FAR to long to replace.

The Focus is so dull to look at, as is Mundano, lets not mention the pesion worthy Ka. Factor in the VXR range and Vauxhall wins ( easily) on all counts!!

22 July 2008

[quote Roy Fullee]

Totally brilliant as the current Mondeo is, it's still a Ford which is the only reason why it isn't good enough for many while the Ford doesn't appear to have dented sales of the 3-Series as much as we expected, so what chance does the Insignia have? Vauxhalls probably have a worse image than the blue oval in the UK.

[/quote]

I'm not a badge snob and personally rate cars on their own individual merits. Undoubtedly great car but the biggest issue for me with the Mundano is its looks.

On the whole you are right and the British public seem to have a fixation over badge and status as a number one priority when buying a car. Their second priority though centres around looks and show room appeal, and on this count the Insignia has the Ford licked.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

23 July 2008

The new Insignia is far beyond the awful Vectra though, as with most manufacturers seems to have sacrificed a good looking back end for a wind-tunnel designed droop.

As much as badge snobbery is prevalent, until Vauxhall prove they can design a car with a decent interior (vis the horrendous mess that the Astra is) etc. then they will sell better.

The Mundano is "nice" but not so special in the way that an Audi or BMW is...


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