From £16,384
V6 delivers plenty of punch, but poor fuel economy and emissions disappoint

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Insignia
Vauxhall's traditional family saloon is regular UK class sales champion

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

29 September 2008

What is it?

This is the flagship of the Insignia range. Power comes from the same turbocharged V6 that does duty in the Saab 9-3, with the Vauxhall getting 257bhp and 258lb ft of torque, rising to 280lb ft on overboost.

The daddy Insignia also gets four-wheel drive as standard, using a Haldex clutch to divert torque rearwards. It also shares the Saab's 'torque vectoring' differential to shunt drive left to right for maximum traction.

A six-speed automatic is standard; Opel buyers get the option of a six-speed manual, but it won't be sold in the UK.

The car also gets GM's 'FlexRide' adaptive damping system, with the 'sport' suspension setting also turning the instrument pack illumination from white to red.

What's it like?

It's a good-looking car, with a wide-track stance distinguishing it from lesser versions of the Insignia. The V6 motor delivers plenty of punch, with a 7.1 second 0-62mph time and a top speed limited to 155mph.

The one thing that it's not is driver focused. The four-wheel drive chassis improves handling grip in low-speed corners, but the sportiest Insignia (this side of the forthcoming VXR version) lacks true dynamic involvement.

Despite the promise of the adaptive chassis's three-stage settings, the Insignia is best at cruising.

The steering weighting is disappointing, feeling positive at low speeds but with feedback melting away as velocities rise.

The Insignia steers accurately and body roll is well contained, but otherwise there's little discernable difference between the different chassis settings.

Should I buy one?

For the handful of drivers who want the prestige of the quickest Insignia, the V6 will have some appeal. But poor fuel economy and CO2 emissions will leave it as very much a minority taste. Depreciation is likely to be acute too.

The Insignia is a great car, but the V6 engine doesn't do it justice.

Join the debate

Comments
5

1 October 2008

I must say that both exterior and interior design look really good. Far better looking on both counts than the Mondeo.

As for the thirsty V6, there are some of us who will accept the heavy depreciation and higher fuel costs in exchange for a smooth, torquey V6 that's willing to rev. Why? That's because we would rather have a full-blown V8 or V10 but cannot afford it so this is the next best thing. :-)

Otherwise, there are many oil producing nations which this model could probably sell rather well in - Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Russia ........ you get my point.

2 October 2008

4 wheel drive, torque super cross converting mega drive technology, transwarp suspension and all that.. blah..blah...

and it only gets off the line to 60 in 0.1 second less than the 2.0t tested earlier??? then this is a seriously, fatally, flawed lemon of a car.

I guess the coach builders will snap them up for modifying into hearses - Vauxhall don't bother with any colour apart from gloss Black eh?

2 October 2008

[quote A R Chen]Otherwise, there are many oil producing nations which this model could probably sell rather well in[/quote]

Oh sure. I can see the Sultan of Brunei planning a trip to his local Vauxhall dealer as we speak.

PaulJ

4 October 2008

Unfortunately won't sell in big numbers no matter how good it is, based on its huge depreciation, fuel thirst and huge emissions compared to the 2.0t model (it isn't even that much faster - why only 257 ps from a turbo 2.8litre?)

See also Passat R36

Will make excellent second hand buy though...... (I like V6s also)

...also if it weighs only 1503kg , I'll eat my own left foot.

(think 1600-1700kg at the very least)

22 March 2009

Well, I hope they do an estate version of this. I'll get one of these in about 4 or 5 years when its probably between 5k or 6k with reasonable miles.

Only thing I can think of to replace the larger MV6 I currently have and love.

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