A seriously competent all-rounder, but undone by cheaper rivals

What is it?

There was always going to be a problem with this car. The new Insignia BiTurbo sits at the top of the Insignia diesel range, benefitting from a new 192bhp twin-turbo diesel motor, adaptive four-wheel drive and adaptive dampers. We test drove the saloon, though in the UK this full-fat diesel Insignia will only be available as a hatch or estate.

Of course, all the equipment means that you’ll pay £29,785 for the Insignia BiTurbo 4x4 hatchback, or £27,180 if you’re willing to put up with front-wheel drive, but even in this form it sits within range of well-equipped yet more premium rivals.

What’s it like?

It’s certainly a very willing and responsive powertrain. We tested the car on mountain roads as well as in the usual motorway and urban environments, and it dealt with all of them with equal ease. In particular, the linear power delivery offered by the sequential turbocharging is a real benefit over the single-turbo’d equivalent.

Our test car came with the £1695 optional ‘supersport chassis pack’, which brings with it the company’s clever HiPerStrut suspension, 20-inch alloys and brembo brakes, and this together with the adaptive four-wheel drive keeps the nose firmly in line. It will wash wide into understeer if really pushed but 99 per cent of the time it remains reassuringly faithful to your inputs.

Ride quality is also very acceptable. We found that simply leaving the dampers in ‘standard’ mode worked best generally. In this mode the Insignia will thump a little over urban roads, but bump absorption, body control and in particular the directional stability at high speeds is very good.

Sport mode (when the steering and throttle responses are also sharpened) does an admirable job of enhancing the whole package. It still doesn’t feel particularly engaging, but it’s easy to enjoy driving it quickly and smoothly, even on very challenging roads.

Should I buy one?

Given the competitive 146g/km CO2 output and the lavish kit levels and you have a properly capable all-round executive hatch.

Yet we wouldn’t recommend you buy this particular top-end Insignia. Not so much because an extra £500 will get you a A4 2.0 TDI Quattro SE Technik, but mainly because you could save yourself £3,500 and buy a range-topping 168bhp Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 4x4. And at that point, the Insignia’s case becomes nearly impossible to argue.


Price: £29,785; Top speed: 142mph; 0-60mph: 8.4sec; Economy: 54.4mpg; Co2: 146g/km; Kerb weight: 1788kg; Engine type: 1956cc, 4cyls, turbodiesel; Power: 192bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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Greebo12 4 February 2016

Insignia 4x4 issues

Buyer be warned the haldex 4x4 system used by the VW group Volvo etal has major problems with oilseal failures and sensor issue I wise these car reporters would tell you this these systems are expensive to repair need stripping down and serving every 40k or if you do not wasn't issues buy the front wheel drive or better still by a Mercedes or bmwand have the nice red I wish vx/ Opel had remained with Rwd for its top end the omega was a great handling car yes old but we'll design front wheel drive is good with lower power engines but Rwd is better with higher power other wise you start to need these fancy systems that go wrong in a big way.
DarkMatter 16 March 2012

Re: Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi BiTurbo 4x4

Dude the Vectra went out years ago and it sucked big time. Why would anyone with a brain spend £27k on a vauxhall?

507 16 March 2012

Re: Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi BiTurbo 4x4

Opel/Vauxhall are clearly on the way out - sales down over another 20% this year (the 11th year of red figures). Saab is showing the way into oblivion!