First DriveInsignia gets new 'Whisper' 2.0-litre diesel, which promises better refinement and company car-friendly figures
First DriveThe refreshed Insignia is a capable all-round machine with notably better driving dynamics
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.