So the journalists have at last got their hands on the new Vauxhall Insignia at the car’s international launch. 

Press conferences, sumptuous food, nice weather and an interesting driving route of probably several hundred miles.

I, however, have already covered well over 1,500 miles in the Insignia in a mammoth drive from the Opel factory in Russelheim to downtown Instanbul, Turkey.

The drive took three days including stops to satisfy the photographer and Goodwin’s stomach. Down through Germany, across Austria and then through several former Yugoslavian countries, Bulgaria and into Turkey.

You’ll be reading a long story on the trip in the next few weeks which will cover details such as Bulgarian knocking shops and the delights of Compressor Alley in Instanbul. You’ll also get my full thoughts on the Insignia and of this class of car in particular.

 But for now - was the new Vauxhall any cop?

Yes, in the main it was. Great to look at but not so good to look out of, the driving seat was not the most comfortable my backside has ever occupied and some plastic wood trim was not easy on the eye for ten hours on the trot.

Oh, and I got confused operating the sat-nav. Yet despite the epic distance covered and rubbish weather, it was still an enormously enjoyable drive. Which probably says more than anything else about the Insignia.