2012 Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi review
By Bob Hume, 24th October 2012
The Insignia has been around for a few years now, yet every time I drive one, it’s like a breath of fresh air. It possesses an unpretentious feel of good quality and the sort of value for money that seem to be out of the reach of many other cars in its class.
This is Vauxhall’s accomplished medium-sized cruiser. On paper, it competes against cars like Ford’s Mondeo, the Mazda 6 and VW Passat. The build quality, both inside and out, is superb and there’s a strong perception of quality from the moment you set eyes on it, to the one where you sit behind the wheel and start the engine.
The exterior of the car is well-penned and design cues to both sets of light clusters and grille give it the Vauxhall brand identity. Coaching lines are subtle but a strong shoulder line and raked A and C pillars lend it a sporty and muscular look.
I was very kindly offered the test car; a 160bhp Vauxhall Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi by Aaron Patterson of Ballyrobert Vauxhall in Bangor.
The cabin is airy and bright, good-quality cloth seats are supportive and comfortable with all instruments and displays placed in a driver-centric fashion. Ergonomics are better than a lot of its rivals, including some 'premium' German offerings. Road and engine noise are negligible at all reasonable speeds, adding to the general level of comfort.
On the motorway during my daily commute into Belfast, it did everything I expected of it; I‘ve driven many variants of this car and been very happy with them all. The capable diesel engine will draw buckets of torque and every point on the rev-range and the snappy six-speed manual ’box is perfectly matched. Normal driving is smooth and pleasurable, whilst overtaking is effortless, often without the need for a downchange.
The CO2 rating of 125g/km and tax band D make it an easy choice for business users, whilst the 60 or so combined mpg mean that it‘s attractive to a wide range of buyers.
The Insignia also excelled on tighter, more technical roads like the 3-mile uphill section to my house in the hills above Carrick. The advanced multi-link suspension makes handling exceptionally good and a long rev-range combined with well-delivered power combine to make it surprisingly leggy, even for a modern diesel.
This car can not only provide comfort, economy and efficiency but it‘s great to know that there‘s a bit a lot more on tap for a more spirited drive.
The Insignia is a perfect choice for both family and business use. High levels of quality blended with equally high levels of economy, performance and practicality make this variant and almost every other in the range a smart choice.
Special thanks to Aaron Patterson and his highly professional team at Ballyrobert Vauxhall in Bangor for the loan of this test car. Further information and a test drive are available by dropping in to 402 Belfast Road in Bangor, calling 028 9185 2262 or visiting the dealer‘s website www.ballyrobert.co.uk