Tuesday, November 25, 2014


A medium sized sedan, the Opel Insignia fills a void left by small and large cars that people may not want because of the size. The Insignia isthe flagship of Opel’s mid sized cars.

As with the Opel Corsa and Opel Astra, the Insignia’s predecessor has history in Australia as a rebadged Holden – though it was then known as the Vectra.

At first impression the Insignia is appealing with its more interesting shape – whether in the sedan or wagon forms being offered locally.

Behind the driver’s seat and the Insignia further distances itself from the Vectra. There’s a far more premium look and feel to the cabin.

The Insigina's interior design element is how the door trim arcs almost seamlessly into the dash in a way that are reminiscent of the Jaguar XJ and Audi A7 cabins.

The symmetrical centre stack also has a functional setting which is appealing to those who like their buttons and controls at hands reach.

Opel has decided to pitch its Insignia at the upper end of the mainstream medium car category, so there’s also a grouping of standard features that reflect pricing that starts at $38,990.

Even that entry point delivers leather upholstery with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and humidity sensor, leather steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.

One of the tims levels called Select, which begins at $45,490 and slots bigger 19-inch alloys onto the wheel hubs, brings a sportier-looking steering wheel and pedal set, adds ventilation to the front seats, puts the driver in a seat certified by German ergonomics experts, spruces up the dash with a colour sat-nav system, and illuminates the road ahead with a larger array of lighting set-ups including LED daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights that can peer around corners.

Behind those is a rear bench with sculpted outer pews that show Opel is honest about the comfort the middle rear seat will provide adults.

Most passengers should be content with rear legroom, though taller occupants will find rear headroom is compromised by the Insignia’s sloped-roof design.

The Insignia proved to be a pleasantly quiet cruiser on the country roads and freeways in NSW’s Hunter Valley region, complemented by a 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that provides smooth and punchy progress.

It’s no slow-coach off the line, either, with a quoted 0-100km/h of 7.8 seconds, or 8.1 if you opted for the more practical wagon, or 9.6/10.1sec if your choice is the more efficient 2.0-litre turbo diesel variant that uses an official 5.7 litres per 100km versus the petrol’s 8.8L/100km.

Apart from some mild lag if asking for more than light throttle, the petrol engine’s turbocharger is almost omnipresent – in a positive or negative way depending on the buyer.

There’s a noticeable whistle as the turbo spools up before an equally subtle-free whoosh is heard as the wastegate dispels the exhaust gases.

The six-speed auto seems smart enough at picking gears, though paddleshift levers behind the steering wheel wouldn’t go amiss for this particular engine (the gearlever has a tipshift manual mode, though).

There were too few opportunities for us to assess the Insignia’s dynamic qualities, but can report the steering is good for its weighting but not so good for its feedback.

No comments:

Post a Comment