Review

Opel Insignia’s Grand job

Under the hood

David Walshe

Reporter:

David Walshe

Email:

david@netacar.ie

Opel Insignia’s Grand job

The second generation Insignia apart from the expected metal, technology and interior changes gets a bigger name. Grand Sport is added on. Not sure of the reason because everyone will simply call it an Insignia. I drove the very top of the range Elite 4x4, 260PS petrol version that showcased all that Opel can offer. It’ll cost you just shy of €50k. The range starts from €27,350, the price point where most sales will happen.

I mistook the rear for a new Mercedes and if you squint it looks like the achingly beautiful C Class Coupe. The sleek lines from the side accentuate the hunkered down look and I think Opel strikes the perfect balance of chrome use (checkout the chrome line on the Tourer version from the drivers mirror to the rear light is a design classic). The front gets a new grille and lights but remains unmistakably an Insignia.

There is an all-new lighter platform. It felt very tight and stable in bends and with “Flexride” intelligent chassis control the car adapts to your driving style and road conditions. The 260PS power available is delivered serenely without faff. It effortlessly allows fast driving and overtaking is an angst-free affair. 4WD with torque vectoring via “Twinster” technology delivers a very balanced ride.

If you carry tall passengers they’ll love the rear legroom but may moan that the price for that sleek look is reduced headroom. The minimalist, tilting dash is impressive when ensconced.

The driver centric theme is very welcome and the material quality is chasing the competitors in the premium sector, where the Insignia wants to be.

Your 24hr OnStar concierge is available to assist, at the push of an overhead button, and I used it to send route directions whilst driving which is a lot safer than entering the data yourself on the move - please resist ever doing this. Car wars raged between D segment cars with company car bragging rights heavily prized.

That war has moved on and upwards and it’s Kugas and Grandlands we now want. Still, a well-sorted family saloon will always be the more rewarding drive.

Trouble is I don’t foresee a body-style fashion reversal happening any time soon unlike the current petrol to diesel to petrol phenomenon.

If we do the Insignia is ready, just not this one with a near €50k price tag, rather the more sensibly priced ones.