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Old 18-10-08
ukmike2008
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Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Just come back from attending a preview of the Insignia, held at Millbrook.

Its a very impressive car - still not sure about the Toyota-esque grille but the rest of the car is very stylish and it has avoided the bloat of the Mondeo. They had put the new car next to a Mondeo and I have to say the interior of the Vauxhall is much classier, but also much smaller in the back.

The premium models are full of innovative features, adaptive headlamps, Flexi-ride adjustable suspension etc - and compulsory LED daytime running lights.

It drives very well indeed - the cream of the crop seems to be the SRi Turbo petrol but there are 130 and 160 diesels too. These are likely to be in a 159 near you next year in 136 and 163 hp forms if reports are to be believed. Drove a 130 diesel automatic too - but wasn't very impressed with that one. Front end grip is excellent but without the sharp turn in of an Alfa. Rear visibility is a bit marginal and the door mirrors are very small indeed. It is very refined though.

Styling is good enough to see off the Passat CC and has a Jaguar look around its rear end. And on your SRi you can have 20 inch wheels!!!

Highlight of the day was one lap on the handling course in a V6 4WD driven by a professional driver. If you thought you drove quickly, I can assure you, you were wrong. The ride was amazing and nobody came back unimpressed or without a stupid grin.

A very competitive car and a well organised event - but I still prefer my Alfa
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Old 18-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Good to try something different for change.: I went to Millbrook with my brother and nephew a few years back, and had a great day trying this and that.

Best drive at that time was the bigger Mazda for us. The queues were too long for the Lotus, and the other performance machines so we stuck with trying the mundane motors with zero queues!
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Old 18-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

thanks for your review ukmike - always good to know what the others are up to

The Insignia looks ok and is well equipped from what I have read but 20'' must be a bit of an overkill on alloys surely
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Old 18-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Yeah seen it. It's OK but I wouldn't buy one - and to be honest look wise I prefer the Mondeo; although at least they do do a decent performance version
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Old 18-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

I reckon the Insignia look great for a saloon.

And I hate Vauxhalls as a rule.

The new Mundano looks old fashioned already in my eyes.
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Old 18-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

I agree with symonh2000, the Mondeo looks old already...........just another car
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Old 19-10-08
ukmike2008
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Originally Posted by dpat View Post
I agree with symonh2000, the Mondeo looks old already...........just another car
The comparison Mondeo they had in the "showroom" was the Titanium spec and the interior looked drab and tacky against the Insignia. Drove well - but my money would be on Insignia because I don't need to fill the back with kids. Mondeo must have a clear 2 inches of extra legroom in the back. Insignia is probably more like a 159 in terms of rear legroom, maybe a tad more.

The showroom Insignia was SE spec and was in a special 8c type red "show colour" - seems Vauxhall have learned a trick or two.
Another afterthought - the steering feel was good on the cars I drove and the steering wheel was nicely trimmed in leather on the SRis and above and full of buttons - but the rim felt too thin after the Alfa wheel.

What was most notable was the progress that GM have made since the Vectra - the new car is from a different planet altogether.
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Old 19-10-08
ukmike2008
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Originally Posted by dpat View Post
thanks for your review ukmike - always good to know what the others are up to

The Insignia looks ok and is well equipped from what I have read but 20'' must be a bit of an overkill on alloys surely
DP - Agreed, I wonder what the tyres are going to cost! Can you get remoulds?
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Old 19-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

I thought GM and Fiat had parted ways now, and are making their own diesel engines for use in their new range of cars?

Either way, glad you aren't abandoning us for a Vauxhall, Mike.. Although if you did get yourself a Vectra at least you could put your nice posh alloys on it
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Old 19-10-08
ukmike2008
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Originally Posted by Pud237 View Post
I thought GM and Fiat had parted ways now, and are making their own diesel engines for use in their new range of cars?

Either way, glad you aren't abandoning us for a Vauxhall, Mike.. Although if you did get yourself a Vectra at least you could put your nice posh alloys on it


Not sure whats happening about the GM/FIAT engines - there was certainly no mention of "all-new" diesels and the outputs and capacities are spookily similar to those for the Lancia Delta which presumably is carrying what will become the MY2009 Alfa engines? Just speculating of course.

Of the cars I tried, it was the 130 diesel that impressed me the least - albeit saddled with a 6 speed automatic that was on the clunky side. It seemed to be lacking in urge.
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Old 20-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Still not as nice as the 159 in my opinion - give it 12 months when every sales rep will have one and it will look old
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Old 20-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

The 159 is still the best looking car in the class, but the Insignia does look good for a repmobile.
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Old 26-10-08
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Originally Posted by ukmike2008 View Post
A very competitive car and a well organised event - but I still prefer my Alfa
Glad you enjoyed it. I was part of the event team giving the 20 minute "Walkround" before the drives and yes it's a very good car indeed especially the interior with the dials which are almost Alfaesque.

Just got home after 14 straight days!

Sticking with my Alfas though.
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Old 30-10-08
ukmike2008
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Re: Vauxhall/Opel Insignia

Originally Posted by dtm8123 View Post
Glad you enjoyed it. I was part of the event team giving the 20 minute "Walkround" before the drives and yes it's a very good car indeed especially the interior with the dials which are almost Alfaesque.

Just got home after 14 straight days!

Sticking with my Alfas though.
Well thanks to all the team involved in the event - it was VERY well organised indeed and a full and interesting day.
Insignia may be rather small in the back for the Mondy fans but it makes the Mondeo look dismally drab inside (and I was never a fan of the outside - too Volvo at the front, a mess at the back and too big all round)
Insignia is more my kind of car and maybe in 12-18 months when the first low milers appear on forecourts I will...............nah only kidding, I will stick with the Alfa
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