Opel Insignia – boring repmobile? Well not the Opel Insignia SRi Limited Edition. It takes styling cues from Opel OPC branded performance models, adds a sports suspension AND there’s even a button on the dash to make the car even more sporty. Wow!
I loved this Insignia from the moment I sat into it. As we got to know eachother, I noticed the sumptuous sports interior, the simple laid out dash and driver information screens, the fabulous sound proofing, the attractive coupe-like design, the cavernous boot, and the powerful and flexible 2.0 litre 163bhp diesel engine.
The Insignia cruised effortlessly up and down motorways for me, skipped along country roads like a hot hatch, and pootled around town with ease, shutting itself down economically at traffic lights thanks to the stop start technology fitted to the engine.
It was quiet, refined, powerful, comfortable and spacious. And this was the ‘sports’ model. With the sports suspension and 18″ wheels I hadn’t expected it to be so comfortable!
The steering was precise and intuitive, matched to excellent grippiness and a body that felt firm and in control weaving around corners and over poor surfaces. The 2.0 litre 163bhp engine meant I was never far away from the power I needed to access from the equally slick shifting six speed manual gearbox. I didn’t feel the need at all to hit the sports button on the dash but when you do the Insignia feels even more lucid.
The model I drove has a normal retail price of €33,295. I have to be honest though – the car I was driving retailed at just under €40,000 because it contained over €6000 worth of extras like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear view parking camera, traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning system. Even without the extras the list of standard equipment is impressive so do check it out.
Not surprisingly, the Opel Insignia is a popular choice as a company car for its comfort on long journeys and good suspension that absorbs bumps and ruts so well. The huge 530 litre boot and great rear passenger space make it a great family buy too.
It looks the business in SRi trim (see it here) with front lower spoiler, side sills, rear lip spoiler and rear lower skirt as well as dramatic bi-colour 18 inch wheels.
This car has certainly changed my view of the brand which has underwhelmed me up to this point. The Insignia is the German car without the premium price but retaining that feeling of quality that you expect from a German car.
Opel may have suffered from a bit of an image problem in the past, but with a great car like the Insignia SRi, this car deserves to be name checked more often as an option for anyone seeking a Big German Car – for business, pleasure or posing!
Model tested: Opel Insignia SRi Limited Edition 5-door Hatch
Price: €33,295 (Range starts at €24,995)
Engine: 2.0 litre diesel
0-100km/h: 9.5 seconds
Economy: 65.7mpg (4.3l/100km)
CO2 emissions: 114g/km
Tax band: A4 (€200 per year)