The first generation Opel Insignia (2009-2017)

Opel Insignia Used Car Review (2009-2017)

The first generation Opel Insignia (2009-2017)
The first generation Opel Insignia (2009-2017)

Check out our Opel Insignia used car review!

The Opel Insignia was one of my first ever car reviews for Changing Lanes. That was 2014. Now I think it's fair to say that we can class it as a used car review. I've updated my original review with some more background information. This will help you if you are thinking of buying a used Opel Insignia from between the years of 2009 and 2017. 

The first generation Opel Insignia reached Ireland in 2009. It received a refresh in 2013 and stayed in production until 2017 when it was replaced by the all-new Opel Insignia Grand Sport.

Diesel was king in Ireland in 2009 and the Insignia looked after customers well in this regard. It quickly became a fleet favourite. The visibility of this generation of the Opel Insignia is still high on Irish roads. The Opel Insignia replaced the Opel Vectra and was a huge step forward in design.

Opel Insignia Review

In summer 2014, I tested the Opel Insignia SRi, the sporty one in the range with attractive OPC inspired body styling, 18" alloys, and sports suspension. The first generation Insignia has good presence on the road, while inside it's comfortable and good quality for the large car segment of this era.

The Insignia range was refreshed in 2013 and there were updates to the headlamp design, revised front bumper with slightly bigger and lower air intakes, along with different rear light clusters, new rear bumper and some other trim updates.

The 2013 facelift also saw a revamped interior, new steering wheel, better quality materials, and a new Intellilink touchscreen that removed more buttons for a cleaner look. There was also a new touchpad controller available and voice control.

The interior of the first generation Opel Insignia
The interior of the first generation Opel Insignia

Standard equipment is impressive and over the years there were five trim levels -  S and SC being the more basic ones, SE and Elite the more premium ones and SRi the sporty one. SC and above have the IntelliLink infotainment system with 8” touchscreen and Apple CarPlay from 2015. Some of the safety features available on the first generation Opel Insignia include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear view parking camera, traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning system.

Opel Insignia Hatchback Vs Saloon Vs Estate

The Opel Insignia was available as a hatchback, saloon or Sports Tourer estate between 2009 and 2017. Interior space was competitive for a large car, not outstanding but the boot was a good size at 530 litres in the Insignia hatchback, 540 litres in the Insignia estate and 500 litres in the Insignia saloon.

My 2014 Opel Insignia was powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 163 hp. This engine is economical with good pulling power but it's a bit on the noisy side. In 2015 it was replaced by an improved and much quieter 2.0-litre diesel with 170 hp. Read our review of that diesel Insignia here. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available. Other engine options for the Insignia at the time included a 1.6-litre CDTi with 136 bhp and a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 140 bhp.

The 2014 Opel Insignia SRi on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2014 Opel Insignia SRi on test for Changing Lanes!

Is the Opel Insignia a good car?

On the road the Opel Insignia majors at cruising effortlessly up and down motorways. This car has broad appeal. The suspension is on the firm side but not uncomfortable by any means. The steering is precise and intuitive giving a reassuring and sporty feel going around bends. This is matched to excellent grip and body control (no doubt down to that extra firmness in the suspension!). The car grips but there is a fair bit of movement of the car’s weight over the suspension. SRi models fitted with sports suspension are tighter in this regard.

The 2014 Opel Insignia SRi 2.0-litre diesel I tested had a normal retail price of €33,295.

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. The Opel Insignia is the German car without the premium price tag but retaining that feeling of quality that you expect from a German car.

It isn't the most dynamically exciting car in the class (that accolade goes to the Ford Mondeo) but the Opel Insignia is more than up for the job of long motorway cruises, keeping everyone on board happy and comfortable!

If you are thinking of buying a used Opel Insignia, I hope this review has been useful.

The 2014 Opel Insignia SRi on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2014 Opel Insignia SRi on test for Changing Lanes!

Details correct at time of test

Model tested: 2014 Opel Insignia SRi Limited Edition 5-door Hatch
Price: €33,295 (as tested new in June 2014)
Engine: 2.0 litre diesel
Power: 163 bhp
0-100km/h: 9.5 seconds
Economy: 65.7mpg (4.3l/100km)
CO2 emissions: 114g/km
Tax band: A4 (€200 per year)

Caroline Kidd


Opel Insignia Grand Sport

New Opel Insignia Arrives In Ireland

The all-new Opel Insignia will make it's debut in Opel's Irish dealer network this weekend.

The hatchback is badged the Insignia Grand Sport (from €27,350) and the estate is badged the Insignia Sports Tourer (from €28,550).

Power will come from a new 1.5-litre (140hp) turbo petrol unit, the 1.6-litre diesel (110 or 136hp) and the 2.0-litre diesel (170hp). Both the 1.6-litre (136hp) and 2.0-litre (170hp) units are available with both manual and automatic transmission.

There will be four trim levels available for new Opel Insignia in Ireland: SC (from €27,350), SRi (from €29,350), SE (from €29,350) and Elite (from €31,595).

Standard equipment includes Opel OnStar, air con, cruise control, 7" touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto projection, 17" alloys and keyless entry and start. SRi includes navigation, front sports seats, climate control, 8" touchscreen, rear spoiler and traffic sign recognition. SE includes a 4.2" colour information display, front and rear parking sensors and driver's lumbar support. Elite models include leather trim and Intellilux LED matrix headlights.

Diesels are available from €29,350.

Opel Insignia Grand Sport
The Opel Insignia Grand Sport has arrived in Ireland, priced from €27,350

Caroline Kidd


Opel Insignia vs Ford Mondeo

Opel Insignia vs Ford Mondeo (2016 Review)

In this comparison review, it's the 2016 Opel Insignia vs Ford Mondeo!

Big cars like the Opel Insignia and Ford Mondeo make great motorway companions for daily commutes, and also work well as family cars. They have big boots, spacious, comfortable interiors and lots of convenience features and equipment to make a journey on board a pleasant one.

The Insignia is available to buy in Ireland as a saloon, hatchback or estate (‘Sports Tourer’). The Mondeo is available as a hatchback or estate. The Opel Insignia currently on sale was launched back in 2009, but was updated in 2013. The Ford Mondeo currently on sale here is a new model that arrived in late 2014. The Ford Mondeo is the current holder of the title of Continental Irish Car Of The Year 2016.

The Opel Insignia comes in five trim levels: S (from €24,995), SC (from €26,895), SE (from €28,850), SRi (from €30,350) and Elite (from €33,550).

The Ford Mondeo is available in Zetec (from €28,845) and Titanium (from €31,445) trim.

The first generation Opel Insignia (2009-2017)
The first generation Opel Insignia (2009-2017)

What are my options?

Two diesel engines are available for the Opel Insignia: a 1.6-litre CDTi (136PS) and a 2.0-litre CDTi (170PS). Diesels start at €27,295. The diesels for the Mondeo are similar in their size: there’s a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel (150PS or 180PS), a 1.6-litre TDCi (115PS) and 1.5-litre TDCi (120PS). The 1.5-litre is a newer engine and the 1.6-litre is being phased out. Diesel models start at €28,845.

Traditionally diesel dominates in this segment but both the Mondeo and the Insignia have a petrol option. For the Insignia, that’s a 1.4-litre turbo unit (140PS) with pricing from €24,995. The Mondeo has a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol unit (160PS) from €32,420.

Options: The Mondeo is available with a six speed manual gearbox or a six speed ‘Powershift’ double clutch automatic gearbox. The Mondeo has always been a front wheel drive car but new for 2016 is the option of all-wheel drive (AWD). The Insignia is front wheel drive only with no four wheel drive option.

Both cars have an impressive presence. The entry Mondeo has 16” alloys as standard and chrome finished grille, but Titanium models look a bit more premium with a chrome belt line finisher and 17” alloys. The Insignia comes as standard with LED daytime running lights and 17” alloys, but SC and above add a chrome belt line finisher for a more premium look. SE adds 18” alloys. SRi is the one to go for if you love a sporty look because it has a body kit and special 18” alloys.

There are 10 exterior colours to choose from for the Mondeo including the vibrant Ruby Red and Deep Impact Blue. There are also more subtle hues like Magnetic grey, Moondust Silver and Shadow Black. There are a total of 12 colours available for the Insignia. Choose from sporty Power Red and Summit White, to classy shades like Macademia brown, Carbon Flash black and Sovereign Silver.

opel insignia irish review
Opel Insignia Interior

Equipment on Opel Insignia vs Ford Mondeo

Standard spec on the Insignia includes air con, cruise control, leather covered steering wheel, electric parking brake, AM/FM radio, CD player, USB, aux in audio connection, 4.2” colour screen, LED daytime running lights, 17” alloys, electric front windows and mirrors, tyre inflation kit and hill start assist. Standard spec on the Mondeo includes front fog lamps, dual zone climate control, cruise control, leather covered steering wheel, electric parking brake, AM/FM/DAB (digital) radio, CD player, USB, aux in audio connection, 4.2” colour screen, Bluetooth, halogen daytime running lights, 16” alloys, four electric windows and electric mirrors, space saver spare wheel, quickclear heated windscreen and hill start assist.

The SC trim for the Insignia adds climate control and the Intellilink infotainment system that includes an 8” colour touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth connection, digital radio. SE adds Opel OnStar (automatic crash response, Wi-Fi hotspot, destination download to sat nav, smartphone app, stolen vehicle assistance, and remote vehicle diagnostics).

Titanium trim for the Mondeo adds keyless start and entry, lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, Ford Sync 3 with voice control and 8” touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, ambient lighting and auto dimming mirror.

The interior of the 2015 Ford Mondeo Estate
The interior of the 2015 Ford Mondeo

Which car has the best interior?

The Insignia is the nicer of the two, just feeling that little bit classier and better designed. The Mondeo’s interior is easy enough to navigate around. The Sync infotainment touchscreen looks well in the centre of the dash, though it’s not standard on the Zetec model. Opel’s version is called Intellilink and it’s standard from SC grade. Both cabins are comfortable and come with good levels of standard equipment for convenience. There is the option of adding even more comfort features such as heated seats, driving aids and parking aids.

Both cars have seating for five and feel large and spacious inside, with good legroom in the rear. The Insignia’s stylish sloping rear roofline impedes a bit on rear headroom but that’s only an issue for tall passengers. The Insignia in hatchback form has 530 litres of boot space, the saloon has 500 litres and the estate ‘Sports Tourer’ has 540 litres. The Mondeo hatchback has 541 litres of boot space, while the estate had just 500 litres.

For the Insignia, CO2 emissions vary across the range from just 99g to 147g. The 1.6-litre diesel (136PS) is the most efficient in the range returning up to 74.3mpg. CO2 emissions across the Mondeo range vary from 104g to 137g. The 1.5-litre diesel (120PS) is the most efficient, returning up to 71mpg.

The 2015 Ford Mondeo
The 2015 Ford Mondeo

Opel Insignia vs Ford Mondeo: And the verdict?

These cars are both ideal for long journeys with comfortable, compliant suspensions that smooth out the road ahead. The Mondeo is a sharper and more exciting car to drive when you get off the motorway. It feels more agile than the Insignia and the steering gives the driver more feedback for a fun and sporty drive. Sound insulation is very good in both, and only on larger wheels does the Insignia feel like the less refined of the two due to more road noise.

Read the individual reviews to find out more about how these cars perform on the road:

Opel Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi 170PS (hatchback)

Ford Mondeo 2.0-litre TDCi 150PS (estate)

Caroline Kidd


The 2015 Opel Insignia reviewed by Changing Lanes

Opel Insignia 2.0-litre 170bhp Review

The 2015 Opel Insignia reviewed by Changing Lanes
The 2015 Opel Insignia reviewed by Changing Lanes

Caroline drives the Opel Insignia with a new, more refined and more powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine.

The Insignia, Opel’s flagship model, was launched back in 2009 and revamped in 2013. So as we come into 2016 it should be starting to look a little long in the tooth.

Yet at least on the surface of things it remains one of the best looking big cars out there. It’s a big seller for Opel. You may have noticed that there are a LOT of Insignias on Irish roads.

Diesel power is big at this end of the market and in 2015, Opel launched a brand new 2.0-litre CDTi ‘whisper diesel’ that meets the stringent Euro 6 emission standards. Power is upped from 163bhp to 170bhp. There’s more torque and improvements have been made in terms of efficiency and refinement.

This was my second time to experience Insignia, the first being in 2014 with the old 2.0-litre diesel and a white blinged up SRi model. This time my test car was a more demure black in classy Elite trim, with the 2.0-litre 170bhp diesel matched to an automatic transmission. What a great way to ease myself into the new year.

Read more about this generation of the Opel Insignia in this used car review.

What's new for the 2015 Opel Insignia?

So what about that engine? Fire up the 2.0-litre, and there is little intrusion into the cabin from the new power plant. On the road, the engine does its job quietly and confidently. But you just have to tap the accelerator for an added boost of power that comes quickly and smoothly. The car will hit 100km/h from a standstill in 9.4 seconds and in official tests returned 63mpg. Emissions of 118g/km put it in tax band A with annual motor tax of €200. Go for the automatic and the emissions rise to 147g/km so you’re looking at a heftier €390 for motor tax. Other engine options for the Insignia include a 1.6-litre CDTi (136bhp) and a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 140bhp.

The interior of the first generation Opel Insignia
The interior of the first generation Opel Insignia

The Insignia grips the road well through the corners. There’s a hefty feeling to the steering that gives a reassuring and sporty feel going around bends.  While the car grips, there is a fair bit of movement of the car’s weight over the suspension. SRi models fitted with sports suspension are tighter in this regard in my opinion. Comfort levels are high and the Insignia feels stable on the road but I would say avoid going for huge wheels. The 20” wheels added as an option on my test car are too much of an indulgence. The road noise they add is not worth it.

The interior layout still looks modern and current as the car ages and the quality is generally very good. The cabin is solid and comfortable, spacious enough for five and their luggage (boot is 530 litres). There is so much equipment that can be added to your Insignia. There are no less than 5 equipment levels with S and SC being the more basic ones, SE and Elite the more premium ones and SRi the sporty one.

What are my options?

SC and above have the IntelliLink infotainment system with 8” touchscreen and Apple CarPlay through smartphone connectivity. This system also comes with a sat nav. New for 2016 is Opel OnStar on SRi, SE and Elite, which is a useful personal assistant that you can call anytime from the car, for example if you have a fault and need to run a diagnostic check, find a place of interest nearby or in the event of a serious collision this service will call the emergency services.

All cars have alloys, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, air con,  electric parking brake, hill start assist, and electric front windows and mirrors. SC adds IntelliLink, multi function steering wheel, climate control and Bluetooth and digital radio. SRi adds a sporty OPC-inspired styling pack, OnStar, lowered sports suspension, bigger alloys, electric rear windows, front fog lights and rear privacy glass. SE adds auto lights and wipers and self-dimming rear view mirror, while Elite models have leather upholstery and heated front seats, bi-xenon headlights, 8 way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, front and rear parking sensors and electric folding mirrors.

The Opel Insignia is still a great choice of large motorway cruiser car
The Opel Insignia is still a great choice of large motorway cruiser car

Did you like the Opel Insignia?

The Insignia is arguably one of the cooler choices in this class. It has a strong premium presence on the road that’s more sleek and coupé like than many of its frumpier rivals. It’s not the most dynamically exciting car in the class but it’s not sloppy either. It's more than up for the job of long motorway cruises keeping everyone on board happy and comfortable. The new 2.0-litre diesel really majors on power, economy and refinement. Despite the years advancing, the Opel Insignia still makes a great choice of big car.

Caroline Kidd

Model Tested: Opel Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi 170bhp Elite Automatic (Hatchback)
Price: 
€38,450 (Range starts at €24,995)
Engine: 
2.0-litre diesel
Power: 
170bhp
0-100km/h:
9.4 seconds
Economy: 
50.4mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
147g/km
Motor Tax: 
€390 per year