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 ford mondeo comparison test ireland

Opel Insignia vs. Ford Mondeo

opel insignia ford mondeo comparison test ireland
Opel Insignia or 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 – big boots, spacious, comfortable interiors and lots of convenience features and equipment to make a journey on board a pleasant one.

Basics

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.

Trims and Pricing

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.

Opel Insignia Ireland comparison test
The Opel Insignia

Engines

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.

Design

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, and more subtle hues like Magnetic grey, Moondust Silver and Shadow Black. There are a total of 12 colours available for the Insignia 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

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.

Ford Mondeo Ireland comparison test
Ford Mondeo Interior

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 and 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, with the option of adding even more comfort features such as heated seats, driving aids and parking aids.

Space and Practicality

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.

Running Costs

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.

Ford Mondeo ireland comparison test
The Ford Mondeo

On The Road

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 1.6-litre TDCi 115PS (hatchback)

Ford Mondeo 2.0-litre TDCi 150PS (estate)

Caroline Kidd


opel insignia irish review

Opel Insignia 2.0-litre 170bhp Review

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 and 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.

opel insignia irish review
The Opel Insignia has a strong, premium presence on the road

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 Insignia grips the road well through the corners and 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 and 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 and 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) and 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.

opel insignia irish review
Opel Insignia interior

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 Insignia is arguably one of the cooler choices in this class with 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, and is 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 and despite the years advancing, the Opel Insignia still makes a great choice of big car.

opel insignia irish review
The new 2.0-litre diesel majors on power and refinement

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