Vauxhall Insignia SRI

Somewhere amongst the gloom and doom of strife-torn global markets big car manufacturers are trying to make a living.

So while at first glance there has never been a worse time to launch a key model, when it comes to survival and success, there has never been a better one either.

Succeed now when times are hard and just think how you will do when the economy turns a corner.

No pressure Vauxhall, but the new Insignia has to be good. There’s an awful lot riding on it.

Old Vectra was a reliable workhorse, born of its day and relatively successful. But it was more mule than thoroughbred, more clock up the miles during the week and slinging it down the car wash at the weekend.

Insignia needs all of that and a whole lot more. It needs to be appealing; it needs to be coveted; it needs to be handwashed on the drive every Sunday morning with love and pride.

So GM has gone to extraordinary lengths to make this medium sized saloon special - and one glance at the bodywork tells you it is.

Vauxhall left it to a little man from Luton to come up with an eye-catcher and he and his team have done well.

They call it "sculptured artistry with technological precision". The rest of us are likely to say ooh, nice looking motor.

Firstly the proportions are perfect; so the overhangs are short, the wheels large, the bonnet long and sexy. The nose is bold, the sides set off by a deep sculpted feature called a blade.

The lights are attractive front and rear and when they are on form pretty patterns; the rear set have been given a fin to improve already class leading aerodynamics.

The Insignia hasn't been forged on the heavy metal factory floor, it has been designed with love and passion and in a hi-tech minimalist studio. Even the famous badge has gone trendy with a new 21st century look, the name Vauxhall engraved around the edges.

Inside it's the same. The cockpit is lovely. The dash has form and shape. It's a delight on the eye. It feels upmarket thanks to carefully chosen materials and the way the dash flows seamlessly into the doors while the instruments seem to float on a pool of light.

All this would be gloss and fluff if the Insignia didn't have the driving dynamics to back it. Thankfully it does and the first thing you notice is how solid it feels on the road.

There’s plenty of choice - saloon, hatchback and eventually an estate - but they all share the same verve for life whether powered by any of the four petrol and three diesel motors.

The SRI packs the 2.0 litre turbo that lies inside the VXR high performance range. By any standards it is fit and agile. In fact the power rushes in so quickly it can run away with you - even when running in "tour" mode. Press the sport button on the dash and the performance is startling - and so is the fuel consumption that drops to about 25 miles per gallon.

SRI also comes with tarmac sucking four wheel drive and it needs it to keep the performance in check. Insignia feels planted anyway, with 4x4 handling and road holding are pretty much peerless.

Insignia will have been on the drawing board long before the credit crunch had even been thought of proving that somewhere out there there’s an automotive God looking after GM’s fortunes.

But it wouldn’t do the struggling American parent company any harm to glance across the Pond to see how in Europe manufacturers can still make a worthy and popular car.

Car facts

Model: Vauxhall Insignia SRI

Engine: 2.0 litre turbo

Drivetrain: six speed manual

Power: 220hp

Top speed: 149mph

0-62mph: 7.3secs

Insurance group: 14

Miles per gallon (combined): 30.7

CO2 (g/km): 229

Price: £22,460.00

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.


ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference