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



News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - CIPD - Buxton

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - CIPD - Buxton A highly...

    Ampersand Consulting LLP: Server Engineer/ Systems Engineer (Windows Server, Networking)

    £23000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Server Enginee...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Head of Regional Sales - Financial Software - £130,000 OTE

    Negotiable: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly expanding, global Software/ SaaS Vendor ...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Contact Centre Sales - £100,000 OTE

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: h2 Recruit Ltd: After a highly successful 2014, a m...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?