A fast family touring car, with a new 2-litre BiTurbo diesel engine — a car that will be enjoyed by the relative handful of Insignia drivers who shell out the necessary extra cash, starting at £32,975.
Tom Scanlan enjoys the 2018 New Vauxhall Insignia GSi BiTurbo at the UK launch
The GSi is not to be confused with the more hardcore VXR, being a master of the road, rather than track, conditions. Well, that’s what the claim is.
The GSi comes in Sports Hatch and Sports Tourer form.
Vauxhall, or Opel in Germany, have done a lot of engineering to create the latest edition of the Insignia. From the outside, it sits lower by twenty millimetres and is on 20-inch wheels shod with special Michelin tyres. Newly-styled bumpers and chrome air-intakes are further distinguishing features.
The new-generation Flexride chassis offers continuous damping control and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive. Vauxhall has also taken in its own seat-design, previously by Recaro, and developed it to include both heating and ventilation yet increasing weight by only two kilograms to twenty-eight. Overall, the car is 160 kilos lighter than the VRX. Performance, therefore is impressive, thanks to this and the 480 Nm of torque and 210 PS from the engine. There is also the 260 PS petrol engine, not available to try, but Vauxhall expects that the vast majority of cars sold will be diesel.
The GSi proved to be a really nice car to drive. The seventy-mile test route was mainly over open, rural roads on which it was utterly at home. The zero-to-62 mph figure of 7.4 seconds is impressive enough, but, as with all diesel power, it’s the rather more important mid-range that really counts. A gentle push on the accelerator pedal surges the car forward for safe overtaking and (I confess) for sheer fun. The claimed maximum speed, not tested on the test route of course, is 144 mph.
The 4-cylinder Brembo brakes were tested in a simulated emergency and gave a mighty powerful and safe stop with little fuss and no embarrassing noises.
Power is transmitted through an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox. The changes were super-quick and each acceleration produced a pleasantly-satisfying, not-too-loud exhaust note. There is a choice of touring and sport modes for extra revs between changes.
The whole experience was impressive and proof on first impressions that the overall job is an excellent one.
The official combined consumption figure is 39.8 mpg; on the test run the trip computer showed 32.9 mpg, with the car driven not particularly hard but given its head when conditions allowed.
The handling was secure and the seats hug driver and passenger in firmly, especially when you take twisty roads at speed.
There is a very full list of standard features. For extra comfort, even the outer rear seats have heating, as does the steering wheel. Vauxhall’s Onstar support and rescue system is, of course, included, along with a full range of connectivity features, plus a head-up display that has a range of six types of information that can be selected via a switch on the lower dashboard.
The information and satnav colour screen is a generous 8-inches.
The test car was the Sports Tourer and priced at £34,475. My personal view is that this is one of the very best-looking estate cars on the road.
Vauxhall is proud of the fact that it is the oldest British brand, founded in 1903. Its catch-phrase reflects that and also, now, it adds in ‘Performance through dynamics’. Is this a challenge to Audi’s Vorsprung Durch Technic’? If so, then it is certainly a convincing one.
Car reviewed: New Vauxhall Insigia GSi 2.0 (210PS) BiTurbo D 4X4 auto Blue Injection S/S - Base Price On the road £32975 0-62mph 7.3 secs Top speed 145mph Fuel Economy combined 40.4mpg CO2 emissions 186g/km Engine 1956cc 4-cylinder DOHC EU6 Max Power 210PS@4000rpm Torque 480Nm@1500rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic
Great looking estate
Very good overall spec
Impressive power and torque
None to think of
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