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By Anthony ffrench-Constant
30 October 2008 11:17
Well, power is provided by a turbocharged V6 pilfered from Saab’s 9-3, developing 257bhp and 258lb ft of torque, swelling to 280lb ft on overboost. A six-speed automatic box is fitted as standard, with no manual option coming to the UK. Four-wheel drive is also standard, once again courtesy of Saab, in the form of an adaptive system which combines a Haldex clutch with a 'torque vectoring' differential to divert torque both fore and aft, and side to side.
Then there’s FlexRide, a 'mechatronic'’ chassis control system with Standard, Tour and Sport settings, an electronic limited slip differential, adaptive headlamps offering no less than nine different beam characteristics, and a camera which can read speed limit signs and operate a lane departure system.
The powerplant is something of a gem. It’s as smooth as the left buttock of an Hawaiian tropic gurl at a Le Mans pit-lane walkabout and delivers plenty of oomph with a 7.1 second 0-62mph time and a top speed limited to 155mph. Indeed, the only disappointment is that it isn’t quite as vocal as you’d like when pressed.
FlexRide is much like any other adaptive chassis control system. In other words, you’ll find yourself endlessly prodding the button to try and assess the relatively small differences in dynamic qualities each setting offers, before realizing that the Standard setting is constantly adjusting parameters on your behalf anyway, thus obviating any need for a three-setting system in the first place. Unless, that is, you’re especially thrilled to see the instrument binnacle back-lighting change from white to red when you stab the Sport option.
Those fancy headlamps are certainly effective too. But, as previously mentioned in the context of over 80% of all accidents being caused by poor visibility, I wish someone would put this much effort in to redesigning the windscreen wiper.
And as for the camera which reads speed limit signs… A carefully constructed test demonstrated that the thing works very well. But so do my eyes, which somehow managed to pick up every sign a good hundred yards before the nanny lens.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Vauxhall Insignia first drive
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Vauxhall Insignia 2.8 V6 4x4 (2008) CAR review
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RE: Vauxhall Insignia 2.8 V6 4x4 (2008) CAR review
About two of these will every be sold - and thats vauxhalls record for its 2.8 V6
26 April 2009 08:32
"It’s as smooth as the left buttock of an Hawaiian tropic gurl at a Le Mans pit-lane walkabout" Do you mean "a Hawaiian Tropic girl", Anthony?
"the only disappointment is that it isn’t quite as vocal as you’d like when pressed." That's why this Insignia is called 2.8 V6 instead of OPC/VXR, I guess.
supercarrambler, I like the Insignia's rear end (saloon and hatch only), but all mainstream D-segment cars must offer plenty of rear room. People who buy cramped cars of this size would take the XF or CLS instead of an Opel/Vauxhall.
31 October 2008 14:27
Hurrah. The best car reviewer on the team once again raises both spirits and mirth. He is a gem worth polishing, but I suspect that Mr f-C is too busy doing that himself. Excellent. Made my day.
31 October 2008 04:53
Good looking inside & out. 20K is about the most you would sensibly want to spend on one. I've always been a Ford man. My dad and uncles worked at Dagenham. Nuff said. However this is the first time I'd choose a Vauxhall (spit!) over a Ford. I'm just not taken by the new Mondeo, so given a choice the Insignia gets my cash. Now I'm going for a lie down...
30 October 2008 21:16
The Insignia has a pleasing sideprofile and I like the line of the 'C' and rear haunch, grill looks a bit Mazda 6ish (Am I getting repengitist). I'll be surprised if they shift many top end models at £28k and this is where Saab should roll in and take up the prestige mantle rather than be the underfunded B'stard son. You're right Bimmer, although I don't like the Vauxhall badge (I do mean the badge design and name) they should be given the keys to Detroit Rock City.
30 October 2008 20:37
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