Skip advert
Advertisement

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0i Turbo SRi 4x4 review

Is the four-wheel-drive 2.0 turbo Insignia SRi a better performance Vauxhall saloon than the VXR?

Evo rating
Price
from £26,345
  • Refined, comfortable, well-handling sports saloon
  • Excitement-free; a Mondeo's better

What is it?

Of the bewildering 81 models available, and given the extra-hot VXR’s £30K+ price-tag, possibly the optimum affordable driver’s Insignia. It costs £26,345.Technical highlights

The ingredients look promising - firmer and lowered UK-only chassis set-up plus four-wheel drive, lusty and flexible four-cylinder 2-litre turbocharged engine with 217bhp and 258lb ft of torque, 6-speed manual ‘box, heaps of standard kit, fine build and imposing yet subtle good looks. And it’s not that much slower than the 2.8-litre V6 VXR (150mph and 7.4sec 0-62mph vs 155mph and 6.7sec) but much less thirsty with a combined consumption of 30.7mpg (24.7mpg for the VXR).

Advertisement - Article continues below

What’s it like to drive?

A frustratingly mixed bag. The Insignia has some endearing qualities. The fine driving position, seats and instruments are a good start and the way the suspension quietly smoothes away the disturbances of weather-scarred urban tarmac is impressive given the firmer set-up. Damping and body control at speed are pretty good, too, while grip and traction clearly benefit from the all-wheel drive.

But the gearchange is a notchy, long-winded affair, the steering feels a bit sleepy and numb and the engine’s potent-looking outputs are blunted by the long gearing. In short, there’s nothing much wrong with the way the SRi covers the ground, but there’s little joy to be had in extracting all its pace. It feels far more at home hoovering up motorway miles, which it does effortlessly and with remarkable refinement and comfort.

How does it compare?

The areas in which the Insignia is found wanting are those the identically-powerful Ford Mondeo 2.5T Titanium Sport excels at. The Ford isn’t quite as refined or comfortable, but it’s the car you’d rather point down an enjoyable road.Anything else I need to know?

Although the Insignia’s cabin appears to ooze quality in a way the Mondeo’s doesn’t, look more closely and you’ll see some pretty basic plastics in service. Audi has little to worry about.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1998cc, turbocharged
Max power217bhp @ 5300rpm
Max torque258lb ft @ 2000rpm
0-607.4sec
Top speed149mph
On saleNow, £26,345
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New EU tyre rules could save motorists £6 billion in new tyres
Tyres
News

New EU tyre rules could save motorists £6 billion in new tyres

400 million tyres per year are replaced before reaching the legal limit for tread depth, but new EU regulations will make tyres safer right down to 1.…
17 Jul 2024
Theon Design GBR003 2024 review – a Porsche 911 Targa with GT3 performance
Theon Design GBR003
Reviews

Theon Design GBR003 2024 review – a Porsche 911 Targa with GT3 performance

For its third UK commission, the Oxfordshire-based Porsche restorer and enhancer has turned its attention to a Targa, and the result is out of this wo…
19 Jul 2024
Alpine A290 prototype review – first taste of new electric hot hatch
Alpine A290 prototype
Reviews

Alpine A290 prototype review – first taste of new electric hot hatch

Alpine’s all-electric future starts here, with the A290 hot hatch. We test a prototype in the frozen north
19 Jul 2024