2013 Vauxhall Insignia revealed
The new Insignia gets four new engines, improved efficiency (including a 99g/km option) and, perhaps most importantly, a major price cut. The new range starts at £16,279, around £2000 less than the current entry-level model. Vauxhall claims the price reductions make the Insignia a more appealing choice for company car choosers because of the reduced tax bills.
Read more about the new Vauxhall Insignia company car prices.
Versions with CO2 emissions of 99g/km are powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine available in three states of tune – 118bhp, 138bhp and 161bhp. All but the most powerful unit emit 99g/km of CO2, and have a Government average economy of 76.3mpg. That's enough to dip these models into the 14% Benefit in Kind tax band for the 2013/2014 tax year. The 161bhp version delivers 65.7mpg, and emits 114g/km of CO2.
There are two new turbocharged petrol engines, both called SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection). The 1.6-litre SIDI motor has 168bhp, while the 2.0-litre version has 247bhp; both engines come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, although a new six-speed automatic gearbox is available as an option. The 2.0-litre SIDI petrol can also be ordered with four-wheel drive.
Beyond the engines, the Insignia gets mild styling tweaks, including a redesigned front grille, different headlights, and a new tailgate with the chrome strip positioned lower down. The chassis, meanwhile, gets revised shock absorber and anti-roll bar settings in a bid to improve ride quality and body control. Vauxhall claims improved NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) levels across the range, for better refinement.
The biggest changes come in the cabin, where the current Insignia's much-criticised, button-heavy fascia has been replaced by a cleaner, simpler design. All models get a 4.2-inch colour screen in the centre console, with a simple controller, while the only other switches in that area control air-conditioning and heating.
There's also an optional 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system (seen in these initial release images) that can offer sat-nav and smartphone connectivity – and use your phone's data contract to access additional applications.
Regardless of trim, the standard equipment list includes Bluetooth, climate control, cruise control, digital radio, USB/aux-in connections, six airbags, automatic lights, electric front windows and side mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and electric four-way lumbar adjustment on the driver's seat.
Vauxhall has already confirmed prices for the car; these figures are effective immediately, although first deliveries of the new-spec models don't start until October. The entry-level Design trim will cost from £16,279 for the 138bhp 1.8-litre petrol edition – although with CO2 emissions of 164g/km, its running costs are likely to make it a fringe model.
The cheapest Insignia to feature the new 99g/km 2.0-litre diesel will also be Design, at £18,749, while the fastest diesel, the 192bhp twin-turbo model, starts at £24,619. These prices apply to both the hatchback and saloon versions.
The Sports Tourer estate model starts at £18,629 for the 138bhp petrol turbo, and the cleanest diesel options (again the 118bhp and 138bhp versions, but at 104g/km of CO2) start at £20,049 (118bhp) and £20,229 (138bhp).
Vauxhall says it has 'simplified' the line-up, although there are still eight trims, with varying levels of equipment and apparent price differences depending on whether they're designed for private or fleet buyers. In general, fleet-focused versions (in particular, Tech Line, which comes as a hatchback or estate only) will offer better value for money and more kit on paper – but they're unlikely to be available to private buyers with much of a discount, or with keenly priced finance offers.
By John McIlroy