Insignia meets Mondeo

Get set for the ultimate new car clash of 2008! Auto Express is first to bring the brand new Vauxhall Insignia face-to-face with its arch rival… the Ford Mondeo.

The griffin’s parent firm, General Motors, has pulled out all the stops to beat the class leader. It’s consigned the Vectra’s dull looks to the history books, raised the bar on quality and, most importantly of all, dramatically improved the driving experience with a new chassis and clever 4×4 system. In fact, styling wise the newcomer is so radically different from its predecessor that the Vectra name has been dropped altogether.

Mark Adams, European design boss of GM, said of the Insignia: “There’s nothing of the Vectra, and that’s deliberate. We were not going to take baby steps in replacing the old model. We wanted this car to be distinctive and dynamic.”

The traditional V-bar grille has been ditched in favour of the new Vauxhall logo. Adaptive headlamps feature daytime running lights as standard, and the high-spec models even get LEDs. In another neat touch, the rear badge incorporates the boot-release button. It all adds up to a classy car which easily rivals the Mondeo in the style stakes.

In addition, the Insignia is the first car to use GM’s Epsilon2 platform, a radical new design that promises to improve practicality and handling. At 4.82m long, the newcomer is 21cm bigger than the Vectra, but still manages to look quite sporty, as it’s the same height and only 50mm wider. It’s longer than the Mondeo, though, and, despite the swooping roofline, there’s as much rear headroom as in the Vectra. Legroom is improved, thanks to the extended wheelbase.

As with its big Ford rival, saloon, hatchback and estate variants are all in the pipeline. “We don’t have a separate look for the saloon and hatchback – they’re virtually identical and even use the same rear doors,” Adams explained.

The sleek design follows hours of wind-tunnel testing, and Vauxhall claims this is the most aerodynamic model in its class. The shape will help boost fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions, but there’s also good news for enthusiasts, as the suspension has been tuned for UK roads, so bosses are confident it can challenge the excellent Mondeo on the road. Some models will even have a new Adaptive 4×4 system.

Five engines will be available at launch, all linked to manual or six-speed auto transmissions.

Power outputs for the three petrol units range from 138bhp to 256bhp, while diesel choices comprise a pair of new 2.0-litre direct-injection units tuned to 128bhp or 158bhp. Low CO2 EcoFLEX versions will also join the line-up. Although the Insignia previews the look of future Vauxhalls, there won’t be a series of identical designs in different sizes.

“There will be no more ‘Russian dolls’,” Adams confirmed. “Future models won’t necessarily have the same combination of features.”

However, some elements are set to become brand cues, such as the vertical ‘precision’ line on the centre of the tailgate and bumper, and the blade-style accent line that runs along the flanks. The Insignia will make its world debut at the British Motor Show in London in July, and arrive in UK showrooms in October.


Text: Ross Pinnock / Photos: Radovan
23rd April 2008


2 Yorum

  1. Hi, this is Paul Keely from Auto Express (email paul_keely at I thought I’d let you know that the material in this post quotes from an article that can be found at It would be great if, when posting a quote or article from Auto Express, you could link to us. We try very hard to produce great motoring content and if you think it’s good enough to quote from we’d certainly appreciate a mention.



  2. hi paul,

    there is a link below the post, I think you did not see it. We will also link to you for other posts of any articles from auto express. thanks for informing us.

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