Essai Opel Insignia 160D: Although in all respects.


Presented with great fanfare in London a year ago, the Insignia was assigned the onerous task of succeeding the Vectra, and enhance the image of the Opel family sedan segment. Try it seems that perform brilliantly, having already won the coveted Car of the Year 2009. We therefore wanted us to do our own opinion on that, it seems, diverts customers (both private and corporate fleets) coats of arms prestigious as BMW or Audi.

It must be said that Insignia can rely on a strong argument to seduce her style, dynamic and classy at once. Exit therefore the angular lines of the Vectra replaced with pretty curves, with taut lines and profile boosted by a roofline tapering backwards.

In making its revolution Insignia, Opel has a clean slate at the point of deleting the alias Vectra shelves. It must be said that if the first two generations had sold quite well, so as to exceed the regular Volkswagen Passat on the whole European market, the third generation was never convincing, even families buying Opel habit. But his style (especially four-door version) had anything enticing, its completion had passed and obtained the approval was rather bland.


But in addition to the thorough overhaul of its model in the family segment, Opel was mainly there to rebuild a new identity. The communications department then put the dishes in the main to keep the excitement around its new model, either through workshops, teaser, false spyshots, etc. …

The grand finale was the presentation of self, down from his flying saucer crashed on to Potter Fields in the heart of London show grand, enormous technical resources, concert quartet Bond … Opel had left nothing to chance for the presentation of self before an audience of journalists and guests conquered. And this seems to have paid as now, the Insignia truste hit the charts better sales in Europe, and even businesses looking for an office for their car fleets are not mistaken.

Moreover, several of my friends and acquaintances watched the car in a rather stunned, astonished that such a car can be stamped with the blitz. It must be said that the car an aura natural to us that Opel had more long accustomed. The hatchback offers the same false airs of “cut and four-door, very in tune with the times.


Because of course, as the Vectra, the Insignia is one of the few sedans to be offered in four and five-door (with the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6), and of course to break. As the Vectra also a muscular version OPC (Opel Performance Center) will boost the range in the coming weeks.

Another workhorse of the Insignia is its technological content. Opel willed, and has made hi-tech. Thus, we find an armada of driving aids, content technology for comfort but also the famous lighting AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) instantly adjusts to driving conditions.

On board, too, the Insignia makes a clean sweep of the past and move upmarket is clearly discernible. The atmosphere is plush and warm now, the materials, good workmanship, and equipment, ultra-complete. And if in addition the design is neat …

Climbing aboard the Insignia, it was a little like ending up in an aircraft cockpit. The design of the dashboard in effect between the front seats into two separate cavities and the center console is studded with knobs and buttons of all kinds, which must be added the commands scattered on the wheel and commodos. Not easy to find.

It must be said that engineers have preferred to install a multimedia system in the style of BMW’s iDrive, which can be operated from two dials: one on the center console, and the transmission tunnel. The problem is that, as both perform the same functions, one of the two would suffice, which would have freed some space and thus aerate somewhat console.

Fortunately, the grip is proving very intuitive.
Of course, in trying to compete with premium German sedan, Opel also aped the endless lists of options. In our trial version of “sport” midrange, Opel had seen fit to add a host of options strengthening the technological aspect of the car. And if some options are quite justified, others are part of the pettiness that we have used Audi and consort. Thus, the Insignia is paying her alarm, her parking sensors, the driver’s seat or electronic, the electronic parking brake (what’s this?). A bit stingy on a car already charged, excluding options, 29,600 euros including VAT (28,900 euros including VAT for Insignia Cosmo in France, to equipment more or less equivalent).

For the rest, we still entitled to the inner perforated black leather, with the AFL (which is an option, of course), Paint Metallic Gray Technical and Sight & Light Pack (rain sensor, rearview mirror anti-glare)
Who says sports version, said bucket seats (or semi-bucket at least). Those of the Insignia offers a secure fit in all circumstances and show, in addition, very comfortable. At the rear passengers are a little less spoiled since they have their ease at the elbows and legs, larger (more 1m80) will head down if they want to avoid rubbing the ceiling. The ¾ rear visibility is not optimal, due to heavy amounts C.

The trunk is very large and easily accessible thanks to its wide opening tailgate (a rear trunk is also available). On a capacity of 520 liters, it only makes 20 gallons a Sports Tourer estate version, but has 20 more than the sedan to “safe”.
One last tip: the remote is equipped (as often now) a button to do that unlock the tailgate. Avoid using it and drop your keys in the trunk when shopping store for as soon as you close it locks automatically! I say that’s so you do not spend two hours in the supermarket parking lot waiting Opel Assistance …
Having toured the owner, it remains only to check how the progress made by Opel in design, life on board and technology are reflected once behind the wheel. Then, turn the ignition key, and away!

The engine that equips our trial is the common-rail turbo diesel 160 horsepower, which represents the supply of diesel midrange of the Insignia. Other power levels are offered 110 hp, 130 or 190 horses.

But with 350nm of torque, the CDTI of 160 horses showed well enough to take the good 1500 pounds of car, although, in truth, the engine behaves more like a good 140 horsepower, because it does not feel all the power expected.
In family sedan cut for the road, the Insignia appears naturally sovereign. comfort is royal, and road imperfections, though swallowed by the controlled suspensions.

Because, like most of its competitors, Opel Insignia with its three distinct settings in behavior: a “sport” mode, which firms up suspension, steering and accelerator response, a way “around” who, otherwise, grows longer the ride Sunday, and of course it is possible to disable these modes and go “automatic”, which is the best compromise in daily use.

Once in the winding roads, the Insignia still astonishes. Its chassis is safe and effective, and can put the bends and hairpins with an ease which we were not used at Opel … especially with the “sport” mode active. The management even more consistent and the suspension firmed run perfectly when body movements and provide superior accuracy when part of the curve. No worries either the reacceleration, where the pair of 350nm happening on the ground without any worries (on dry pavement, at least).
Soundproofing was also very careful, and at best can-t be blamed an engine a bit noisy when cold starts. One detail that fade quickly after a few kilometers.

At night, the AFL system (Adaptive Forward Lighting) works wonders. Developed jointly with the supplier Hella, it is an adaptive lighting system with nine positions: urban lighting (wide beam and low range), pedestrian (lighting reinforced shoulders less than 30km / h) , country road (ditto, but between 50 and 100km / h), highway (beam more powerful and slightly enhanced over 100km / h), weather (increased power to illuminate the right shoulder and falls to the left to avoid the ‘glare), assistant beam (low beam / automatic route), beam directional lighting static intersections and dynamic cornering lights. And we must recognize that in practice the system is entirely satisfactory. A real plus for safety when driving at night because the road and its surroundings are constantly illuminated optimally.

The Insignia is a real success. Comfortable, technology, properly equipped (with a list of options consistent), well finished and good to drive and live. The Insignia has nothing to envy to its competitors, whether they are any Premium! A title of Car of the Year so richly deserved, for this family sedan that marks the return to business Opel a beautiful way.


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