Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Vauxhall Insignia Bi-turbo: Test Drive Review
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Vauxhall Insignia Bi-turbo: Test Drive Review

Date: 08 June 2012   |   Author:

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £27,920
Key rival: Ford Mondeo

Vauxhall has launched its most powerful diesel ever, yet its efficiency figures are as impressive as the performance ones.

The 195hp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine is known as the BiTurbo thanks to the use of sequential turbocharging, with a smaller turbo operating at the lower end of the rev range, while a second one joins in at mid-range and takes on all the work at the higher end.

For the front-wheel drive hatchback that means a 129g/km CO2 figure and official fuel consumption of 57.6mpg, 2.2mpg below the regular 160hp 2.0 diesel despite a 0-62mph acceleration time that's almost 0.7secs better to 8.2secs.

The new BiTurbo engine is available in SRi, SRi VX-Line and Elite trims, and in both hatch and sport tourer estate body styles, manual and automatic transmission and with both front- and four-wheel drive. The various elements all increase the emissions over the manual two-wheel drive hatchback, which is the only version that creeps under the future 130g/km capital allowance boundary.

The performance is never explosive, but makes the Insignia feel like a big, powerful cruiser of a car, and you can feel the change in which turbos are working, especially when the larger one kicks in properly at around 3500 revs.

Compared with the 160hp diesel Insignia, the Bi-turbo is £2755 more expensive, and while it's more economical and efficient, it's still 4.6p per mile more to run.

Of course, the old problems with the Insignia interior remain, including an infotainment system that's far from intuitive and an L-shaped armrest that feels like it hasn't been converted from left-hand drive, leaving the driver jamming their elbow into the hard plastic around it.

The Insignia's residual values also hamper the business case for an otherwise impressive engine, with KwikCarcost predicting that the car will retain just 23.5% of its value after three years and 60,000 miles, which gives it too much to do on the cost per mile front. That's a shame as the engine is an enjoyable addition that impresses for both performance and economy, although mainly in the basic five-door front-wheel drive manual guise.

Vauxhall Insignia Bi-turbo
P11D price£27,920
Fuel consumption57.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 129g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month£88/£177
Insurance (1-50)group 24
Boot space min/max530/1470 litres
Engine size/power1956cc/195hp
Top speed/0-62mph143mph/secs
On sale April 2012
VerdictNew engine is impressive
for power and efficiency,
but not cheap
Score 8/10


New engine is impressive for power and efficiency, but not cheap