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The Insignia gains a new weapon in its fight to attract fleets.
Alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation with 7in touchscreen and multimedia, cruise control with speed limiter, LED front and rear lights, electric windows and mirrors, 3.5in driver information display, leather-covered steering wheel, automatic headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition.
200hp 2.0, 230hp 2.0
122hp 1.5, 174hp 2.0
SE Nav, SRi Nav, SRi VX Line Nav, Ultimate Nav, GSi
The Vauxhall Insignia is the final iteration of a General Motors product in the brand's line-up following its integration into PSA (now Stellantis).
The Astra is still a GM developed car, but it will be replaced within 12 months. The Mokka, Crossland and Grandland X are already using platforms shared with Peugeot and Citroën.
The Corsa, although conceived when Vauxhall and Opel were still owned by GM, was hurriedly transferred to the same architecture as the Peugeot 208 when the brands looked like they would end up with French owners.
Although Vauxhall and Opel have been more profitable in the past few years than when they were under US ownership, some of the products have been stellar throughout.
The Insignia is one of them, and as we encounter the latest model at its mid-life facelift, we think it could very well be a class leader. The model has always been a winner since the original Insignia was introduced in 2009. Not always top of the class, but sometimes, and often with compelling choices when compared with rivals.
The current generation, launched in 2016, is now updated for the 2021 model year. It has a slimmed down range, with no estate model, but also sees the addition of Vauxhall's 1.5-litre engine. This three-cylinder motor made its debut in the updated Astra in 2019, is offered in the new Corsa and is especially fuel efficient.
Although it's smaller capacity than used in some rivals' cars in this class - the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat used a detuned version of the 2.0 TDI diesel to achieve 122hp, while the Peugeot 508 has a four-cylinder - it meets expectations for an entry-level diesel.
In the Insignia, it has class-leading low CO2 emissions and is helped by the fact that Vauxhall offers a manual transmission as standard where Peugeot, Skoda, and Volkswagen rivals only offer automatic.
The lower CO2 emissions also reflect a slightly better figure for fuel consumption on the official test cycle - as high as 61.4mpg.
Other changes to the refreshed engine line-up include a 174hp 2.0-litre diesel and a couple of 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines, with outputs of 200hp and, in the range-topping GSi, 230hp plus all-wheel drive. The petrol engines also have a new nine-speed automatic transmission option with an eight-speed auto available on the diesels.
Sadly this platform was not conceived with plug-in hybrids in mind, so it will continue with petrol and diesel for the remainder of its life cycle, while Peugeot, Skoda and Volkswagen offer PHEV options.
Other changes to the car have been subtle, with a cleaner look around the headlamps and grille, as well as a refreshed interior.
We spent time in the new 1.5 diesel, which will be the model most heavily targeting fleet users, and found it surprisingly refined, with more than adequate responsiveness in what is a fairly large car.
The Insignia remains the comfortable motorway mile-muncher it always has been, even with this smaller engine, but also has an engaging feel on country roads.
We will be keen to try the other examples in due course, but our reckoning on the basis of the 1.5-litre is that the Insignia could once again be a class leader.