86: Opel Insignia – a grand saloon but slightly outclassed by rivals

Top cars for 2019: Makes a good first impression - low, sleek, roomy and handsome

The GSI version gets a heavily tweaked chassis and more powerful engines, which uncorks the Insignia’s full potential

The GSI version gets a heavily tweaked chassis and more powerful engines, which uncorks the Insignia’s full potential

 

Opel’s big four door swept in last year on a wave of publicity and an aggrandising name change. No longer merely an Insignia, this was now an Insignia Grand Sport, while the estate would be dubbed Insignia Grand Tourer.

The problem is, Grand just about sums it up, as a car. As in ‘it’s grand.’ But nothing more. The Insignia, which is the last car to be engineered by Opel under General Motors ownership, before the takeover by Peugeot-Citroen, makes a good first impression - low, sleek, roomy, handsome.

The old Insignia, for all its faults, was pretty good to drive, but this new one just feels less engaging. The interior is left well behind by the likes of the Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb when it comes to quality, too. The exception is the GSI version, which gets a heavily tweaked chassis and more powerful engines and which uncorks the Insignia’s full potential.

Best model: Insignia Grand Sport 2.0 (210PS) BiTurbo D 4X4 for €53,600

Price range: €30,295 to €53,600. Finance from €404 per month.

Co2 emissions: 116 to 197g/km

Sum up: You have to spend big to get the best one.