2014 Vauxhall Insignia Review [Video]
The 2014 Vauxhall Insignia originally started life with a bang when it was first released in 2008. Replacing the ailing Vectra, it won Car of the Year in 2009, with sales immediately rocketing. It was Vauxhall’s new poster boy, and, rather than competing with its nearest rival, the popular Ford Mondeo, it usurped it as the market leader. Renault and Citroen were flagging in the medium-range sector, whatever could go wrong?
Doubts soon crept in as it became apparent that not all was quite right with the vehicle that could seemingly do little wrong. Consumers were beginning to complain that the interior was stuffed needlessly with complicated buttons; the suspension was zoned in on, with many saying it focused too much on the firm side. Worse still, it was behind rivals who had implemented high-tech gadgets. Now, with its relaunch, all these issues have been removed. The cabin looks much better, the suspension is more compliant and balanced, and an up-to-date set of gadgets has been installed. Even better, the pricing structure is more affordable. Let’s take a closer look.
Many might assume that the Ford Mondeo would be the market leader in the medium-range sector. It has a lot of things going for it – excellent handling, fantastic response, size and an enviable reputation. But, for some reason or another, it isn’t the leader. That title falls to the Insignia, the designers of which have recognised that the type of people who drive medium-range cars are not going to be spending all their time on open roads, thrashing them around. Instead, they are going to be using them to get effectively and comfortably from A to B – and the 2014 Vauxhall Insignia does just that.
60% of the chassis here is brand new, and has been fully road tested to endure Britain’s unwelcoming roads. The suspension is more fluid, and a steering calibration system helps greatly when swerving through corners. For a bit of versatility, there is the optional extra of the flex-ride adaptive damping system which gives you 3 driving modes to choose from:
Standard is a nice compromise between the two, with sport giving you a little kick, and the tour option helping to soften suspension.
The biggest other gripe on the previous model was that the diesel engine was simply too noisy. It’s been quietened dramatically here, and with the 2 litre 140 PS 2014 Vauxhall Insignia sri model, which most consumers opt for, you can reach 62mph in 10 seconds, whilst managing 70 miles to the gallon.
Despite the Vauxhall Insignia making early use of Vauxhall’s forward-thinking ‘new form’ philosophy, the car quickly came in for criticism. Aesthetically, there was little to bemoan; it was a stylish car that, according to the designers, merged ‘sculptural artistry with technical precision.’ But styles soon change, and what was once the fairest in the land doesn’t always remain so. Still, the visuals didn’t need a radical overhaul; a few changes have been made for this saloon here to keep things nicely up to date and relevant, including a slimmer logo bar, slicker headlights, as well as a high gloss chrome grill and a smarter bode roof. This is not to mention the flashy LED light clusters. The Vauxhall Insignia dimensions have also increased slightly, making for a wider look to the hatch saloon.
But consumers had few Vauxhall Insignia problems with the exterior on the previous model; the gremlins, say said, were to be found inside. Indeed, the first Insignia suffered from far too many buttons on the dash, with anyone possessing IQ levels under 230 being unable to solve the riddles that Vauxhall had strangely wrought upon them. For drivers who were looking to simply enhance their on the road experience, as opposed to piecing together a Su-Doku-esque puzzle, things needed to change.
And change they did. The button clutter has gone, to be replaced by a much tidier, cleaner and accessible dashboard. Bluetooth connection is simple, and with an optional touch screen, the 2014 Vauxhall Insignia is very much a fully-fledged 21st century car. Throw in a leather trimmed steering wheel, and the refinement levels go through the roof.
The typical consumer of a 2014 Vauxhall Insignia are business buyers who prefer the 2 litre diesel variant. Costs usually range in the £17,000 – £22,000 bracket, but Vauxhall Insignia deals can reach up to £33,000. Such extravagant spending on this particular model is fairly unnecessary, and such pricing rockets the 2014 Vauxhall Insignia into a sector dominated by the BMW 3 series. Instead, the Insignia is a large fish in the medium-sector range, where it continues to outstrip its nearest adversary, the Ford Mondeo.
Ford cut the cost of its Mondeo in recent years, with Vauxhall following suit, claiming to have taken £1,500 off an Insignia. It’s pretty impressive, and when you consider how competitive it has remained, and how great it now looks and performs, value for money is excellent. Stripped of its irritating button clutter, and with standard equipment including alloy wheels, auto head lamps, LED daytime running lights, and electronic climate control, you can really see why it’s a market leader. To put things in perspective, one of its nearest competitors, the Toyota Superb, is £2,000 more expensive. We know which we’d choose, and the 2014 Vauxhall Insignia range is more encompassing too.
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