Insignia makes a statement

The Opel Grand Insignia Sport.
The Opel Grand Insignia Sport.

Cars like the Opel Insignia are feeling the squeeze with the market explosion of family SUVs coupled with the desire of buyers for more premium brands. These have added to the downward pressure on sales of D Segment cars across all brands; and, while Opel’s Insignia has a loyal following, the trick for the German brand is to hold onto market share for its new Insignia Grand Sport in this ever-decreasing sector.

Don’t let the Grand Sport name divert you from the fact that this is a regular family saloon. Under the name, it is a replacement for the original Insignia and makes a new statement in terms of its slender looks, lower stance and plush interior. That low, sleek design gives the Insignia a drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.

In its original form, the Insignia has always been a firm favourite of the fleet market and many family motorists. This new one will add to that because of its comfort levels and it ability on the road, traits remain with some added flair.

You get the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems on board. The smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it now can also be charged wirelessly. You also get Opel’s 24/7 connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response, Destination Download to Stolen Vehicle Assistance.

On the road, the Insignia mixes super smoothness and engaging sharpness, two ingredients that are not always easy to match up. You always get the feeling that you are in control and the ride makes it feel more premium that some others in its class. My test car was fitted with big 20’ alloy wheels and low profile tyres that reminded you at times on poor surfaces that you might consider a smaller wheel and more rubber underneath.

Getting in and out of the Insignia was an issue with some drivers of the old model. The low roof could catch you out if you were a taller person than me, the new one with its even lower roof line will still be a problem. However, once inside, the ambience in the cabin is top notch. The new seating setup is a highlight that grows on you and improves the longer that you are in it. Space is better than you get from the first impression and there is a huge boot too.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.