Vauxhall Insignia Exclusiv Nav 2.0 CDTI Ecoflex
Sector Upper-medium Price £22,190 Fuel 64.2mpg CO2 116g/km
Against the rising tide of downsized engines and niche-busting MPV and crossover models joining the corporate mainstream recently, Vauxhall’s latest revisions to the traditional D-segment Insignia sound almost unrevolutionary. Instead of a tiny oil burner, a very conventional 2.0-litre diesel with an equally unremarkable-sounding 128bhp resides under the bonnet of the 2012 model.
But there’s virtually nothing here to fault. The Insignia remains, even after almost four years on sale, a very strong fleet proposition thanks to Germanic build quality, stable high-speed cruising ability and styling that’s a couple of generations forward from the dour last-generation Vectra.
The recent tweaks are limited to under-body aerodynamic revisions, a start/stop system and low rolling resistance tyres, which are enough to make it a very competitive all-rounder once again. That 2.0-litre engine is almost as efficient as its closest rival, the 115g/km 1.6-litre diesel Mondeo Econetic, but with a power difference large enough to make corporate drivers sit up and notice.
In the Ford, there’s a feeling of bluntness at low revs that curbs the enjoyment from what is ultimately a slightly better driver’s car. By comparison, the Insignia rarely feels laboured. It lags slightly at just over idle speeds, but the turbo quickly brings the engine to life and its high -speed refinement and responsiveness are impressive too. Apart from the ”eco” button on the dashboard, drivers need never notice that this is a green model.
Add in longer 20,000-mile service intervals and Vauxhall’s 100,000-mile warranty, both desirable qualities for a high-mileage fleet car, and the £1,500 price increase against the Ford starts to look less important. It’s a shame Vauxhall didn’t push just a little harder to bring it under 115g/km, as the resulting drop in Benefit in Kind banding would have made this a no-brainer.