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Car Leasing Review: The Vauxhall Insignia
posted on Nov 24 2009 by Kyle McWilton
For the last two weeks, I've been lucky enough to drive a Vauxhall Insignia. I say lucky because I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As it happens, we have some amazing car leasing deals on Insignias right now, so if once you've read this review, you want to drive one, you can -- very affordably so. The model I've been driving is the Insignia 2.0TDi Eco-flex Exclusive Nav 5 door hatchback. It came with some optional extras like bluetooth, metallic paint and a very clever front camera, which I'll explain later.
Let's start with the looks. This is a brand new car. Not an update. So the design is unique. The car is deceptively big. It sits low on the road and looks much more compact than it actually is. The front is smooth with a sweeping front grill, angled running lights and a humped bonnet. The sides of the car sweep backwards, with contoured lines flowing back from the front wheel arches. In summary, it looks like an executive cruiser should: sleek, elegant and powerful.
The magic happens when you open the reassuringly solid door. A soft illumination welcomes you on the darker evenings but what hits you next is how much luxury this car oozes with. The electrically adjustable drivers seat gives a surprisingly full view of the road and the informative control panel feels like it envelopes you as it curves round in front of you. Here are some of the features it packs in: - Adjustable steering wheel with controls - A very useful driver information display, showing speed limits, mpg and even a suggestion as to when you want to change gear. - heated leather front seats - dual climate control - traction control - cruise control
But what really impressed me was the car's intelligence; Auto-activating windscreen wipers and lights. The car can tell when rain hits the window and adjusts the speed automically to keep your vision as clear as possible. The car can also determine the light levels and will turn on your lights to a suitable brightness and level.
Remember that camera I mentioned. It comes as an optional extra. And it is one I would recommend to all company car users, especially those that do a great deal of motorway driving. The front camera gives you lane assistance. It can 'see' the road's markings and will alert you when you are drifting out of a lane. The system doesn't warn you of a lane change when you are using the appropriate indicator so you don't need to worry about getting a warning every time you overtake. This safety system doesn't replace the merits of driving whilst alert and concentrating, but it does give that extra level of support. The back seats are spacious as is the boot-space.
The boot is much larger than you'd imagine from looking at the outside. The designers must have taken inspiration from The Tardis! So all in all, the look on the outside and the feel of the insight get the thumbs up. How does it drive Very nicely. Once you turn the key, the diesel engine starts efficiently and quietly. The car's dials all come to life and make a couple of full rotations before settling at their idle levels. The ingnition process makes you feel like you're sitting at the wheel of a really well crafted car. And you are. First gear is very responsive and the 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine pulls away from a stand still very powerfully. And if you still have the electric handbrake engaged, it will dis-engage it as you pull away, very handy for hill-starts.
Second and third gear are where you'll spend most of your city driving and once you're through the slightest bit of turbo-lag, the car has no trouble accelerating to you to your chosen speed, comfortably. When you're cruising the motorways, fifth and sixth gears let you maximise your fuel efficiency. Driving at night is aided with directional headlights. You notice as you drive round corners and through bends that the car points the headlights where you are heading. So turn right and the lights point slightly to the right, helping you see further.
This car sounds perfect, right It almost is. I say almost because I had a small problem with parking it. As a driver of small hatchbacks for over ten years, the jump to a car of this size made parking challenging. Don't get me wrong, there are front and back sensors and the mirrors are large enough to see but I just found it difficult getting into spaces where my, normally, smaller cars would have flown in. I think the problem is the car's visibility is too good. Looking out the windscreen, all you can see is road.
When driving this is perfect. However, when parking, I think I'd like some visual clues as to where my car is in relation to its surroundings. But if you're experienced with driving a mid-sized car, I'm sure you'll have no troubles and will wonder what my (ever-so-slight) problem was. With the slight gripe aside, I can only praise this car.
In summary: - Very well equipped. - Lots of room. - A solid ride, with good visibility. - A modern, unique car with interesting design touches. And the best bit is the current price to lease this car. There are some outstandingly affordable car leasing deals around. None more so than the ones you'll find here. At the moment, you can lease a brand new Vauxhall Insignia CDTi SRi from 269 a month. Believe me, that's a lot of car for the money. A great deal.