sadly missing from some of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR's more ostentatious competitors
The Vauxhall Insignia VXR's Adaptive 4x4 system also features an electronic limited slip diff' as well as an upgraded version of Vauxhall's FlexRide system. Again, this latter is similar to the standard system but adapted to take account of the extra power. There are three main settings: Standard mode is for everyday driving with 'civilised' damping qualities. Sport, stiffens the damping and reduces body roll but pressing the VXR button produces a metaphoric, sharp intake of breath in that the steering becomes more direct and the damping even stiffer, while the throttle reaction becomes swifter still and the backlighting for the instrument dials turns red.
There is more. There are a further two aspects to the VXR button: 'bump' and 'roll'. The former means even more damper stiffening and at the same time makes sure that the wheels immediately make contact with the road after a bump. Roll reduces body roll further still, while Brembo brakes with advertised by colour-keyed callipers and vented, cross-drilled discs can stop the car in a very timely manner. In short, spirited driving is a rewarding and exhilarating experience but you wouldn't want to do it all day.
Another of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR's highlights is the use of so-called HiPerStrut, which is a truncated version of High Performance Strut. This suspension system is used at the front and is designed to reduce torque steer and improve grip during fast cornering.
It is clear that the Vauxhall Insignia VXR isn't for everyone and, if the insurance ratings of 18E and 36E using the 20 and 40 tables, and annual VED, which at the time of writing is £405, doesn't go some way to preventing this mean machine falling into inappropriate or inexperienced hands, then the fuel economy just might. The official figures of 17.0mpg for the urban cycle, just 33.6mpg for the extra-urban and 24.7mpg for the combined, are not quite horrendous but driven as nature and Vauxhall intended, these numbers will be out of reach.
There is no doubting the Vauxhall Insignia VXR's capabilities, which, when explored in the right place and in the right manner, are a massive amount of fun. And, as you would expect from Vauxhall the quality of fit and finish, both inside and out is very good, which is something that is sadly missing from some of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR's more ostentatious competitors.17 March 2010
Vauxhall Insignia Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Insignia VXR|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||5.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Transmission||6 Speed Manual|
|Fuel Type||Super Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||33.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Star|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 17/03/10)||£32,290|