Since the Vauxhall Insignia hit UK showrooms at the start of 2009 it has been a resounding sales success for Vauxhall, with more than 55,000 cars sold in the last 18 months. Premium design cues, the choice of all-wheel-drive models and a raft of new technology in its sector has elevated its appeal to not only fleet customers, but also to retail buyers, who now account for 35 per cent of all sales - a 16 per cent improvement over the Vauxhall Vectra.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of upper-trim Vauxhall Insignias sold, such as the SRi, SE and Elite models (over 60 per cent) supporting the fact that Vauxhall is now seen as a viable alternative to more traditional premium cars in the mid-size sector, albeit at a lower price point.
And with some 40 awards now behind it - including the coveted European Car of the Year 2009 - it's no surprise that UK buyers made it the best-selling mid-size car soon after its launch in what is Europe's biggest single market for the Vauxhall Insignia. But we weren't alone: the Vauxhall Insignia has also become the best-selling or second-best selling mid-size car in 10 other European markets too.
To further boost the Vauxhall Insignia's competitive position, Vauxhall has now combined the Vauxhall Insignia's Adaptive 4x4 system, which was previously only available with the 2.0- and 2.8-litre petrol engines, with the 2.0-litre 160PS CDTi diesel engine. A rare combination in this market sector, the Vauxhall Insignia CDTi 4x4 hits British showrooms in September 2010 and will build Vauxhall's reputation for technological innovation still further. Moreover, engineers have made refinements on all diesel engines to further improve interior refinement.
The Adaptive 4x4 all-wheel drive system, together with the adaptive FlexRide chassis and the electronically controlled rear limited slip differential (eLSD), sets new standards for driving and handling. Studies show Vauxhall Insignia customers particularly value this innovation: Some 21 per cent of all 2.0-litre petrol models currently sold in the UK have the Adaptive 4x4 system.
Adaptive 4x4 combines the best characteristics of conventional mechanical and hydraulic all-wheel drive systems, and means that the driven wheels don't have to spin before corrective measures kick in. The Vauxhall Insignia Adaptive 4x4 can still maintain safe traction even if three wheels are on sand or mud and only one rear wheel can find grip. In bad weather or on treacherous roads, the advanced chassis systems are designed to recognise and avoid danger early enough to support the driver in tricky situations, without detracting from the car's dynamic appeal.
The Vauxhall Adaptive 4x4 system not only helps out in critical safety situations. It also detects when all-wheel-drive is not required, such as on a dry, clear motorway, and reverts to front-wheel-drive to reduce friction loss and save fuel.
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