Opel Insignia B or Opel Insignia Grand Sport. An American car, built in Germany and then sold to the French. Opel Insignia B, the spiritual successor of the Passat B7, which now the europeans avoid. Here’s why.
The Opel Insignia A didn’t leave a very good impression in Europe and that’s because it had a specific clientele: People who wanted a good-looking car that would impress neighbors and friends but didn’t really have the money to buy a Passat. And so many bought their Insignia without any concern for reliability or preventive maintenance. They stuck with the bad cars and now they are brand fanatics who sling mud wherever they can. It’s hard to accept that you made an unfortunate choice in life, especially when we’re talking a few thousand euros. Yes, in 2013 the facelift came and fixed the issues, but that didn’t encourage people to buy Insignia again.
And in 2017 comes the Opel Insignia B or Opel Insignia Grand Sport, which is a totally different car than the old Insignia. First of all, the Insignia A was an American car made by hands of germans and the Insignia B is a French car made by baguette hands. Then we have two totally different cars conceptually. The first Insignia was made in the American-Italian style: a car that looks good but can’t, and the second Insignia is very capable but looks slightly anonymous. That’s why I also say it’s the successor to the Passat B7 because you won’t look twice at this car on the road. It’s a great car for company, family, or taxi, but it lacks that wow factor of the first Insignia. Even Vectra C has more character. But there’s the hand of the garlic-eaters at work here, because they had to somehow find a home for the Insignia too, even though there’s a very good chance this will be the last Insignia produced, given that the Opel Mokka, Astra, and Corsa beat it up.
Opel Insignia B Engines
- 1.5 Turbo of 140 and 165 horsepower – Probably the only petrol engine you’ll buy because the rest are so expensive you’re better off buying a Touareg outright. As for reliability, occasionally there can be issues with the LSPI (Low-Speed Pre Ignition System) but overall the engine is pretty reliable. Plus it was launched 30 seconds ago so it’s slightly premature to discuss it.
- 2.0 Turbo of 260 horsepower – A parting gift from GM, this 2.0 EcoTec is a classic American engine. Easy to maintain, reliable, and without any focus on fuel consumption, it’s held back only by its galactic purchase price, being the most bombastic engine available to the Opel Insignia B.
- 1.6 CDTI of 110 horsepower – I’d make fun of this microscopic engine, but then I remembered that people have been buying the Skoda Superb 1.6 TDI 105-horsepower since around 2010. Even though it’s a small and economical engine, on the Opel Insignia B body it’s like putting a child to carry a grownup on his back. As reliability goes, it won’t raise your blood pressure to heaven.
- 2.0 CDTI of 168 horsepower – Nothing special about this engine because it’s the same engine as in the Insignia A, with some modifications for Euro 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9 (nice!). The French are a bit soft on diesel anyway so they recycled what they bought from the Americans and kept it on the Insignia B.
- 2.0 CDTI Bi-Turbo of 206 horsepower – When I saw that this model only comes with 4×4 and starts at 36,000 euros, I said I wanted to meet someone who bought one of these new and shake their hand. With a taser.
Opel Insignia B General Issues
- As with the Renault Talisman, many people prefer to get an Astra K sedan because it’s 75% of the Opel Insignia B experience anyway, at a much lower price. And the fun is just beginning because the list of optional extras is stroke worthy in the sense that you have windows or seats as options, and when you start ticking the boxes the price will explode.
- The rear visibility is worthy of a prison door or dodgy bar. Basically, it’s not glass, it’s just a stripe. And for that, you’re forced to buy the reverse camera and that’s how you get to point number 1.
- For diesel engines, you have to be careful when driving in the city because you’ll get all sorts of issues. Particle filter issues especially when you have diesel and only drive around town.
- Electronics are not the happiest combination on the Opel Insignia. In other words, you can see that the owners are now French. Mechanically they are good cars (not you 208), but the electronics kill them.
Opel Insignia B Verdict
The Opel Insignia B reminds me a lot of the Passat B7. An understated, boring car, executed as well as it could be. A car for the kind of 40-year-old who wants something other than a Passat, Octavia, or Mondeo because he likes the look of the new Insignia but doesn’t want anything extreme like a Mondeo or Talisman but also not as dull as an Octavia. Basically, it’s going on the same principle as the first Insignia, only we get a more reliable and more expensive car. But will this lost, found and soon-to-be-retired son find a place in the French hearts and burning pockets of the used car buyers?
What engines do I recommend? For petrol, the 165 horsepower 1.5 Turbo is probably the only one that makes sense. And for diesel, I can only recommend the classic 168 horsepower 2.0 CDTI. I have nothing against the 1.6, just that it’s way too small.