Should we care about Vauxhall? Yes. It’s part of GM’s European Opel family and thus an engineering and styling dynamo, contributing lots of both to GM’s resurgence. The sleek Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer wagon could end up in America in 2011 with a Saturn badge, but Europeans will see it first in 2009 with both front- and all-wheel drive. Power comes from a pair of new engines — a turbodiesel (which gets almost 60 mpg on the highway!) and a turbocharged gasoline unit — and a super-green ecoFLEX variant will follow hot on their heels. Full of technological features, such as a front camera system that can read road signs and alert drivers, the Sports Tourer’s specs give it plenty of appeal beyond its good looks.
European cars always get a raft of engine choices that never seem to make it to the states. In Paris, Vauxhall premiered two new engines that will be included in the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer — a 180-horsepower gasoline-powered 4-cylinder, and a cleaner-burning 2.0-liter biturbo diesel 4-cylinder making 190 horsepower. That brings the total number of engines offered in the European Vauxhall Insignia line to nine.
Retaining the hatch and saloon’s rakish, but graceful silhouette, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is available with all the class-leading innovation found in the current range, such as FlexRide, Intelligent AFL and Adaptive 4X4, but with enhanced practicality, thanks to a 540-litre load area with the rear seats up. Dropping the 60:40 split rear seats converts the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer into an even more capacious load-lugger, with a volume of up to 1530-litres.
Coinciding with the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer’s launch is the introduction of the sixth engine to the Insignia range, the 180PS 1.6 Turbo. Available on all front-wheel-drive models, (apart from ‘S’ trim) the new turbocharged petrol engine emphasises Vauxhall’s increasing commitment to smaller capacity, forced-induction units, which provide exceptional performance combined with reduced fuel consumption and C02 emissions.
Standard on all Sports Tourer models is a retractable luggage compartment cover and DualFloor luggage compartment, which incorporates an under-floor storage area. All models, apart from S-spec cars, also get a 12-volt auxiliary power socket in the luggage compartment and silver-effect roof rails (S models get black items). Dark-tinted Solar Protect glass is standard in all but S and Exclusiv models, while a vertical load-restraining net is optional across the range.
Also optional on all Sports Tourers is Vauxhall’s FlexOrganiser that separates and secures cargo loads. This complements the Insignia’s already vast array of trays and storage areas, including compartments in the front doors that can accommodate a 1.5-litre bottle, a large glove compartment and a closed cubby for occupants’ valuables. Storage compartments on the back of the front seats offer additional space for maps and books.
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