The latest long-termer to arrive at Fleet News is practically groaning with standard equipment, but the entire might of its spec list is overshadowed by a single button. Our new Vauxhall Insignia 1.6-litre CDTi Ecoflex has arrived complete with Vauxhall’s OnStar system, the connected vehicle service launched in Europe this year.
This provides a range of customer services at the touch of a button. A quick press puts you through to an advisor who can provide a wide range of support. Most importantly for technology-laden passengers, OnStar means the car is a wi-fi hot-spot. There are two other buttons: SOS to raise the alarm and a privacy button which can mask your location.
Thankfully, miles won’t be a problem in the Insignia, it’s practically purpose-built for business travel, with a very comfortable driving position, logical controls and a very generous specification to keep you busy – when you aren’t playing with the OnStar system.
Standard equipment within our £25,000 Elite model included leather trim with heated front seats, leather-covered steering wheel, sat-nav, digital radio, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, electrically adjustable seats and intelligent headlights. These adapt the spread of light according to speed, cornering and weather conditions.
Adding to the comfort levels is the 1.6-litre diesel engine – good for 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and a claimed 72.4mpg combined fuel economy – part of Vauxhall’s Whisper Diesel family. It is definitely a diesel: it wouldn’t pass muster in the local library, but there are some interesting innovations to combat the thrum of more traditional units.
For example, at low revs, the engine has a high-pitched tone, similar to a motorbike, which is certainly less agricultural, even compared with premium models.