Almost 3,500 miles in and a few niggles have started to emerge.
On balance, the Insignia has little to fault. Trim quality is good, ride and handling impress, space is excellent (for passengers and luggage) and fuel consumption is reasonably low. None are class-leading, but the combination results in a solid fleet car, particularly for job-need drivers, with competitive running costs.
However, it’s not faultless. The engine has poor pick up at low revs, particularly in third gear where it effectively dies much below 1,200rpm/20mph. It’s unusual for a diesel and I’ve been caught out on a few occasions, necessitating a hasty change down.
It also takes a while for the electronic brake to de-activate once the button is pressed, especially from cold; the light on the dash takes even longer to turn off. It might only result in a few seconds’ delay, but it is irritating to feel the initial tug from the brakes before they release when you attempt to drive off in the morning.
What’s more impressive is the fact that the glow plugs require hardly any time to warm up before you can turn the ignition; and once the engine has fired up, any subsequent re-start for the next few hours is instantaneous – there’s no waiting for the dashboard light to dim.
The stop-start system is quick to re-ignite the engine, although it is hesitant to operate on repeated stop and start – surely the point of such a system.
So what of the fuel efficiency? We were averaging 53.3mpg in the first few weeks, way off the official figure of 62.8mpg.
Some ultra-conservative driving on a mainly urban journey saw consumption hit a low of 58.8mpg, a much better performance.
This improvement would result in a fuel saving of £112 over 10,000 miles – worth the extra effort for both driver and company in these times of austerity.