Once you reach civilization, a thought intrudes from the back of your mind and finds focus at the front of your cranial lobe. This is a big car, the thought echoes. The standard version measures a healthy 4.83 meters, and that's many feet and inches in the British Imperial units. The estate is even longer at 4.91 meters. So it's definitely not a small car, by European standards. How will it handle narrow, congested roads of tourist destinations, the thought echoes some more.
Once you put it to test, you discover that the concept is not too frightening. While you are aware of the size and length, a feeling that is not present while cruising on the motorway or weavarooing down country lanes, you are in control. The somewhat lifeless steering wheel is quite adequate in town, and it will guide you precisely round double-parked vehicles with their emergency lights on, unloading luggage, children, vomit, or all of the above, past buses that share the same universal trait of not giving shi ... damn about anyone, and a million pedestrians who blithely ignore all traffic signs, demarkations and other curiosities of foreign destinations.
In town, thou shalt chillax. A little.
The one problem you might spot are actually your mirrors. Not what is inside them, but the mirrors themselves. Or rather, their frames. Painted silver and with handsomely chunky struts supporting the aerodynamic bulges, they can reflect sunlight rather too well, especially if it's behind you, creating big spots of brilliance in the corner of your eye, which you might mistake for passing cars. This can be distracting, and you need to pay a little more attention when changing lanes.
The glare in the corner of your eye is your own side mirror!
Naturally, Opel Insignia also features a Start/Stop system, and that one can be distracting, too. Like with Adam, you can turn it off by pressing the Eco button, and it has to be done every time you switch the engine on. Other than preventing the engine from going silent when you stop at the traffic light, it does not seem to add any extra power or flair, or to stiffen up the shocks and such. Purely environment. And I'm not really sure how effective it ought to be, if your engine has to start every few minutes. Does that not waste more fuel and cause more wear?
The suspension is largely ignorant of any deformations in the road, and you're not going to curse too much when you hit holes or sewers grates oddly placed a few centimeters above the asphalt. Despite five meters of equity, Insignia is quite composed. The engine is more than adequate for all city purposes, including helpful surges of torque when you need them. Just don't push it, don't floor it, and don't expect petrol-like response.
Another challenge with the car this length is parking. Indeed, this can cause trouble, but if you're skilled, like I am, then you will exercise proper European skills positioning your vehicle within a millimeter of whatever obstacle is behind or in front of you.
The built-in parking sensors, fore and aft, do help, but they are way way too sensitive. Sometimes, they will chirp and buzz almost endlessly the moment you shift into reverse, distracting you, annoying you, and even making you switch them off manually just to kill that ugly whistle sound. Kind of misses the purpose. This is also quite true for the front sensors, which will come alive when there's a car a distant two meters in front of you, which is somewhat confusing. Needs recalibration, the parking system.
This is how you park, nice and tidy!
Then, you open the boot and start unloading your stuff. It's quite big. There's no arguing about it. The estate version, which seems to be identical to the sedan, even without the rear seats folded, offers a fairly decent 500 liters, provided you pour water into it. Practically, this means just two medium-sized suitcases and two backpacks, with the privacy lid in action. Without it, you can stack the luggage vertically, allowing for about four or five medium-sized suitcases. In some of the configurations, you just miss a few centimeters for a perfect fit.
Fairly adequate, can be better.
Speaking of the privacy lid, it does not pull back all the way. There's a gap of about 20 centimeters, so if you cram stuff into the boot, it will be visible from the rear window down, which is kind of bad. Not bad, but can be, and should be better.
Let's go back to driving, shall we. The idea of a Eurotrip is to go places, and indeed, there's a lot to see. If you're into cars, which you should be, then there's the Oldtimers Tours Club in Opatija, where you might want to take a free ride in excellently preserved vintage cars that costs as much as your house. Elsewhere, not far away, you might see a nice Aventador parked in front of a cafe. Racing wise, there's Grobnik, half an hour drive from the seaside.
Fancy unspoiled beauty? Good.
There's a bit of everything for everyone. Those who like simple rides in straight lines, those who like the urban fracas, those in desire and need of mingling with the local population on narrow roads, those who don't mind traffic jams, those who like to snake up and down hills, and still more besides. If you're a car afficionado, then there's a good way to explore the country. It provides with all terrains and road materials to satisfy the inner driver in you.
Posing like a champ.
Little towns present their challenges, especially in the heat of the summer season. Now, sensibly speaking, don't venture in unless you really have to, avoid the magistrale, because it is choked full with trucks and tourists, a lethal combination. Stick to country roads, and you will enjoy awesome rides, allowing you both to have fun and test your skills. GPS is recommended for utmost discovery and fun. Finally, the toll roads are great when you just want to cruise, eat miles and eat less fuel. With Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI EcoFLEX, that's definitely doable.
Plenty of cool places to visit.
The fuel tank has a capacity of 70 liters. With the average consumption of around 5-6 liters per 100 km, this gives you quite a range. It's so pleasing to check the road computer after a refueling and see that you have anywhere between 1,100 and 1,350 km until your next gas station stop. Accurately so, because this car does not guzzle carbons, no matter how hard you try.
Time to bring this lengthy article to a stop. Start/Stop, ha ha. Eight days and two million meters traveled give you enough confidence to draw some sharp conclusions about a car and its qualities. While this is not a car review per se, that one's coming soon, it is still about the transporter that took us everywhere. In this particular case, Opel Insignia performed very well.
It can be a little faster and sharper, the seats can be sportier, and the steering more accurate. Aesthetically, the wheels can benefit from more inches. Other than that, there's little to fault with this tourer. A wholesome family package, with tons of goodies, lots of space and comfort, and even some extra gadgets to stave off boredom during longer rides. Best of all, the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel does an excellent work, even when put to a hard test, and it will keep your wallet mostly where it is, in your pocket or purse somewhere. Should you decide to do some sightseeing, then Insignia is a very good choice for your trip. Take care. Cheers.