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  • Lowest emitting engines in range now down to 115g/km
  • New-to-range 1.4 Turbo reduces petrol engine emissions to 134g/km
  • Start/Stop technology on key models for first time
  • Electric power steering now available on all manual Insignias

There’s no doubting the whirlwind success of the Insignia since it was launched to dealers in January 2009. After collecting the coveted European Car of the Year gong, the Insignia’s been a near-constant top seller in the UK’s D-, or mid-size car sector, achieving over 36,000 sales in its first full year, and is now heading for its best year ever (29,987 YTD, July ’11), outselling notable challengers like the BMW 3-series and Ford Mondeo. In total, 103,745 Insignias have been sold to date in the UK.

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Last year, the Insignia’s diesel range – which accounts for around 70 per cent of all UK sales – received significant efficiency and refinement improvements, resulting in far lower C02s and better economy, while reducing overall cabin NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness).

But for Model Year 2012, Vauxhall has made more sweeping changes which cover almost all Insignia models, including the addition of a new-to-range engine, still more radical gains in CO2/MPG for key powertrains, detail changes to trims/colours, and important enhancements to current equipment.

New-to-range 1.4 Turbo brings greater efficiency and enhanced performance

Joining the Insignia’s petrol range, is a 1.4-litre turbocharged unit which is more economical than the existing 1.8-litre petrol, benefiting company and private buyers alike.

Producing 140PS (same as the 1.8-litre), the Euro 5 compliant engine achieves a combined 49.6mpg (33 per cent up on 1.8) and 134g/km (-25 per cent), meaning a sizeable drop in VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) and BIK (Benefit in Kind) tax from £315 to £115 and 24 per cent to 16 per cent (2011-12) respectively.

However, with torque up by 14 per cent to 200Nm, the engine’s mid-range performance has been enhanced.

ecoFLEX diesel engines adopt Start/Stop for some of lowest CO2s in class

With its low-rolling resistance tyres, enhanced underbody aero and taller gear set, the Insignia ecoFLEX has always provided an excellent combination of economy and performance for cost-conscious buyers. Now for the first time, ecoFLEX models are available with a version of Vauxhall’s Start/Stop system, already seen on ecoFLEX Merivas, Corsas and Astras.

There are two ecoFLEX S/S variants, both of which use the 2.0 CDTi engine, one producing 130PS and the other 160PS. For the Saloon and Hatch, both engines’ emissions have fallen from 129g/km to 115g (160PS) and 116g (130PS), while those of the Sports Tourer ecoFLEX model have dropped from 134g to 119g (a new 130PS Sports Tourer ecoFLEX also joins the range with 119g/km).

Despite the Insignia ecoFLEX’s unchanged performance, this now means that buyers of any body style will pay zero-VED in the first year, and just £30 per year from year two onwards (down from £95). For company car users, the news is just as good. BIK for the Hatch and Saloon ecoFLEX goes down from 18 to 13 per cent, and from 19 to 13 per cent for the Sports Tourer ecoFLEX.

REPS improves efficiency still further on all Insignia manual models

A newly developed REPS system (Rack Assist Electric Power Steering) is now standard on all Insignia models fitted with manual transmission. As well as enhancing the Insignia’s handling, REPS avoids the need to have a hydraulic steering pump running when it’s not needed. As a result, the car uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions since the system is only active when required.

Introduction of Front Camera – a first for Vauxhall

A new Front Camera, which includes a collision prevention system and Traffic Sign Recognition, is now available as an option on certain models in the Insignia range. The clever technology – a rarity in this class – flags up posted speed limits and no-overtaking signs, as well as traffic-restricted zones in town and cities.

Front Camera also incorporates Following Distance Indication, which prevents drivers travelling too close to the car in front, and Forward Collision Alert, which alerts drivers if they’re in danger of hitting the car they’re following from behind.

New generation of navigation and infotainment systems

Two new infotainment systems are now available on the Insignia: Navi600 and Navi900. Both use SD card technology which, in addition to displaying POIs, means further POIs can be downloaded and stored on a USB connection. The systems also now allows drivers to select the most economical route, taking into account distance and traffic flow.

The Navi900 also offers voice-recognition and a log-book function so that drivers can separate records of private and business trips. An additional POI announcement informs the driver of points of interest nearby by an audible signal, text or pop-up.

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