DIESEL powered cars are now widely recognised as being the best for economy but that is not always so as I have just discovered when sampling the latest Vauxhall Insignia with a new turbo powered petrol engine, writes Bryan Longworth.
For the 140bhp engine should give Insignia sales a boost especially to low mileage owners because of its fuel consumption and quite lively perforance and with petrol being cheaper than diesel oil.
Officially the combined fuel consumption for this Insignia is 47.9mpg and while the actual real world consumption is not this good careful drivers should get the best part of 40mpg out of the car.
My test car was the Insignia 1.4 16v VVT Turbo SRi Vx-line Nav Hatchback which is quite a mouthful and not exactly very user friendly.
Statistically it has a top speed of 127mph, a zero to 60mph time of 10.1 seconds, CO2 emissions of 134g/km which equates to a car tax of £115 and costs £25,205.
This particular model is very well equipped with standard kit and includes satellite navigation as the Nav part of its name implies along with the likes of cruise control, trip computer, front and rear reading lights, VXR styling pack and lowered suspension which makes it look very sporty.
However, the standard equipment does not include a spare wheel which seems to be an increasingly common feature on many cars that I test and it is not one that I approve of because a spare is like an insurance policy just in case it is needed.
I found this latest Insignia to be quite lively with competent handling and it was very economical with the fuel tank needle falling much slower than on most petrol powered cars.
This Insignia has a very comfortable and classy interior with excellent easy to see and use instrumention and above the cavity where the spare wheel would have been there is a very roomy load area.
There is a six speed manual gearbox and while there are positive forward changes I found reverse on the test car was rather notchy and difficult to engage at times.
But this did not detract from the overall driving enjoyment and the Insignia is still a very attractive model with the bright red test car attracting plenty of admiring glances and comments.
The new petrol engine has certainly added to the appeal of the Insignia in these fuel cost conscious times and Vauxhall should find that this model in particular will prove to be popular in dealer showrooms.
My Verdict: Petrol power can still be tempting.