Test: Opel Insignia Sport Tourer 2.0 GSi 4 × 4

Since last year, Opel has again offered a real top engine for the Insignia. On the one hand. On the other hand, the GSi is much tamer compared to its predecessor. But that's not necessarily a disadvantage.

Now it's back: In mid-2018, Opel withdrew the most powerful Insgnia version, traditionally called the GSi, from the market. In autumn 2020 she returned after two and a half years. And a few days ago it was in front of our door as a test car in the estate version “Sports Tourer”. However, if someone in the editorial office was looking forward to a hot 260 hp and 400 Newton meters of torque: No, that's no more. The Rüsselsheimer received a new 2,0-liter engine, which has to be content with 30 hp and 50 Newton meters less. More on that later, but it should already be said: The few competitors outside the premium segment in the mid-range range offer even less: Group sister Peugeot offers the 508 SW with almost the same power (225 hp), but only from 1,6 liters of displacement at the French competitor Renault it is also 225 hp, but there from a 1,8 liter. So it depends on which car you want to compare the Insignia with. It lacks a lot of power compared to its predecessor, but the Opel is doing well in the current competition.

Improved drive

Another difference to the old GSi: The all-wheel drive is no longer permanently active, the rear axle must be switched on at the push of a button. There two clutches work instead of a conventional differential, which allows the use of torque vectoring, i.e. a distribution of the torque to the left and right rear wheel that is adapted to the respective driving situation. As a driver, you don't notice any of this, of course, but the Insignia is remarkably agile to steer through corners. In many cases, for example in the city or on longer motorway stretches and dry roads, you can drive safely with pure front-wheel drive - and save a few tenths of a liter of fuel per 100 kilometers. The real consumption of just under 10 liters over two weeks of testing - despite the in no way "wild" driving style - is, however, not a glory.

Especially since the GSI has lost a lot of sportiness compared to its predecessor, drivers who prefer a more direct, even more uncouth approach will mourn the old model. In addition, the two-liter gasoline engine slowly runs out of air at the higher 3.000 rpm and it becomes - at a high level - a bit tougher. In everyday life, however, the current Insignia is the better car because it is less stressful.   

Good driving modes

This is also due to the mechatronic Flex-Ride chassis, which is matched to the Nürburgring and is available as standard. It works with four settings (Standard, Tour, Sport and Competition) and adjusts shock absorbers and steering accordingly. The accelerator pedal characteristic and the shift points of the transmission are also included. We mostly used the standard setting and “Sport” on the autobahn - and were more than satisfied with the spread. Not least because the nine-speed automatic transmission does not work too fast, but in the end it works attentively, so that after some initial fiddling around, you can quickly do without manual gear changes using the steering wheel paddles.

The Insiginia GSi decelerates excellently thanks to the Brembo four-piston brakes - nicely painted red and thus clearly visible - and does not noticeably decrease even after repeated heavy braking. For a more dynamic front look, the designers also added the radiator grille with a honeycomb grille, a redesigned bumper and eye-catching, but not necessarily beautiful air inlet panels. Not to be forgotten is the station wagon on 20-inch wheels on which Michelin sports tires in size 245/35 are mounted.

Not a sports car

That doesn't necessarily suggest the best in terms of comfort, but on the contrary, the Opel surprises at least in “Standard” and “Tour” mode with a balanced, undue rigor, but still dynamic pace. A small masterpiece by the Opel engineers, which also clearly sets you apart from the French competitions.

So the Insignia GSi has by no means become a sports car; more precisely, it is even less of a sports car than before. On the other hand, it is a very excellent car suitable for everyday use, and not just in terms of drive. First of all, at almost 5 meters, it is so long that it actually no longer fits into the middle class. For comparison: the station wagon version of the Mercedes C-Class, the Swabian mid-range model, measures just 4,70 meters and even the E-Class, which is one segment higher, is 4 centimeters shorter.

Big guy

Of course this has consequences; With its length and width of just under 2,10 meters (including exterior mirrors), the Insignia is anything but handy in the city, for example in a multi-storey car park. The turning circle is also not exactly tight at 11,74 meters. On the other hand, the last Opel on a GM platform is also a generous car, visually and in terms of space at the front and rear. In addition, there is a well-loadable trunk that offers 560 liters of space for luggage. And if you only go on holiday as a couple or have to manage a move, you have up to 40 liters of storage space available after folding them down in a 20:40:1.665 split rear seats. The only average material quality in the interior - albeit with the best workmanship - and the somewhat dusty infotainment and navigation system with a screen only 8 inches can be coped with.

The Insignia is a stately car in every respect, in this version also very fast and at just under 51.000 euros not exactly cheap, but also very well equipped from the outset. Among other things, matrix LED lights with 84 segments per headlight, a keyless entry system, various assistants, AGR sports seats, automatic air conditioning and the navigation system are already on board. If you still have some money left, we recommend the head-up display and adaptive cruise control package for 1.350 euros - and for a further 1.030 euros there is a package with a reversing camera, lane change, reversing and blind spot assistant.

The Opel Insignia of this generation is coming rather late as a GSi, the series as a whole will probably retire in two to three years. The next Insignia will be a sister model of the Peugeot 508. So if you want to drive the last “real” Opel in a particularly sporty version, the GSi is recommended. Incidentally, it is also available in the “Grand Sport” sedan version, but the “Sports Tourer” station wagon, which is around 1.200 euros more expensive, is more practical and visually pleasing.


Five-door, five-seater mid-range station wagon; Length: 4,99 meters, width: 1,94 meters (with exterior mirrors: 2,09 meters), height: 1,49 meters, wheelbase: 2,83 meters, trunk volume: 560 - 1.665 liters
2,0-liter turbo gasoline engine, 169 kW / 230 PS, maximum torque: 350 Nm at 1.500 - 4.000 rpm, nine-speed automatic, switchable all-wheel drive, 0-100 km / h: 7,6 s, Vmax: 235 km / h, standard consumption (WLTP): 8,5 - 8,7 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 193 - 198 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6d, efficiency class: C, test consumption: 9,8 liters / 100 kilometers
Price: € 50.975

In brief
Why Comfortable compared to the competition, lots of horsepower and equipment for the money
Why not no sports station wagon, infotainment slightly outdated, high consumption
What else Peugeot 508 SW PureTech 225, Renault Talisman Grandtour TCe 225

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