i_should_coco

Vauxhall Insignia SRi

16 posts in this topic

While my car was in the body-shop being fixed, the insurance company saw fit to give me the dubious pleasure of using one of these for a week.

Now I know that it's a stereotype that Vauxhall make dull boring repmobiles that no-one in his right mind would spend his own money on, but at least the Insignia looks reasonably interesting from a styling point of view, at least compared to the hideous Vectra models which preceded it.

Sadly, that's about as good as it gets. Let's start with the interior. It's big. Big and full of hideously cheap plastic and ugly mis-matched displays with varying shades of orange, while the main instruments are light blue with red needles. Yuk. :sick: You would have thought that they could afford to pay a decent industrial designer to at least colour co-ordinate some stuff. :dunno:

Some odd stuff too like part manual/part electric seats. WTF? It just makes it seem like the cheaped out from making them all electric in a bout of penny-pinching. This alone would drive me batshit.

Next the engine, or whatever passes for one. Not sure what the 'S' stands for in 'SRi', but it sure ain't 'sport', except perhaps as a bad joke. :? This particular example didn't appear to actually have an engine, some joker having substituted a vacuum cleaner motor in it's place. Perhaps it's a hire-car-special, dunno. It's pretty smooth, but offers almost imperceptible acceleration, however hard you push the throttle, wherever in the rev-range it is. I guess this is positive in the sense that a taxi driver will never be able to spill any of his passengers' coffee, however ham-footed he is. The 6-speed gearbox is kind of pointless - it's not like it had a power band to keep within, being equally gutless everywhere in the range. :(

Despite the minuscule engine, economy was not a strong-point, in fact being piss-poor, not to put to fine a point on it. While my (petrol) A3 returns close to 40mpg when cruising on motorways, the same journey in this bus returned low-30s. I guess this is attributable to the thing being made from pig-iron or something. I have no idea how much it weigts, but my scientific guess is "a fuck of a lot".

Handling - To be honest, I can't say I noticed any, it feels like a big marshmallow. It seemed to have a decent amount of grip, 225 tyres and all, but I didn't actually push it because the steering felt so dead, so I didn't fancy finding out where the limits were. On the other hand, ride was comfy I suppose. I guess weighing "a fuck of a lot" helps here.

Now I don't want to come across a a car snob, but I'd take my 12 year old Audi A3 over this uninspiring muck any day. If this is the kind of car they still make, I'm not surprised they get constantly slated. It's not that it's actively bad, just dull in the extreme with obvious signs that *everything* was made by the lowest bidder (including presumably the brakes).

Must try (much) harder.

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i_should_coco wrote:

...

ugly mis-matched displays with varying shades of orange, whilen the main instuments are light blue with red needles. Yuk. :sick: You would have thought that they could afford to pay a decent industrial designer to alt leats colour co-ordinate some stuff. :dunno:

...

It musy be vogue in design schools. The current VWs have blue-lit dials, red-lit needles and yellow lights on all the buttons.

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I had the misfortune of being given one of these to go to England. As if going to England wasn't badn enough,:D I had to keep changing from 6th to 4th on the motorway every time I needed to do an overtake or traverse a tiny incline.

I had to get out and check the SRi badge had not fallen off - but no it was still there. An SRi that could parely pull its massive weight at all and yes as said above one of the most gutless torqueless engines I have had the misfortune of ever having to inject petrol into.

*sigh*

It looked OK tho - this one was in white with the big 18s and actually looked fairly smart. Thats about all that's good about it tho.

Vauxhalls... still shite then.

Butuz

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earlofsodbury wrote:

I haven't bothered to check the Insignia range, but the Astra SRi (basically an Insignia with the boot amputated) features a choice from two engines:

1.4 turbo and 1.6 turbo :shock:

Coupled with their vast size and high weight this might explain a slight lack of urgency...

Depends how much

boost.jpg

they run, engine capacity is pretty much irrelevant with blown motors.

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SRi used to mean "performance Vauxhall." Now it's a trim level. :(

There is a fad for Tiny Tot Turbo motors at the moment, in both petrol and diesel. They look good on paper, with great power and acceleration coupled to impressive economy, and can slot into various road tax, emissions and company car tax loopholes.

Trouble is they are shit. :( Sure, the saloon bar heroes can boast about impressive bhp and 0-60 times - but you have to be driving like the Stig to achieve them. Off-boost they are sluggish and unresponsive - and the smaller the engine the narrower the boosted powerband. This kind of engine works in a lightweight car, but in a huge barge it's a recipe for sloth. In terms of economy, they impress at constant throttle openings with little or no boost - but give them stick and they develop a thirst very quickly.

As the man said, there ain't no substitute for cubes. Avoid. :nup:

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Engine size has nothing to do with the power band in a blown motor, turbo exhaust housing size pretty much dictates initial boost threshold, in-gear lag is a rare occasion these days, not so back in the day though.

It's the manufacturers fault if they can't be arsed to do it properly and just bodge a blower onto any old hack of an engine. I think one of the best small engines around is the twin-charged VW motor, although the Golf is verging on too big for that engine.

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Fifth Gear tested the Insignia VXR and said it went like stink. 4WD 2.8 turbo IIRC. Still, I bet its a thirsty bastard when you thrash it.

Anyway, the Insignia is a large car and should have decent power as standard. Still ugly as fook if you ask me though.

The new Astra VXR will have a smaller engine than the MK5, down to a 1.8T from a 2.0T. Emissions apparently, although power is said to be up. It should be though, the new Astra is even bigger than the last.

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earlofsodbury wrote:

Matt J wrote:
Engine size has nothing to do with the power band in a blown motor, turbo exhaust housing size pretty much dictates initial boost threshold, in-gear lag is a rare occasion these days, not so back in the day though.

It's the manufacturers fault if they can't be arsed to do it properly and just bodge a blower onto any old hack of an engine. I think one of the best small engines around is the twin-charged VW motor, although the Golf is verging on too big for that engine.

Surely torque is going to tend to be in a relatively narrow band up at the screamy end of the rev range? In a big, heavy car that's gonna be a thoroughly joyless exercise.

If anything it will be the other way around, the modern trend is to bolt on turbos that are on the small side, which gives good initial boost threshold and mid range torque (ie- where most people like it) with the trade off of running out of steam further up the rev range. Big boost from a big turbo is an experience to behold, it's nothing that can be replicated by any sized N/A engine IMHO.

most modern cars haven't got adequate cylinder heads to cope with a big turbo and big boost at high revs, plus your average punter doesn't like the trade offs of such a setup. Like most things, it's about compromises and which you prefer.

The VW twin charged (supercharged and turbocharged) motor pretty much does most things well, but as you say, I'd prefer it in a lighter car!

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Ive been in my mums 2000Astra SRi 2.2 with near enough 150Bhp, and although it pulls well, it is not that much quicker to 60 than my old sprint, and certainly does not feel fast doing it. 0-60 in the sprint feels fast, where as doing it in the SRi you dont notice the speed at all.

Old cars are better :cool:lighter, cooler and look better :P

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earlofsodbury wrote:

HoopsOnToast wrote:
Ive been in my mums 2000Astra SRi 2.2 with near enough 150Bhp, and although it pulls well, it is not that much quicker to 60 than my old sprint, and certainly does not feel fast doing it. 0-60 in the sprint feels fast, where as doing it in the SRi you dont notice the speed at all.

Old cars are better :cool:lighter, cooler and look better :P

I should think the sheer racket of the glovebox flying open and door trim flapping in the breeze made the Dolly seem fast :D

Mind, I don't rate the Vauxhall 2.2, the 2.0T is altogether more fun and less thirsty.

----

Matt - points taken, I am in all things pretty out of date :green:

The glovebox flying open was the least of my worries :Dthe loud exhaust setting of car alarms and tail happy handling keeps you excited ;-)And the dolly had 130Bhp new in a 1000kg car, more than enough :P

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Can I just ask, or tell you something too......back when I was big into dragsters, "blowers" meant a super charger, not a turbo charger as referred to here.

Has that changed?

Edit to add = cancel the question, just Googled it. A blower is a super charger, not a turbo charger, so referring to an engine with a turbo should not be referred to as having a blower.

Being blown is a totally different thing! :D

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and saab's slant engine was co-developed with triumph which was used in the dolomites, triumph added a 16V head, saab put a turbo on it :D:geek: :minikiev:

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