Guest Reviewer, RTÉ 2FM’s Ruth Scott Drives the New Opel Insignia
My first indication as to the real largesse of the Opel Insignia was when I parked it in my usual spot. I could see my neighbour peeking out her window, checking to see if I overlapped into her parking spot. I didn’t but I realised then that there was a whole lotta car going on in the Insignia. This is a BIG car. It’s the kind of car that my older brother who has a successful job & a few kids drives. It’s the kind of car that would make you want to dispose of the cushions on the back window, the leopard print seat covers & the furry dice. (Just FYI, I swear that I don’t have these things but if I did, they would be disposed of straight away!)
The leather interiors are quite simply put, beautiful. I feel like Kate Middleton on a day out when I step into this beauty. Sleek & smooth & unflustered. The fact that said leather seats are heated is akin to entering Narnia for the first time. I’m a sucker for simple things like cruise control & speed limitors. As I drive a lot for work to get to locations where we have the 2fm Roadcaster, it’s important I get there comfortably, without having eyes on stalks from having to constantly check my speed & without speeding tickets! This is a brilliant car for long, motorway journeys. I found it a little big for city centre driving & truth be told, I avoided multi-story car-parks as I’m just not used to a larger car in these older-built narrow car parks. On-street parking is a dream with sensors indicating that you’re cold, warm & roasting hot in relation to proximity of an object.
There is a trackpad in the middle console which looks super modern. I preferred to use the touch-screen. There are a whole lot of amazing features that greatly please a tech nerd like me. Well I do work for a radio station & am surrounded by technology all day so I can really appreciate a bit of fresh technology. Here’s one of my favourites; digital radio in Ireland is patchy at the best of times; it’s no fun when the signal goes. This little wonder can be set up to automatically pick up on FM when DAB let you down. So when I’m listening to 2fm on DAB & I go out of signal area, it automatically picks up on the fm band. Zing!
There is an absolute array of controls on the steering wheel & all are so easy to understand & manoeuvre. USB connectors in a space where you can attach / charge your phone without sliding all over the passenger seat & distracting you, are a great design feature.
The in-car, on-screen sat nav made me feel like a child on Christmas morning: Not only are there the regular sat nav features but you can input a final destination & while on the road, dial the number that will have popped up. Tell them that due to your super efficient car, you’ll be arriving bang on time!
My absolute favourite feature on the Opel, was the drivers seat. Again, this might sound “simple” or basic but it is these things, which make the long journeys less of an uncomfortable chore & more of a pleasant journey. The seat has so many adjustors that you can tilt the angle of the seat & the angle of the back. No more reaching behind & fumbling for the big clunky dial. This is fingertip stuff. The absolute piece-de-resistance is the adjustable lumbar support. I hate to sound like an auld-wan but my back gets really sore when I’m driving. This adjustable support meant that I drove for 6 hours in one day & felt remarkably in one piece afterwards. This, to me, is a game changer. No more rolled up towels & booster cushions.
In practical terms, the Insignia is an incredibly efficient car. I’m told its road tax is €200 p.a. In one week I did several hundred kms on a motorway & about 100kms city driving. Including the eco drive feature of the enging switching off at red lights, I barely used 2/3 of a tank of diesel. Other than the unmistakeable sound of it being diesel, this car has great “oomph!” That’s a technical term, don’cha know!
25th April, 2014
Tune into Ruth every Saturday and Sunday on Weekenders with Ruth & Paddy from 2 to 5pm on RTÉ 2FM