2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review

2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review

Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Holden Insignia VXR.

2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review
2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review.

Holden wants you to know it will still have plenty of models on the market once the Commodore is no longer made here.

The boss says so. At the recent Commodore VF2 launch, Managing Director, Mark Bernhard promised 24 new models by 2020, including new entrants in the SUV market.

The television commercials say so too. A young girl - too young to have a driver’s licence, or to drive at all actually - unveils some of the cars from the new range, with others under cover in the background.

The message is, Holden has heaps of models, with more to come; Cruze to Commodore to Colorado, take your pick.

If I were asked to pick from the European component of Holden’s line-up, my choice would be the Opel sourced Holden Insignia. Sold here with an Opel badge during that company’s short-lived and ill-fated excursion into the Australian market, the Insignia now sports Holden’s ‘lion-rolling-the-stone’ logo, and costs $7,000 - $10,000 less than it did before. Can’t complain about that!

2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review
2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review.

If you haven’t noticed one on the roads yet, the good looking Holden Insignia shares a family resemblance to the Astra, but is larger, about the size of a Camry. Meaning leg room in the back. And a good sized boot.

The 2015 Holden Insignia VXR is well put together, doors shut with a reassuring thunk, there’s a premium feel from behind the wheel, and starting the 2.8 litre V6 turbo unleashes a surprising and welcome rumble. This car means business.

I found the regular drive setting was enough for getting around town, however if you want an even firmer ride and extra beastie performance, press the VXR button and see what happens.

The cabin layout is contemporary and neat, with all the expected features. The information/entertainment system is up to date; the control panel is simple to operate, and the touchscreen easy to navigate.

The Recaro front sports seats are comfortable, electrically adjustable, and there are memory modes for the driver. Among a host of safety features is lane departure warning and radar-guided adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. Good looking 20 inch alloys are standard.

2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review
2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review.

‘Unexpected’ sums up my response to the Holden Insignia. Sales brochures have been known to go over the top just a tad, so reading that it was a ‘perfect balance between brains and brawn’, left me feeling  somewhat skeptical.

However, it turned out to be more fun than I anticipated; it clings to the road thanks to it’s all-wheel drive set-up, there is plenty of performance, and it brings with it a level of refinement and technology.

The Holden Insignia goes and stops with assurance, whether on a long haul or just getting around town.

From about $52,000 it represents European quality at a relatively affordable price that I found unexpectedly enjoyable to drive.

2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review
2015 Holden Insignia VXR Review.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2015 Holden Insignia VXR

Engine: 2.8 litre V6 turbo-petrol producing 239kW and 435Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km

Origin: Germany

Price: From $51,990

About Peter Hitchener 46 Articles
Peter is a recent addition to the team, coming on as a writer and co-host of the podcast in the past year. Peter is a familiar face to Victorians as anchor of Nine News in Melbourne for 17 years. Before that, he had a history in radio as a broadcaster at 3AW, 3AK, 4BH and the ABC. Learning to drive on the farm as a kid, Peter was always drawn in by the look and design of cars. A passionate enthusiast, he loves anything with four wheels and a motor and has owned and driven countless vehicles in his lifetime.

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