Back in the 1970s, Opel was releasing its very first modern model in the medium-sized family car segment – the Opel Ascona. Two successful "B" and "C" generations followed in the next years, during which the car's platform went from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive, but the Ascona nameplate was replaced in the 1980s by the most famous medium-sized Opel sedan history – the Vectra.
Following a somewhat similar lifespan of the series, the Vectra A was subsequently replaced by the Vectra B and then the Vectra C, during which time sales had already began to decline. Interestingly, apart from a few months in different years, neither the Ascona nor the Vectra have ever succeeded in dethroning Opel's arch rival in this segment, the mighty Volkswagen Passat. Apparently, this ongoing situation raised a sufficient number of eyebrows at Opel's headquarters in Russelsheim, so that Vectra's latest generation isn't a Vectra anymore.
The elegantly-styled Insignia has taken its place, and, unlike the switch from the Ascona to the Vectra, this is a generation completely antithetic to all its predecessors. Apart from the fact that it still has the dual body type (you can either buy an Insignia sedan or a liftback), it doesn't have anything in common with its forerunners.
And no, we're not exaggerating. Not even the Opel logo on the car is the same, since the Insignia is the first new model from Russelsheim to feature an updated one. The new logo border has been widened and has a more "three-dimensional" look, while the word "Opel" is engraved on the circle surrounding the lighting bolt.
Long story short, on this winter's first day of snow, we took an Opel Insignia to the test. To make things more interesting, we were offered an all-wheel drive, turbocharged version of the liftback version. To get them even MORE interesting, the car was equipped with 19-inch summer performance tires. Did we mention it was the first day of snow? Considering this peculiar situation, let's see how it all went, especially since expectations were rather high from a car with no less than twenty four awards under its belt. Continue reading