The brand’s largest wagon gets stylish looks and new engines

Introduced in 2008 as a replacement for the Vectra, the Insignia is Opel’s range-topping sedan and is sold in North America and China as the Buick Regal. Built on the same Epsilon II platform as the Chevrolet Malibu, the Insignia also spawned a wagon version, as well as a crossover-like model with higher ground clearance and plastic cladding. Already eight years old as of 2016, the first-generation Insignia is being replaced by a brand-new model that has been spotted in prototype form as far back as 2015.

While the sedan has shown up on public roads on many occasions and ditched some of its camouflage in the process, the wagon version, also known as the Sports Tourer, has finally been caught testing for the first time. Set to bow a few months after the four-door model, the new wagon could finally make it on U.S. soil with a Buick badge according to rumors that have been swirling around since 2015. The crossover version, called Country Tourer in Europe, could also cross the pond as the Regal Tourx, a name Buick trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The new Insignia could also find its way to Australia as the next-generation Holden Commodore now that GM decided to cease all manufacturing Down Under.

Details as to what the new Insignia Sports Tourer will bring to the table are still scant, but until Opel reveals preliminary data, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the upcoming German wagon.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Opel Insignia Sports Tourer.

Spy Shots

November 11, 2016 - Opel Insignia Sports Tourer starts dropping camouflage

October 18, 2016 - First testing session

Exterior

Although the prototype wears some pretty heavy camouflage, several important features are visible in the front and rear. It’s quite obvious that the car is slightly longer and wider, something we noticed as soon as we saw the sedan prototype. The wagon also has a more upright nose, a redesigned grille, and slimmer headlamps. Paired with the larger side intakes that seem to hide under the black camo, all these features should give the wagon a sportier appearance.

Opel used the Monza Concept as inspiration.

The rear end is also significantly different compared to the outgoing model, with the most notable new feature being the sloping, shooting brake-like roof line. Granted, Opel tried to mask the slope with a fake panel, but it’s quite obvious that the roofline descends more abruptly toward the rear fascia. It’s safe to assume that Opel used the Monza Concept as inspiration, but don’t expect the rear window to be as small. The taillights appear to be slimmer and slightly narrower, while the bumper has a more utilitarian design. It’s not yet clear whether the tailgate will have the previous model’s wide opening (which includes the taillamps), but it wouldn’t be wise for Opel to go with a narrower loading area.

Interior

The interior of the upcoming Insignia is still a mystery, but expect to see a much improved version of the current layout, which is still modern and attractive. Due to the longer wheelbase, slightly wider body, and better packaging, the cabin should also come with enhanced legroom and shoulder room. However, headroom for rear-seat occupants could decrease due to the revised, sleeker roofline. The second-generation wagon will also get a bigger trunk. With the sedan likely to offer more than 560 liters of cargo room, the wagon could arrive with segment-leading capacity.

2009 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
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Note: Current Opel Insignia Sports Tourer interior shown here.

Expect to see a much improved version of the current layout, which is still modern and attractive.

On the technology front, the car will receive the latest IntelliLink infotainment, OnStar, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. A large digital display for the dashboard similar to the one we saw on the Monza Concept is also likely. Don’t expect it to be quite as big as the full dash display with 18 LEDs from the concept, but it should be a nice addition. Recent reports also claim that the new Insignia will receive a heads up display as well.

The new interior will be rounded off by finer cloth and leather, new upholstery options, and better fit and finish. GM’s latest safety and driving assist features should also find their way into the second-generation wagon.

Drivetrain

The new Insignia will ride on the revised E2XX platform that debuted in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. With weight savings in the Malibu close to 300 pounds, the Insignia and Insignia Sports Tourer should benefit from a similar diet. Much like the previous model, front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive will be an option.

2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Exterior Spyshots
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The Insignia will get the 1.5-liter EcoTec unit that debuted in the Malibu.

As far as drivetrains go, the new Insignia should get a wide range of four-cylinder engines in both gasoline and diesel form. Word has it a new three-cylinder is also likely, while the V-6 could be dropped altogether, just like GM did in the case of the Malibu. On the gasoline front, the Insignia will get the 1.5-liter EcoTec unit that debuted in the Malibu. The turbocharged four-cylinder is rated at 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque in the American sedan and returns up to 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

An updated version of the 2.0-liter turbo-four is also on the table, with output likely to exceed the 256-horsepower rating of the current 2.8-liter V-6. The four-banger in the outgoing model cranks out 247 horses and 300 pound-feet. The wagon will also get a performance-oriented OPC version at some point, but it remains to be seen whether it will use a revised V-6 or a beefed-up version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Moving over to diesels, the new Insignia should continue with a selection of 2.0-liter four-bangers. Expect an entry-level unit with around 170 horsepower and 270 pound-feet and a bi-turbo version with more than 200 horses and 310 pound-feet.

A hybrid drivetrain is also planned, but details are scant as of this writing. However, Opel could use the technology already available in the Malibu Hybrid.

All engines will likely mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. Thanks to the lower curb weight, revised engines, and updated gearboxes, the second-generation Insignia Sports Tourer should boast improved fuel economy and driving characteristics.

Prices

Pricing of the second-generation model is obviously still a mystery, but we expect it to increase very little. With the current model retailing from €25,610 (about $28,100 as of October 2016), the upcoming Insignia Sports Tourer could fetch around €26,200 (around $28,750) before options.

Competition

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2015 Volkswagen Passat High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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One of the segment’s most iconic wagons, the Volkswagen Passat was redesigned in 2014, gaining new styling, a fresh interior, upgraded engines, and the then-new MQB platform. Lighter and sportier than its predecessor, the new Passat gets its juice from a wide array of four-cylinder engines. The gasoline range begins with a 1.4-liter rated at 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet, while the range-topping model gets a 2.0-liter with 217 horses and 258 pound-feet. The diesel lineup starts with a 1.6-liter that generates 118 horsepower and 184 pound-feet, but customers in need of more power can go with the top-level 2.0-liter, which is good for 237 horses and 369 pound-feet of twist. The German wagon is also available with a hybrid drivetrain and as an Alltrack model, the later competing against the Insignia Country Tourer. Pricing starts from €27,475 (about $30,150).

Read more about the Volkswagen Passat Estate here.

Ford Mondeo Estate

2014 Ford Mondeo Wagon Wallpaper quality
- image 657172

Essentially the European-spec version of the Fusion, the Mondeo is also available as a five-door wagon on the other side of the pond. The current Mondeo made its debut in 2014, two years after the Fusion was unveiled. The European model is basically identical to its American sibling styling-wise, but the wagon model is unique to the Old Continent, as U.S. customers don’t have access to this version. Motivation comes from various small-displacement engines, including the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost. Rated at 123 horsepower, the three-pot is joined by a 158-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder, and a 2.0-liiter four-banger with 200 and 237 horses in the gasoline lineup. Diesel offerings are also vast, including 1.5-, 1.6-, and 2.0-liter four-cylinders. Output ranges between 113 to 207 horsepower. Finally, a hybrid drivetrain combining an Atkinson-cycle inline-four with an electric motor delivers 184 horsepower combined. The Mondeo wagon is priced from €25,750 (around $28,260).

Find out more about the Ford Mondeo Estate here.

Conclusion

2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Exterior Spyshots
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The first-generation Insignia was a successful replacement for the iconic Vectra. With more than 800,000 units sold as of October 2016, the Insignia and its wagon sibling have been a popular choice in many European markets and even outsold its direct competitor, the Ford Mondeo, in certain countries. The vehicle also won numerous awards and was voted the 2009 European Car of the Year. Praised for its attractive design features and the big, flexible trunk, the Insignia Sports Tourer is arguably the best wagon Opel has delivered in a very long time and the upcoming model should be an improvement in just about every department.

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    • * Not officially confirmed for the U.S.
    • * Tough competition in Europe
    • * No hybrid model yet
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