Do you want to hear something depressing?
Twenty years ago, in 1997, Opel sold 15.000 Vectra’s.
Ford already had the Mondeo, and they sold 12.000 of them. Last year,
exactly twenty years later, Opel, which moved on to the Insignia, only sold 1.500 of them.
Worse still, Ford only sold 1.200 Mondeo’s.
90% of the D-segment at both brands was gone.
Within twenty years. But if you’re in a Mondeo.
It’s not like it’s an unpleasant car. On the contrary.
It’s spacious, the seats are good, and it’s a typical Ford.
That means that the drive is good. It’s all incredibly direct.
This is an ST-line as well, so it’s got a dynamic edge.
A little dynamic edge that is, because it’s a big station wagon.
I mean it’s almost five metres long. It will never be incredibly quick,
but everything you do has a direct response to it. There’s a lot of connectivity with the technology.
In everything. Not only the steering and handling,
which are incredibly good by the way, but changing gears, braking,
all of which is done with a lot of feel to it. It’s an incredibly pleasant car to drive,
so what’s the problem with this? I can’t imagine it’s the amount of space either,
because depending if you’ve folded your seats down, you can store 525 or 1630 litres of luggage.
That’s a lot. Almost as much as this Insignia Sports Tourer.
That can store 530 or 1638 litres, depending on the rear seat. There’s a small problem though,
and it could be an explanation for why the D-segment has decreased in popularity. It can’t store a whole lot more than an Opel Astra Wagon. Unless you’ve got long things to carry around all the time,
because these are a tad longer, the luggage space isn’t a very convincing factor. So it has to come from the rear seat,
and that’s where these cars actually are bigger than the C-segment cars. Especially this Insignia.
It really is huge. You’ve got space,
everywhere you look. On the other hand,
you’ll have to be driving four huge Dutchmen all the time. if you really want to use that advantage.
That doesn’t work in favor of the D-segment either.
But when you actually get into the Insignia,
the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place. It’s not all about space,
refinement on board is incredibly important as well. That’s something where the Mondeo falls behind.
Sure, it has a good drive, but the same goes for a lot of C-segment cars as well.
Sure, you can get lots of active safety systems on the Mondeo, but it’s the same story for a lot of C-segment cars.
The problem of the Mondeo is the fact. that it’s quite an outdated car.
It was presented to us in 2014, but it actually is an upgraded version of the American Fusion,
which was presented in 2012. That’s six years ago,
and that’s a long time for a car. And it shows,
from every single side. Especially in the interior.
It’s downright ugly. This Insignia however,
is the exact opposite. It might be the best looking interior in the non-premium. D-segment you’ll find.
The finishing is better, the used materials look better, all of the digital features look clearer,
they react quicker, the car feels like it’s built around you. There’s more technology fitted as well.
Take the matrix LED-lighting for example. It can choose to dim certain parts of the high beam. You can order an automatic high beam at Ford,
but it only has two modes. On or off.
And even that doesn’t work without problems. In here, everything was developed properly.
Every single detail, especially on a technological level.
The same goes for the chassis. Indeed, the Mondeo drives fantastically.
The steering is incredibly sharp, and this Insignia would lose that battle.
It’s an OPC-line, so it’s a sportier version as well. However, what you lose in sharpness,
you’ll gain twice in comfort. This car uses its long wheelbase as one of its biggest advantages. There’s a lot of peace in that chassis,
and because of that, the steering is a tad slower.
As a whole though, the drive is much more pleasant. Actually,
there are only two points on which the Insignia is tied with the Mondeo, not worse,
but where it’s tied with the Mondeo. First, the drivetrain.
Just like the Ford, it’s powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine.
This produces 165 horsepower, and the Ford produces a tad less power and torque.
It doesn’t really matter for the performance figures. The Mondeo has smoother gearshifts,
but it’s pretty much at the same level. The other factor is the price,
because they’re quite similar as well. The Insignia we’re driving right now will set you back €46.000 and some change,
whilst the Mondeo costs €42.000. However, that doesn’t feature leather upholstery,
no electrically operated seats, no electrical bootlid,
and it isn’t fitted with those safety features. So if you put the same options on both cars,
the pricegap will be very small. My point is,
that if you buy this Mondeo, you might ask yourself;
"why did I buy this instead of a Focus or an Astra Wagon?" This Insignia brings a whole other question to mind.
"Why was the D-segment doing so bad again?" .