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Thread: Insignia VXR vs S4

  1. #1
    Regular Member Maverick's Avatar
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    Default Insignia VXR vs S4

    I have test driven both cars now, both were also saloons.

    Insignia VXR

    Very quick car, but as mentioned already, a little bit of 'nothingness' below 3700rpm as the turbo spools up, but after this point it's as quick as hell. Under 3700rpm, it feels like it is being held back and your going through the revs just for the sake of it. This feeling of nothingness is not exactly true though as the speedo is still moving towards the illegal speed limit very quickly. I would just liked to have had a little bit more in your back grunt from low revs.

    I reckon this is purely down to the mapping as Opels policy is to have cars now that don't feel turbocharged but very smooth, this is the Insignia's downfall, it's too smooth. But it's alot easier to drive around normally than the Vectra VXR and you can potter about and not get tired of aggressive throttle responce etc.

    Equipment levels are second to none, with only 20" wheels, leather and Sat Nav being the main options you would want. The seats are amazing and very easy to get comfortable in and really hold you in place. The steering wheel is a little on the big side and I am not really a fan of the silver trim on the steering wheel that replicates the vents on the bumper. Build quality is way ahead of Vectra in all area's

    The handling is very good and traction levels excellent, but still feels in alot of ways like a front wheel drive car.

    Until...............................you hit the VXR button, this sends 80% of the drive to the rear wheels at all times, and on the bendy stuff, you can then really feel the back dig in when exiting corners. It sort of gives you the best of both worlds, the instruments changing from white to red is a bit of a gimmick, but I have to say I like it alot! Steering could be a little more weighted and feeld a little light, even on VXR mode.

    I think that Vauxhall should have altered the mapping when on 'VXR' button to not only stiffen up the shocks and throttle response and also the power to the 4x4 system, but make the acceleration feel quicker, then in normal mode everything calms down. The 'Sport Button' is a bit pointless when you have normal and VXR mode.

    Like the BMW M5, it has 400bhp, then when you press the 'M' button you get the full 500. I think Vauxhall should give the car 300bhp in normal mode and say 350/360bhp in 'VXR' mode.

    Audi S4

    For a start, the S4 is alot smaller than the Insignia when parked side by side.

    The enigne is superb, the 3.0 V6 sounds very much like the Insignia but as it's supercharged, you get instant punch and it feels more like a V8 than a V6, this instand punch I think is what gives the car it's slightly better 0-60 time over the Insignia VXR. But once on the move, there is nothing in it with the Insignia maybe having the edge.

    The steering is alot sharper on the Audi and you feel more in touch with whats going on with the road and you tend to feel more of whats going on with each wheel. Supercharger noise is almost silent which is a shame.

    The handling is sublime for this size car and the quattro 4x4 system is very good, although both the Insignia and S4 both use the Haldex system, the Audi seems to have better overal grip. If if we were at somewhere like Bruntingthorpe with both cars, I think the Audi would struggle to lose the Insignia.

    The interior is very good I must say, better than the Insignia? In certain areas yes, the piano black trim on the Insignia lets it down as it's a little plasticy but it's not far behind the Audi at all.

    I didn't bother with mpg tests as both car were pretty new and I know both won't be brilliant.

    In my opinion, the S4 is the more polished article, but this is Audi's 3rd generation S4 so they have had some practice, where as the Insignia is Vauxhall first attempt at a hot 4x4 saloon car.

    The VXR feels like it has soul, where the Audi just doesn't. In some ways it is too perfect.

    Looking at both as standard packages, £31k for a basic Insignia VXR compared to £36k for the basic S4, is the S4 good enough to spend the extra £5000 on?

    err...............................No. The S4 is good without a doubt, no it's very very good, but when you consider the standard spec of the Insignia VXR and it's very few short falls compared to the S4 I would be hard pushed to go for the S4.

    OK, the VXR is an expensive Vauxhall, but it's overall running costs, servicing etc is considerably more on the S4 than the VXR.

    The VXR is not cheap at £31k, but when you consider an Insignia SRi 2.0 CDTi 160with as near same spec as the VXR is £29000, it makes the VXR seem like excellent value for money.
    Last edited by Maverick; 14th January 2010 at 13:51.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Ziggy's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Saab

    Trim : 9-3 Vert

    Engine : 2.0

    Year : 2000

    Default

    You say £31K for the VXR but arent VX already offering discounts?

  3. #3
    Regular Member v6vc's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra & Signum

    Trim : GSi & Design

    Engine : 3.2 V6 & 2.8 V6 T

    Year : 02/07

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    Nice write up! £5k just for an Audi badge is hard to swallow especially when considering I got a top spec GSi for under 5k!

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    Quote Originally Posted by V6VC View Post
    Nice write up! £5k just for an Audi badge is hard to swallow especially when considering I got a top spec GSi for under 5k!
    Trouble is all Vauxhalls are worth ****** all once driven off the forecourt, However you can now get VXR's for £26K brand new, now that would be a huge discount over an Audi

    http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1421339.htm

  5. #5
    Regular Member markm's Avatar
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    Add £500 for a good remap and I bet the VXR would feel worlds apart over standard

  6. #6
    Regular Member maurauth's Avatar
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    Yeah if you spend that extra £5000 on a remap, better exhaust, engine tweaks, etc you would have something that would destroy an RS4 let alone an S4...

  7. #7
    Regular Member Maverick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s_zigmond View Post
    You say £31K for the VXR but arent VX already offering discounts?
    Partners discount for VXR is only 10%. Vauxhall are keeping the discounts low to help with long term residuals. I found out today from Audi I could get up to 12% off an S4 so the comparisons are not too far apart.

    Vectra used to get 17-20% on partners.

    But as all dealers are offer different deals, the only fair way to do comparions is to talk list prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by bignew View Post
    Trouble is all Vauxhalls are worth ****** all once driven off the forecourt, However you can now get VXR's for £26K brand new, now that would be a huge discount over an Audi

    http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1421339.htm
    Thats not strictly true, contrary to popular belief, all cars lose the same initial value as a percentage when driven off the fourcourt. Which is in fact the VAT value.

    Insignia residuals are very high at the moment and in the 12 months they have been around they have not depreciated as much as people expected. This is down to Vauxhall not throwing money at them to get them sold. This is what killed the Vectra values.

    The deal you mention in your link is not telling the whole truth either, Archie Moss have a reputation of advertising cars with FDA (Finance Deposit Allowance) included. You won't get that price if you want to buy out right.

    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Add £500 for a good remap and I bet the VXR would feel worlds apart over standard
    Absolutly right, a re-map would change the Insignia VXR into the car I think it should be below 3700rpm.

    The VXR engine is good for 400bhp without too much trouble.

  8. #8
    Regular Member markm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Partners discount for VXR is only 10%. Vauxhall are keeping the discounts low to help with long term residuals. I found out today from Audi I could get up to 12% off an S4 so the comparisons are not too far apart.

    Vectra used to get 17-20% on partners.




    Absolutly right, a re-map would change the Insignia VXR into the car I think it should be below 3700rpm.

    The VXR engine is good for 400bhp without too much trouble.
    I can't remeber the to correct figures but I got 25% off the Vectra and £3000 FDA, total worked out about 35% in total. I'm I'll not be getting at off a GSI when they are out

    Go on you know you want to, VXR + Remap = Lots of fun , and a big saving over the Audi,

    I'm sure if you spoke to my dealer they would remap a VXR for you to test

  9. #9
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    Great write up, and very similar to what I found.
    I drove the S4 back in September and the VXR just before Christmas, so not really a back to back test.

    Totally agree the VRX has very little power under 4000 rpm and really needs to be rev'd, whereas the Audi with the supercharger has instant power. Side by side, or out of a roundabout the S4 would leave the VXR.
    For bhp there's very little in it, the Audi has 4bhp more, but the VXR's problem is it's weight, 200 kg more than the S4, and it's that what makes the Audi more lively. The VRX is a good bit bigger inside and out and I think it makes it less nimble.

    I loved the VXR button (could do without the instrument changing colour) but the power going to the rear more made it a lot of fun. Very EVO/ Impreza like in the way it squats out of corners just not as fast as them though -again that weight.

    The steering does feel too light and doesn't give much feedback. It leaves you a bit remote from exactly feeling what the front is doing, and that's one area the S4 is very good at.
    I'd need to check, but I don't think the Audi A4 class uses a Haldex. I think that is just for the transverse engined smaller cars, A3. I think it's the full 4wd system.

    Build quality, the VXR is without doubt the best Vauxhall yet, but it certainly isn't of the same material built quality as the Audi.

    Is the S4 worth £5k more, maybe not, but it is the better car IMHO. Then come selling time, and the VXR WILL have dropped like a stone whereas the S4 just won't. Simple fact of life that one I'm afraid, no matter what Vauxhall say. Always has been.

    So.
    A VXR with a discount and a decent remap, (not for more top end power really but more low down power), and better steering feel.
    And thats really about it.
    It really is a good car, and Vauxhalls best for a long while.

    And if I had £35k to spend..............................eh, it would be the Audi (with a remap too). More to pay originally, but that will cancel out come resell time.
    I just think Vauxhall are aiming just too high to compete against Audi. Sorry.

  10. #10
    On a Sabbatical daviek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavieR View Post
    Is the S4 worth £5k more, maybe not, but it is the better car IMHO. Then come selling time, and the VXR WILL have dropped like a stone whereas the S4 just won't. Simple fact of life that one I'm afraid, no matter what Vauxhall say. Always has been.

    So.
    A VXR with a discount and a decent remap, (not for more top end power really but more low down power), and better steering feel.
    And thats really about it.
    It really is a good car, and Vauxhalls best for a long while.

    And if I had £35k to spend..............................eh, it would be the Audi (with a remap too). More to pay originally, but that will cancel out come resell time.
    I just think Vauxhall are aiming just too high to compete against Audi. Sorry.
    Totally agree with you there buddy , the best car ever from vauxhall but not in the same league as the S4 . Vauxhall have stepped up their efforts in building cars ie the new Astra and Insignia but so have Audi , BMW and the likes.
    I got a quote on an Insignia VXR in November for a 5 year personal contract agreement and was guaranteed a minimum future value of £6000 ... says it all really

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