Generating combined CO2 of just 136g/km and with performance similar to that of its regular 2.0 CDTi 160 sibling, the new Insignia ecoFLEX is set to provide company and private buyers with significant reductions in taxes and running costs, but without the pain of reduced driveability.

Available initially in hatch and saloon versions, and in all trim levels apart from SRi, the Insignia ecoFLEX is on sale now with a starting price of £19,600 OTR for the Exclusiv model.

The ecoFLEX’s reduced combined CO2 figure means that business drivers will pay just 18 per cent Benefit in Kind tax – the second lowest band for a diesel car – down from 21 per cent for the already competitive 2.0 CDTi models. The lower CO2 also mean that all Insignia ecoFLEX owners will be better off by £25 per year due to its lower VED band.

And with all drivers keeping a keen eye on the fuel gauge these days, the Insignia ecoFLEX rewards with an official combined figure of 54.7mpg – a 10 per cent improvement on the 2.0 CDTi model – which puts it among the best in class. It also means that the Insignia ecoFLEX now has a potential range of over 842 miles.

But since the Insignia ecoFLEX uses the same 160PS 2.0-litre engine found in higher-powered versions of existing 2.0 CDTi models, there’s little change in performance. Top speed remains at 135mph, while 0-60mph takes just 8.9 seconds, making it one of the quickest green derivatives in its class.

Aerodynamics have played a major role in the Insignia ecoFLEX’s overall efficiency. Designers have streamlined the car, adding panelling to its underside, while also lowering the ride height by 10mm. As a result, the Cd figure drops from 0.27 for the regular hatch to 0.26 for the ecoFLEX. Low rolling resistance Michelin tyres are also standard on all models.

A higher first and second gear ratio, combined with a higher final drive ratio are the only changes that have been made to the ecoFLEX’s powertrain, ensuring that the generous torque from the 2.0 CDTi 160 engine (350Nm from 1750-2500rpm, with overboost to 380Nm) remains to ensure optimum driveability. But to help drivers get the best from their ecoFLEX’s economy, a graphic is displayed in the instrument panel recommending the best change-up points.

Vauxhall Insignia ecoFLEX prices

S 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £20,945.00
Exclusiv 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £19,600.00
Exclusiv Nav 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £20,395.00
SE 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £22,900.00
SE Nav 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £23,195.00
Elite 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £24,950.00
Elite Nav 2.0CDTi (160PS) ecoFLEX: £25,745.00

Performance / environmental information
0-60mph 8.9 seconds
Top speed 135mph
CO2 emissions 136g/km
Urban 41.5mpg
Extra-Urban 67.3mpg
Combined 54.7mpg
VED band C
BIK band 18%

Capacity 1956cc
Max power 160PS @ 4000rpm
Max torque 350Nm from 1750-2500rpm
Configuration 4 cylinders, 4 valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts
Fuel/induction Variable geometry turbocharger with intercooler. Common rail fuel injection
Service intervals 20,000 miles or 1 year (whichever occurs sooner)