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Opel Insignia OPC vs Subaru Liberty GT


Opel Insignia OPC and Subaru Liberty GT go head-to-head in this comparative review.

value

Opel Insignia OPC

$59,990

Standard fare includes 19-inch alloys, Recaro seats, leather trim, xenon adaptive headlights, three-stage adaptive damping, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, leather-wrapped steering wheel, satnav, USB-input sound, Bluetooth phone (but not audio) link, cruise control and LED ambient cabin lighting.  

Subaru Liberty GT

$56,490

The turbo four flagship has plenty of gear -- dual-zone climate aircon with rear vents, leather trim, 18-inch alloys, auto lights (but not wipers), power seats (but no heaters), touchscreen satnav, sunroof and first-rate McIntosh 10-speaker sound.

technology

Opel Insignia OPC

The twin-scroll 2.8-litre turbo V6 (239kW/435Nm) has variable valve control but not direct injection. It uses 10.9L/100km. Power goes to the road via a six-speed auto (that is sharp only in shift quality, not in smarts) and clever AWD with limited-slip rear diff.

Subaru Liberty GT

The boxer 2.5-litre with variable valve set-up (195kW/350Nm) gets the GT under way in typical thrummy fashion. Five-speed auto returns 9.7L/100km. Pace is on par with the OPC thanks to nearly 300 fewer kilos. Old-school 50-50 AWD split.

design

Opel Insignia OPC

Curvaceous yet lithe sedan with a big boot (though a smallish aperture) and space for four adults. The busy dashboard takes time to decipher but instruments are easy to read even under the red hue emitted when the super-sport OPC button is engaged.

Subaru Liberty GT

Far more conservative, the Liberty sits more upright thanks to a taller glasshouse. Cabin and boot space are comparable with the Opel but the overtly sporty nature of the OPC cabin makes the GT look staid. Cabin is comfortable cabin but outlook is loftier.

safety

Opel Insignia OPC

Full crash test marks thanks to six airbags, stability and traction control, AWD and whopper stoppers (355mm cross-drilled front discs with four-pot calipers), parking sensors front and rear (no camera), auto-dimming mirror and rain-sensing wipers.

Subaru Liberty GT

Five stars -- the GT has standard EyeSight adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and auto-braking. A reversing camera (but no standard sensors), seven airbags, xenon headlights and full-size spare are on the list.

driving

Opel Insignia OPC

Swift and capable but rough bitumen can upset it and the weight blunts it. On good surfaces it's a corner-carver, with ample traction and poise, but use the paddles to stay in the V6's mid-range -- the auto can get a little flummoxed on exit.

Subaru Liberty GT

Good spread of torque translates easily to the road, a benefit of less lard. Bilstein sports suspension copes well with broken bitumen, although the GT also jitters over smaller imperfections. The GT is light on its feet and swift.

Verdict

Opel Insignia OPC

Subaru Liberty GT

Both easily complete family duties and cover ground quickly but one is a better all-rounder. The Subaru keeps the Opel in its mirrors.