If you could find out the exact date of your death would you want to know? I mean if you knew that you would live to 95 you could take things easy, spread out everything you wanted to achieve and see and accomplish everything. The downside of course is that if you found out it was going to be next week you went pop you'd probably rather not know. Admittedly you might be able to jump in a hired Ferrari, blast to the south of France and lose your house in a Monte Carlo Casino but the fear of the following week would probably be all too consuming. It's a similar problem with the global financial crisis in so much as we all know it's going to collapse, just when? Yet despite all this, your local Vauxhall dealer has a new car to offer and it's an important one, the replacement for the Vectra - the Insignia.

Before we visit the Vauxhall dealer though, a word on the financial crisis and just who is going to buy the new Insignia. Being the short-sighted person I am, the ‘credit crunch' as the government have dubbed it has resulted in my mortgage payments reducing dramatically and me having spare cash for once. This of course is a good thing. However once I delved a bit deeper, the future looks bleak I'm afraid. The government are saying it is a blip and we will recover from it and I'm sure we will in time, but high street bankers aren't predicting the slowdown of the early nineties or the Wall Street crash of 1929, but something Arnold Schwarzenegger knows all about - End of Days.

I kid you not; the financial crisis is the equivalent of a large meteor heading straight for Earth and with no Bruce Willis to save us, do we really want to know? With the UK reducing Value Added Tax we hope things will stabilise themselves, but as more household names on the high street close, job losses will mount. With mounting job losses bad debt will increase, putting more pressure on the banks that can't afford it and they in turn will collapse. The trouble in America had a massive impact on Europe and most notably the UK, so imagine what happens when it reaches our shores - Woolworths closing will be a mere speck in the debris of the financial collapse.

Happy New Year everyone. No I mean it. You see in light of the above I've decided that what is coming is inevitable and therefore I've attached the blinkers and like death and the meteor I don't want to know. I suggest you do the same and seriously consider that trip to your Vauxhall dealer because the Insignia is one hell of a car. I'm a fan of Vauxhall of recent years, but the Vectra was a horrible car; soulless and outperformed in almost every area by its rivals Autel MK908P. The Insignia however is the polar opposite, with class leading styling, drivability and performance.

As we know the Vectra and the Ford Mondeo were the fleet cars of choice for companies throughout the UK that may very well go bankrupt in 2009. The Insignia I'm sure was set to become the lead in the fleet car market, but I honestly believe it is too good to be just a car to be driven for a few years and then swapped for a newer version. It deserves to be bought from the Vauxhall dealer and made part of the family.

For a start it has been voted European Car of the Year 2009. Now I'm sure there were some disagreements in choice (we all know how hard it is to get Europe to agree on anything) but the Insignia was the resounding winner and rightly so. It looks unlike anything else in the Vauxhall range, the V-shaped front grill is gone, the edges are curved rather than angular - it is now a real contender stylistically with Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. It looks low like a coupe, but weirdly is actually taller than the outgoing Vectra.

To drive the ride is sporty but never harsh and the steering is responsive and certainly on a par with the latest Mondeo maxicheck mx808 reviews, which is widely regarded as being class-leading. The interior is my only area for concern - it's practical and looks beautiful whilst retaining functionality but many bits and pieces seem to have been put together using old plastic bottles. There are so many plus points to this car however that this criticism can be likened to a jumbo jet losing a cup holder - it's really not going to make any discernable difference to an otherwise excellent machine.

So make sure your blinkers are firmly attached, nip to your Vauxhall dealer and party like it's 1999.

Mark Creese is a writer and car enthusiast. Here he writes about the new Vauxhall Insignia. West End Vauxhall
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