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Steane Klose | Aug 12, 2008

Good news for Lion fans today as it looks like Holden has made the smart choice to bring Opel's new Insignia down-under. The move will give Holden a competitive one-two punch in the mid-sized market as the prestige-oriented Insignia will sell alongside the economy-conscious Epica.

Expected to be priced from $35,000-$50,000, the Insignia is intended to do battle against the likes of Mazda6, Honda Accord Euro, Volkswagen Passat, and Ford Mondeo. The Epica is left to duke it out against the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Magentis in the lower end of the market.

No word on which Insignia iterations we'll be receiving, but European buyers can currently select either a 4 door sedan, referred to as a 'notch' on the Opel site, or a 5 door lift-back. A wagon is reportedly on the way in the near future.

There's also choice when it comes to what's under the skin as Opel will offer FWD or AWD, six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, and seven different engine options. Four petrol engines will be offered ranging from an 86kW 4-cylinder unit to a range topping 194kW V6. The three remaining engines are all 2.0L diesel units, ranging from 82-120kWs.

With customers scrambling for smaller vehicles, the mid-sized segment has boomed in recent years so it's a wise move for Holden to get in on this action as soon as possible. The Epica has toiled manfully in the lower half of the market but there has been a clear gap when customers have come looking for a Mazda6 competitor. With Holden's market share slowly diminishing, the Insiginia can't get here soon enough.

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