Insignia hatchback, saloon, Sports Tourer or Country Tourer
Voted European Car of the Year 2009, the Insignia has come a long way over the years. It’s popular with business drivers and doubles up as a versatile family car. The recently-launched GSi model really spices things up on the performance front too.
The goodIncredible economy and outstanding value
The badFord Mondeo is tough opposition to beat
Vauxhall Insignia GSi Nav Grand Sport 2.0 210PS 4×4 Auto
Vauxhall has thrown an absolute corker into the family car mix with a beefed-up version of its popular Insignia model that was developed at the Nurburgring in Germany.
It’s called the Insignia GSi and is the fastest Vauxhall car to go around the iconic circuit. Our test car came in Grand Sport guise and was powered by a punchy 2.0-litre 210PS diesel engine mated to a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. It could sprint from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds and topped out at 145mph. It’s probably worth mentioning at this stage that this is a family car. On the economy front, this ultra-quick Insignia can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 186g/km.
The five-door Insignia GSi Nav Grand Sport looks dynamic from any approach and ours was supplied in a bright Lava Red shade which perfectly suited its character. Stand-out design cues include beautifully streamlined curves, GSi front and rear bumpers, a GSi rear spoiler, GSi side sills, visible tailpipes, dark tinted rear windows, matrix headlights and 20-inch alloys.
Move inside and the vibrant theme continues with body-hugging perforated leather sports seats complete with GSi badging. There is an eight-inch colour touchscreen, a premium navigation system, BOSE sound system, smartphone connection via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone climate control, a head-up display, Bluetooth connectivity, heated or cooled front and outer rear seats and lots more besides.
It all feels very upmarket with the likes of metal pedals and a heated flat-bottomed sports steering wheel completing the look. The seats are power adjusted so it’s quick and easy to find the perfect driving position and all controls and readouts are well placed for driver usability.
When it comes to performance, the Insignia GSi lives up to all the hype – the acceleration through the eight-speed transmission is smooth and responsive with steering wheel mounted paddles if you want to take charge of the gear switches. There are Tour and Sport modes that alter the way the car behaves and when pushed hard the Insignia GSi delivers a gentle growling sound which suggests there is plenty of power beneath the bonnet.
The steering is precise with plenty of driver feedback and it handles beautifully sweeping along the winding country lanes. The Insignia GSi is very well planted so tight bends can be attacked with confidence and there’s no sign whatsoever of any body movement. Then there is all the power needed to let loose on the faster moving motorways.
Comfort levels are good with a firm but not hard ride and there is ample leg room in the back for a couple of adults to stretch out. The boot is generously sized too with a 490-litre capacity that can be increased to 1,450 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. In addition, there’s a number of convenient storage compartments throughout the car, including a deep central box, a covered bin, a glovebox, practical door pockets and cup holders.
Due to its streamlined styling, the all-round visibility is good, but not brilliant, yet there are sensors and cameras to make parking an easier process. On the safety front, the Insignia GSi is generously equipped with a comprehensive range of features to protect occupants and passengers alike, along with the reassurance of 4×4 capabilities. Our car also boasted a Driving Assistance Pack One as standard and that introduced the likes of forward collision alert with automatic city emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, following distance indicator and lane departure warning with lane assist.
The car also features Vauxhall’s impressive OnStar system that enables you to contact a ‘real’ person 24/7 if you need directions, advice or recommendations about places to visit, eat or stay. The adviser can direct you to filling stations, remind you about upcoming warranty services and, should the unthinkable happen and you be involved in an accident, send your GPS coordinates to the emergency services.
So, all in all, the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Nav Grand Sport is packed with technology and is excellent fun to drive, surely there must be a catch? The only thing that may deter people a little is the asking price of £33,965 (increased to £34,400 on our test car). But in fairness, it’s a whole lot of car for the outlay and many rival brands charge a great deal more for much less.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer – first drive (2017)
Any fans of the Vauxhall Insignia estate models who want something a little more rugged are in luck with the launch of the all-new Country Tourer complete with its robust, rough and ready, off-road design.
It is very much based on the latest Insignia Sports Tourer, but this particular version is kitted out with lots of additional gear, such as off-road cladding to the lower fascia, wheel arches and along the lower body side. And the go-anywhere look is completed with a silver-coloured skid plate, dual exhausts, roof rails, tinted glass and a prominent grille with slim headlights to accentuate the car’s width.
On the practicality front, the Insignia Country Tourer’s ground clearance has been increased by 20mm and to make loading a simple process, the tailgate can be opened without even touching the car. A simple kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the boot and another kick sees it close again.
Storage limits have been improved with an extra 135 litres of boot space on offer taking the car’s capacity up to 1,665 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats lowered. When all five seats are occupied the boot limit is still a very impressive 560 litres. And the roof rails are not just for show either as they can carry loads up to 100kg.
Move inside the cabin and the level of technology available cannot fail to impress with massaging seats, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wifi hotspots, an optional BOSE sound system, a superb sat nav system and a link to the OnStar service that connects to a real person at the end of the phone. This service can be used for simple requests such as directions that will be downloaded directly to the car’s sat nav system or information about nearby restaurants, petrol stations and motels. But it can also prove invaluable if the car is stolen, breaks down or is involved in a serious accident when the emergency services will be contacted and your exact position supplied.
The Insignia Country Tourer is priced from £25,635 and is only available at launch with a 2.0-litre Turbo 170PS diesel engine which can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 61.4mpg and carbon emissions of 145g/km. However, a further diesel 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo 201PS powertrain will be available from December.
The car is also on offer for the first time with Vauxhall’s all-new eight-speed automatic gearbox which is more responsive and smaller than the six-speed transmission.
There is only one generously-equipped trim level, but customers can select between FWD or 4×4. They must also choose between manual or auto gearboxes, and, of course, there is a whole host of options to help personalise the vehicle to taste and requirements.
The Country Tourer uses the same all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring system that is seen in the Ford Focus RS. Rather than featuring a traditional rear differential, the Country Tourer has two electrically-controlled multi-plate clutches that enable more individual power to each wheel.
In addition, there are three driving modes called Standard, Sport and Tour to select from. These adjust the car’s steering, throttle response and gear shifts on the automatic transmission.
Safety features are plentiful as is the list of driver aids with the likes of LED Matrix lighting, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, advanced park assist and a head-up display.
We tested out an automatic version priced at £27,535, increased to £30,745 with options such as the Matrix LED headlights (£1,010), Driving Assistance Pack (£595) and powered tailgate with sensor (£380) added.
This car could sprint from 0 to 60mph in 9.3 seconds and topped out at 135mph. Combined fuel economy was 43.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 172g/km.
Despite its larger-than-life dimensions, the Country Tourer was deceptively agile and the road-holding through long sweeping bends was exceptional with no loss of grip or even a hint of body roll. It felt sporty in its handling with precise, direct steering and plenty of driver feedback. There is a little road surface and engine noise when driven with a heavy right boot, but otherwise the car remains beautifully refined throughout.
Comfort levels are high with great all-round visibility and the automatic gearbox was smooth and responsive with a constant supply of power on tap which helped make very light work of overtaking slower moving vehicles.
Out on the faster motorways, it laps up the miles and the highly-efficient suspension irons out the bumps and dips along the way.
We also tested a 4×4 Insignia Country Tourer off road and it impressed immensely as it climbed slippery grass banks, descended steep boggy slopes and weaved its way through muddy woodland without any hint of traction loss.
All in all, the latest Insignia Country Tourer is the perfect model for anyone looking for estate-like practically along with stylish design cues, classy technology, excellent driving dynamics and the option of 4×4 capabilities.
Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Techline 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX
Renowned as one of the very finest fleet vehicles on offer, the Vauxhall Insignia is many a business driver’s dream car and now the latest Sports Tourer model really ups the ante.
Boasting sleek streamlining with dynamic styling, techno treats galore, plus a comfortable and practical cabin the car also features another winning factor that’s impossible to ignore – combined fuel efficiency of 72.4mpg – and that adds up to a winning formula for business drivers clocking up the motorway miles.
But don’t be fooled into thinking the car will only appeal to long distance drivers because it is exceptionally stylish and easily slots into family car mode as and when required. And with its eye-catching good looks it certainly won’t be out of place on the fashionable school run where appearances mean everything.
The Insignia Sports Tourer looks great from any angle thanks to LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloys, body-coloured door handles and door mirrors, sleek body lines and tinted windows.
The richly-equipped interior boasts a stylish design with all controls, dials and instrumentation ideally positioned for driver usability.
There’s a whole host of techno treats to be explored with most functions displayed on a colour touchscreen and accessed via a mouse-like touchpad.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include a CD/MP3 player with digital radio, sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers plus plenty more besides.
All occupants are treated to bundles of space with plenty of leg, head and shoulder room for back seat passengers and the generously-sized boot can accommodate any luggage requirements.
Split-folding rear seats mean the storage capacity can be increased from 540 litres up to 1,530 litres as and when required.
Despite the Insignia Sports Tourer’s frugal and impressive fuel efficiency, the car’s performance capabilities have not been compromised in the slightest.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers plenty of bite helping the car sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph. Acceleration is constant and there is always a generous supply of power on tap. The six-speed manual transmission is nice and smooth and the gear-shift prompt along with automatic stop/start help the car achieve its notable economy stats.
With long journeys likely to be a common factor the vehicle has to offer good comfort levels and in fairness to the Insignia it does just that. After a round trip of 250 miles I wasn’t aching in the slightest and there were no oohhs and aahhs as I stepped out of the car!
The all-round visibility is excellent and as one would expect, Vauxhall has packed plenty of safety features into the car, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and six airbags.
All in all, the Insignia Sports Tourer is the perfect example of a car that is economical and practical without being boring in the process. And the price tag of £23,284 will also keep you on speaking terms with the bank manager.
Vauxhall Insignia (2013 models)
It’s a fact – the Vauxhall Insignia has always outsold its greatest competitor, the Ford Mondeo, and with the launch of the newly restyled and very upmarket new model, Vauxhall has truly thrown down the gauntlet to any rival manufacturer.
The Insignia looks smarter, is more economical to run, offers tax benefits galore, is packed with state-of-the-art techno treats and even comes with a price-tag that is lower than the outgoing model.
The aerodynamics have been improved, the ride quality is smoother and the choice of trim levels has been simplified and reduced from 14 to eight with prices ranging from £16,279 to £29,329.
It is available as a hatchback, saloon or estate with a super-fast VXR model joining the line-up very soon. This will be the UK’s fastest car for less than £30k.
But the headline-grabbing story from the Vauxhall camp is the introduction of four new engines. And the one that is likely to be the biggest crowd pleaser – especially amongst business drivers who account for 85% of sales – is the highly impressive 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX diesel engine with 120 or 140ps, class-leading emissions of just 99g/km and a claimed combined fuel efficiency of 76.3mpg.
All Insignia models are feature-rich with first class technology and even the entry models boast creature comforts such as digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, LED daytime running lights, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, climate control, automatic lights and plenty more besides.
Another feature that Vauxhall is extremely proud of is the amazing infotainment system which is packed to bursting with features and technology but is very user-friendly.
There is a fresher-looking centre console plus the introduction of the IntelliLink system, first seen in the Adam.
This ultra-modern technology means smartphone functions can be integrated into the car and controlled by voice recognition, a touchscreen, steering wheel buttons or via a new touchpad feature complete with zoom function.
Marcus Lott, Insignia Chief Engineer, explained: “It brings a high level of smart phone connectivity to the industry. It minimises distraction but maximises connectivity and ease of use.”
To be honest, it is the sort of technology one would expect to see in a high end premium model such as BMW or Mercedes.
I tested out a couple of models in Germany on a varied route incorporating fast German autobahns, twisting country lanes and busy city centres.
First up was Insignia saloon with 2.0-litre CDTi ecoFLEX engine delivering 140ps in Elite Nav trim priced at £24,029. This is the model Vauxhall claims can achieve 76.3mpg on a combined run and has emissions of 99g/km. It sprints from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds and tops out at 127mph.
Many cars that boast such impressive economy often disappoint on the performance front, but that certainly isn’t the case with this Insignia.
It handles exceptionally well and the sharp acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox is very smooth and responsive.
All-round visibility is excellent and the road-holding is faultless. It was also quite noticeable that the new Insignia is much quieter than its predecessor.
The spacious interior can easily accommodate four adults, five at a push and the generously-sized boot means there will never be any luggage restrictions.
As Vauxhall had promised, the infotainment system is very easy to use and brings a whole host of new features to the vehicle.
Next up was the Insignia hatchback fitted with a 1.6 SIDi 170ps petrol turbo engine priced at £23,614. This Elite Nav model can reach from 0-62mph in just 9.2 seconds and has a top speed of 136mph. It can achieve combined fuel economy of 47.9mpg and has emissions of 139g/km. It also featured the six-speed manual transmission.
Once again the Insignia was a very pleasant drive in busy traffic and out on the faster German roads with little speed restrictions. Acceleration is rapid and the handling proved equally as impressive as its diesel counterpart. As expected, the more powerful engine added a little more zip to the all-round performance but there is a reduction in efficiency.
The Insignia boasts a comprehensive list of safety features and with lower insurance costs, improved economy and a striking array of on-board attractions, it’s very easy to see why Vauxhall believes it will strengthen its standing in the business market.
Vauxhall Insignia BiTurbo 2.0 CDTi Sri VX-Line 4×4 Sports Tourer
If you’ve ever wondered why so many business drivers opt for the Vauxhall Insignia, then take one for a spin and see for yourself.
For this car looks great, handles exceptionally well, is comfortable, is packed with creature comforts, it’s economical to run and even boasts a reasonable price-tag.
And the latest BiTurbo model complete with 4×4 capabilities really is the icing on the cake.
With its sleek and elegant design, twin exhaust pipes, tinted windows, smart light clusters and snazzy 19-inch alloys, the Insignia looks great from all angles.
And the level of on-board technology and top notch specifications throughout the car cannot fail to impress.
For example, the leather seats are exceptionally comfortable and can be electrically adjusted to find the ideal driving position.
The main controls are housed within a central stack and all the dials and readouts are ideally positioned for ease of use.
There is a seven-inch colour display screen, along with sat nav, an excellent sound system, cruise control, air conditioning and a tailgate that can be opened or closed at the push of a button.
And if there is any doubt as to the car’s sporty prowess, then the sports pedals act as a subtle reminder.
All occupants benefit from ample room within the Insignia and even rear seat passengers can stretch out. And there will never be any restrictions on luggage as the already large boot can be extended further thanks to split-folding rear seats.
And when it comes to performance, the Insignia is certainly no slouch. Fitted with the most powerful diesel engine in the Insignia line-up, this 2.0-litre model can power from 0-60mph in just 8.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 139mph.
But the defining factor that makes this car top the fleet car driver wish-list is the combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg.
In and around town, the car handles very well and parking sensors are an added bonus when squeezing into a tight parking space.
But it’s out on the faster roads where the car bursts into life.
Acceleration through the six-speed manual transmission is smooth and rapid and even at higher speeds the cabin noise is almost non-existent.
The car is fitted with a very comprehensive list of safety features such as anti-lock brakes, numerous airbags, electronic stability programme and those 4×4 capabilities.
The test model was priced at £32.4k and also had £5.6k in optional extras, but when you factor in Vauxhall’s 100,000-mile/lifetime warranty the Insignia is outstanding value for money.
For more details visit www.localvauxhall.co.uk
Vauxhall Insignia SRi 2.0 diesel Hatchback
WITH a trim level and engine choice as long as your arm, the Vauxhall Insignia is certainly making an impact on the market.
And with excellent comfort levels and a superb spec list, it’s clear to see just why the Insignia is attracting so much interest from the fleet car buyers.
Apart from the creature comforts, this is a vehicle that can really produce on the performance front with fuel economy figures guaranteed to impress.
Add in stylish good looks that will turn heads and suddenly the Insignia is proving quite a force to be reckoned with.
The interior is packed to the rooftop with top notch features including rain-sensitive wipers, automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone air con, plus a whole lot more.
And in addition to the spacious boot area, there are numerous decent sized storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin.
Passenger comfort is excellent with plenty of legroom for back seat passengers and the generally good all-round visibility gives the cabin a light and airy feel.
Out on the road, the Insignia lives up to all expectations. If I had to find fault then the smallish wing mirrors were not that effective.
But that aside, the 2.0-litre engine on the test model delivered plenty of power and the six-speed manual transmission was also very responsive.
All in all, the Insignia has made a big impression on the market and as newer, fresher models are added to the already impressive line-up, the appeal is sure to grow.
For more details visit www.localvauxhall.co.uk