★★★★☆ | Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
What Have We Got
It’s hard to believe that this car as it is, on my driveway is just £3650 more than the Astra we tested recently. And you’ll notice this through other manufacturers. There once was a time when they made more money from their big cars. That doesn’t always seem the case these days but is the Insignia £3650 extra about right or an absolute bargain?
The engine in Insignia is down by 26ps over that fitted to the Astra, and it feels it. It runs out of puff rather quicker to reflecting its leisurely 11+ 0-60 sprint, yet that is the wrong way to drive this version on Vauxhall’s 1598cc turbo diesel. The power of 300Nm on this engine comes in lowly at 1750rpm to 2000rpm. In the Astra, it was higher up at 2000rpm and beyond. This lower engine power suits the Insignia well and here is the reason. It’s a smoother car to drive. The feel of the Insignia is more relaxed.
The overall ambience of the cabin is of serenity. There is subtle lighting across the tops of the doors and along the dashboard. It’s very in keeping with the current trends. What is also like the tendency is to exclude this nicety from the rear doors. Why the rear passengers are not given this, I do not know. Thankfully the rears are treated to heated seats and have access to two USB ports to charge up the smartphones that will no doubt be connected to Vauxhall’s WiFi hotspot within the car. They are also given vast amounts of legroom too. It’s more than spacious in the rear.
Living with it
As estate cars go, there is a load of space in the back. A bulkhead style cargo net comes as standard. It is integrated into two positions. It can be placed in front of the rear seats folded up and down. If you only carry a load that sits below the window line you’ll never appreciate this but for those who carry to the max will, and its fitting and removal are incredibly easy. Just like folding the rear seats to reveal a flat load area. You’ll find the release catch either inside the boot or on top of the seats. It’s a simple operation.
It’s a bargain. As load luggers go, the Insignia carries more as you’d expect. It’s rather nice inside and made for effortless cruising. Considering what I said about it being lower powered compared to the Astra, don’t let that put you off. It all comes together to make for a more cohesive car that carries loads and cruises well. In my mind, that is a better combination. The problem I did find with the estate style body was the height of the rear door. At 6’1” my head brush closely to the underside. Depending on the angle I parked at I did once knock my head on it. It is, however, the price we pay for sleeker looking estate cars.
Ease of converting to full estate
Low tailgate edge
Lack of cabin joy in the rear
Road noise with the cargo cover missing
Car – Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer SRi Nav 1.6 110PS Turbo D
Price – £24,555 (as tested)
MPG – 65.7 mpg (combined)
Power – 0-62mph – 11.1 seconds
Top Speed – 125 mph
Co2 – 112 (g/km)
Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It’s a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
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Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)