Vauxhall Insignia -

Used Car Review

Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback, action2
Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback, action
Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback, front
Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback, rear
Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback, interior

THERE have been a wide range of models and engines available in the Vauxhall Insignia range, so when it comes to buying one secondhand, I'll concentrate on the latest model built since 2009.

The Insignia is still a great looking car and the darling of many fleet buyers, because it's so cheap to buy and maintain.

But that's also good for anyone buying secondhand, because it means prices are often much lower than the competition.

There may be the new Insignia Grand Sport on the way so now may be a good time to hunt around for an earlier model.

It's a great car for the enthusiastic driver, even when powered by the smaller engines, because they all bring good to excellent performance along with surefooted handling and excellent grip and road holding.

Up to now, with the Government coming down hard against diesels even though they are not the main culprit in causing poor air quality in cities, many more diesels have been sold as company cars and these are the ones you are likely to see on the secondhand market.

Since 2009 petrol power has come from a 1.4-litre turbo with 138bhp, a 1.6 turbo with 177bhp a 1.8 with 138bhp and a 2.0-litre turbo with 216 or 246bhp.

Diesels are a ‘whisper' 1.6 with 134bhp and a 2.0-litre with power ranging from 118 to 170bhp. There was also a bi-turbo with 195bhp.

The Insignia is available as a saloon, five door hatch or estate and there is a huge variety of models, all of which come pretty well equipped for the price.

SRi models and some others have sports suspension and high end versions are fitted with adjustable suspension. Some are also offered with four wheel drive.

The engines are smooth and quiet and well up with the competition. The petrol units sound marvellous when pressed and are still reasonably economical but there are many more diesels to choose from, as I've said.

Best buy is the 1.6 ‘Whisper' diesel, which comes with very low emissions and a government economy figure of 74 miles per gallon.

The Insignia makes an excellent secondhand buy because it is well equipped and should prove reliable. It's been voted fleet car of the year a number of times.

The best used models - those with a full service history and low mileage - are most likely to be in Vauxhall's Approved Used Scheme.

Cars that have been through this programme will have had a multi-point inspection, full history check and come with a money-back guarantee.

The boot is big enough to swallow luggage for four and they would all have plenty of space and comfort inside.

A large screen gives details of most functions, but is very complicated to operate until 2013, when it was improved dramatically.

Business favourite Tech Line trim includes sat nav, climate and alloys, along with multi-function steering wheel, electric driver's seat, traction control, cruise and alarm.

Pay about £4,500 for an '11 11-reg 1.4T SE hatch, or £7,500 for a '14 14-reg 2.0-litre 130bhp diesel Sports Tourer estate.

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