By Patrick James on 2018-04-28 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Grand Sport SRi VX
Line Nav 1.6
THE Vauxhall Insignia has always been a stylish car from day one, perhaps the best looking of the so-called rep mobiles.
The latest offering, the Grand Sport, is even more stylish, especially with the VX styling on this model, with a sculpted, chiselled look and swooping coupe-like profile.
It has neat 17-inch alloys wheels eye-catching light clusters and sweep action indicators, giving it an imposing road presence. The only thing that looks out of place is the oddly-placed rear wiper, which juts out of the boot area.
It has a new architecture making it even bigger with extra legroom with from a longer wheelbasee, now 2,829mm, and reduced overhangs, even though it is 175kg lighter.
The interior too feels classy and upmarket with an extremely attractivestarting price of just over £17,000.
That gives a whole lot of car for the money, and its not as if its Spartanly fitted out.
There is a combination of soft touch finish and harder plastics and controls and switchgear are logical, robust and handily placed. The dark trim is also nicely offset with chrome inserts.
Head and legroom are decent although the coupe type styling slightly compromises rear headroom. The interior feels light and airy, even with dark trim.
The so-called entry model also offers electric powered windows and mirrors, an eight-inch touchscreen housing sat nav, infotainment and connectivity plus cruise control.
This near top range model add a whole lot of other bells and whistles including connectivity provided via IntelliLink infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration while the OnStar communication system allows occupants to book hotel rooms and search for suitable parking spots via an OnStar advisor.
In addition there are heated seats and heated flat bottomed steering wheel with controls for audio, phone and cruise control, plus a host of other goodies for a still impressive price of just short of £23,500.
High end technology adds features such as IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up-Display and heated windscreen are also available.
Add to this claimed fuel economy of 55.7mpg and emissions of 114g/km and it makes it an attractive proposition for both business and private user.
That 136ps 1.6-litre diesel engine is a real gem as well, refined and with plenty of torque. This gives it a decent acceleration from a standing start and excellent overtaking power on the motorway. In fact it is an excellent motorway cruiser with engine, wind and road noise effectively blotted out except under the harshest of acceleration.
Handing is surprisingly sharp for such a big car with a good feedback from weighted steering while the suspension system has a nice balance of comfort and sportiness. It feels like a real driver's car.
A car like this needs to be flexible and the boot space of 490 litres, not exactly class leading, can be increased up to to a maximum of 1,450 litres with optional split rear seats.
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport SRi VX Line Nav 1.6
Mechanical: 130ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 55.7
Insurance Group: 16
C02 emissions: 114g/km
Bik rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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