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Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, front, action
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, front action
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, side
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, rear
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, interior
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, boot
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, rear seats
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, front action 2
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, 2017, front

VAUXHALL'S latest Insignia Grand Sport has already won awards in the company car sector and as a top secondhand buy despite being on the market for less than two years.

Of course, the previous model was a favourite with fleets over a very long period, and proved reliable and long lasting.

The Grand Sport is new from the tarmac up and is styled rather like a five door coupe, with sleek lines reminiscent of the VW Passat CC.

And the 1.6 turbo diesel SRi I drove a couple of weeks ago has enough grunt for a field full of porkers.

I had to go 270 miles across country for a family ‘do', so as is my wont, I went down on the motorway and came back across country.

If you always use the same route, you'll never see anything new.

The big Vauxhall, which with its sister Opel has already sold more than 100,000, was a really good companion for the whole journey, well suited to the big road cruise and the minor road blast.

The engine, in 136bhp guise - there's also a lower powered version - was punchy and willing in every situation, and very smooth above 1,500 revs.

And it's the first four cylinder diesel I've had that actually sounds good when pressed.

Acceleration is excellent in fourth gear of six, and still good in fifth. Even sixth has enough urge to take care of most motorway manoeuvres.

The clutch is light, but has the usual Vauxhall long travel, which meant I had to have the seat further forward than I normally like.

However, the gearchange is easy to use if sometimes a little slow and there is every which way seat and column adjustment to make sure the driver is as comfortable as possible.

Sadly though, there is no seat height adjustment for the passenger seat, which means that shorter people don't get a very good view.

Returning from the family event, I used the excellent sat nav to weave across unknown territory, but discovered an anomaly that Vauxhall should put right.

Annoyingly, when the lights are on auto they come on under trees even on a bright day. That dims the sat nav screen as if at night so that for a few seconds at least, it can't be seen at all.

Comfort is very good with a suspension setup that feels quite soft at times, but it holds the road like a dream and I found it very safe with loads of grip and good feel from the steering.

The big wheels and low profile tyres do bump and thump over bigger potholes and ruts, but it's not alone in that.

An all black interior including the headlining, which is strange these days, makes for a dark driving environment.

But there is plenty of legroom front and rear, a slightly narrow if very deep boot, and a 60/40 split fold back seat.

Sri NAV trim brings auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and starting, climate, cruise, sat nav, an eight inch touch screen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

FAST FACTS

Price: £23,450

Mechanical:134bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 131mph

0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 61

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 121g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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