By Maggie Barry on 2018-12-02 - Experienced car journalist.
GSi Sports Tourer
WHO said estate cars have to be boring?
It's the last adjective I would apply to the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer that I am driving. Even at rest it looks like an arrow poised to be flexed and then fired.
Its silhouette is sleek and sweeps back to the tailgate via a fuel flap which itself is elongated. This is the attention to detail Vauxhall have managed on the reintroduction of the sporty GSi line.
It's the kind of offering we have seen already on the Corsa but putting it onto the flagship Insignia offers food for thought about just what this car might do with the GSi treatment.
Externally it looks good with the grille sporting the wing-like bars on either side of the Griffin logo with deep air vents below. The roof istopped with elegant silver rails and sports a shark's fin antenna, there are exclusive GSi front and rear bumpers while the car sits on big 20-inch alloys.
Inside the GSi line offers some very attractive finishes. The sports front seats are beautifully comfortable - some of the most comfortable I've ever sat on - and instead of a headrest the seatcontinues in one piece to support your neck with inset brushed aluminium details and GSi logos.
The tech on the centre console is housed in an 8in colour touchscreen and includes digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with sat nav, USB connectivity and a Bose sound system.
It has internal Wi-Fi and also comes with Vauxhall's rather good OnStar feature which gives you access to concierge services, for example and provides features like a tracking system should your car ever get stolen.
The drive itself is first-class with positive steering particularly noticeable in sport mode.
The 2.0-litre biturbo engine delivering 210ps responds to your every whim and pressing ever onwards, it is hard sometimes to remember this is a big estate car. It handles tightly and corners pretty lithely eager to get to the next bend.
It is well balanced and able and is going to be a nice surprise for drivers since most estate cars tend to be bought as business workhorses rather than for sheer pleasure.
For those who like to tailor their drive, the Insignia GSi comes with FlexRide offering you Normal, Sport or Tour mode with the added temptation of Competition mode should you decide to accept, on a sports chassis.
There are auto wipers and lights, tinted windows and front and rear parking sensors and it comes with a head up display. The front seats and outer rear seats are all heated and so is the flat-bottomed, leather-clad steering wheel which echoes the entertainmentcontrols so that you don't get distracted.
What will not be a surprise to most is the amount of space inside for lugging stuff - big and small - around. With the rear seat up there is an astonishing 560 litres in the back and then you still have the option to lower the seats.
Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
Mechanical: 210ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 144mph
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.8
Insurance Group: 24
C02 emissions: 187g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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