Vauxhall Insignia

Grand Sport Elite

Nav 1.6 Turbo

Vauxhall Insignia, front
Vauxhall Insignia, side
Vauxhall Insignia, rear
Vauxhall Insignia, interior

THINGS have certainly been livening up at Vauxhall - with the addition of a 146 miles-per-hour turbo charged 1.6-litre engine for the Insignia.

And in the Grand Sport model it means super sharp acceleration of just 7.2 seconds for the 0-62mph dash.

But even more importantly it adds a massive helping of driver enjoyment to a car whose new engine punches well above its weight.

Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox the new engine delivers enough responsive, crisp performance to put a smile on the face of anyone who gets behind the wheel.

The latest Insignia Grand Sport is a sleek, curvy five-seater hatchback with the lines of a low slung coupe and a world away from its predecessors.

The interior is stylish and practical with everything falling easily to hand.

The dashboard is dominated by an 8-inch centre-set touch screen for the satellite navigation system, reversing camera and numerous onboard features while the dominant dial in the binnacle in front of the driver is the speedometer with a large digital readout so there's no excuse for being over the speed limit.

The car tested here also had a head-up display projecting speed and revs etc into the windscreen. An optional extra at £290.

The Insignia in Elite Nav trim is a car which is far better equipped than many models which cost twice the price.

After dark, for example, you get the benefit of the - quite literally - brilliant IntelliLux LED matrix headlight system which uses 32 lights - twice that of the previous system - within the car's ultra-slim headlamps.

They illuminate the road up to 400m ahead for superb long range visibility and reduce the stress of night driving while not dazzling cars you are following or cars coming towards you.

And while reversing at night can be a problem the high intensity of the rear view camera on the Insignia - unlike those of many of models - ensures you still have a clear view at the back.

On board safety features include everything from rear cross traffic alert to warn you - using radar sensors - of vehicles approaching from either side as you back out of parking spaces, to warning lights on your mirrors to tell you when a vehicle is in your blind spot not to mention lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

This is a car which will also keep the youngsters happy too as there is a very efficient wi-fi system fitted so everyone can stay connected.

Heated seats in the front are standard but a £400 winter pack added a heated steering wheel and heated front screen for frosty mornings.

The Insignia Grand Sport is a large car which not only offers generous interior space for five but plenty of luggage room too with some 490 litres of space available with the rear seats in position and 1,450 litres with the rear seat backs folded down.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport Elite Nav 1.6 Turbo

Price: £28,075

Mechanical: 200bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 146 mph

0-62mph: 7.2 secs

Combined MPG: 42.2

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 145 g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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