Vauxhall Insignia

Grand Sport SRi Nav

2.0 Turbo D

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, profile
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, front
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, dynamic
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, rear
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, interior, rear
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, boot
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, interior

LARGE hatchbacks and saloons may still be popular with fleet managers - but they haven't really been flavour of the month with other car buyers for quite some time.

If you like to travel in relative space and comfort, however, and don't feel the need to be constantly looking down on your fellow road users from the elevated vantage point of an SUV, then perhaps you should consider one.

You can have a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, for instance, from as little as you'll pay for some posh hatchbacks - and you'll get a nice looking, well-equipped car that's pretty economical and big enough for the whole family.

In a decade on our roads the original Insignia served Vauxhall well, of course, and was a familiar sight on motorways up and down the country as it became synonymous with reps going about their business.

It was a bit boring too, though, to be honest so a couple of years ago Vauxhall gave it a complete overhaul and alongside the addition of the Grand Sport to the moniker came a new low-slung sporty look characterised by a rakish, coupe-style roofline.

In the usual Vauxhall way, a dizzying array of trim grades are available, some aimed at business buyers and others targeting families, and the one you choose will also have an influence on which of the available engines and gearboxes you can have.

Powerplants range from a 140ps, 1.5-litre petrol up to a 210ps biturbo diesel with most mated to either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The biturbo gets an eight-speed automatic and also comes with an intelligent four-wheel drive system.

Our car, in SRi Nav trim, had a 170ps, 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine beneath the bonnet paired with the six-speed manual gearbox and it is an ideal combination for those who, like the reps of old, eat up the motorway miles on a regular basis.

The gearbox is smooth and easy to live with while the 2.0-litre lump is responsive through the rev range and provides plenty of pace - shifting the car from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and capable of a top speed of 140mph.

The suspension does a decent job of ironing out any imperfections in the road surface and the Insignia Grand Sport stays flat and settled though corners while the steering, light and accurate around town, weights up nicely at speed.

Agility and handling just lack the crispness to give it the type of driver engagement that would fully live up to the sporty looks but this is, nonetheless, a perfectly pleasant car to drive.

Soft-touch finishes adorn all the frequent touchpoints in the cabin and a contemporary, minimalist design creates a clean, upmarket feel which is enhanced in SRi trim by snugly supportive sports seats, aluminium pedals and some carbon-fibre-effect trims.

There is ample space for four adults to travel in comfort - although that sloping roof means rear head room gets tight if you're close to six feet tall - and while the boot, at 490 litres, is not as big as some rivals it's still more than capable of coping with the weekly shop, a child's buggy or a short family break.

Equipment levels are decent on all versions but our mid-range car had all the key boxes ticked with an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, climate control, automatic emergency braking, cruise control and lane keep assist all included.

It's slightly disappointing, however, that a useful rearview camera is only available as an option when many family cars include them as standard these days.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport SRi Nav 2.0 Turbo D

Price: £25,325

Mechanical:170ps, 1,956cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph:8.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 141g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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