Vauxhall Insignia

GSi Grand Sport 2.0

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

VAUXHALL has been invigorated since it became part of the PSA family and the latest version of the long-serving Insignia reflects that rebirth.

The Insignia now has a longer title - it's the Insignia Grand Sport - and is marketed as a large family car.

Perhaps that Grand Sport monicker is designed to tempt buyers away from SUVs as a family car, in a market where they have come to dominate.

In truth there aren't as many family saloons and hatchbacks around as there used to be and the Insignia Grand Tourer hatchback is a very strong competitor with a lot going for it.

Looks-wise it has enough about it to suggests it is an Insignia, though it looks longer, bigger and more sleek than its predecessor.

Some special GSi design flourishes add to its appeal in the shape of front and rear bumpers, side sills, a rear spoiler, visible tailpipes, tinted rear windows, matrix headlights and 20-inch alloys.

The GSi version is the performance variant of the model line and its sporting character has been enhanced by development at the famous Nurburgring in Germany.

This range-topping model has an executive feel to it and has a high quality interior that it is easy to feel comfortable in.

There are more GSi reminders, such as the badging on the perforated leather sports seats and more sporty styling touches like the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and alloy pedals.

The technology and equipment is good too, with an eight-inch colour touchscreen with a very easy to use sat-nav system.

Upgrades include an excellent Bose sound system and there's the usual Bluetooth connectivity.

I find Apple CarPlay awkward to work with at times but it has that connectivity facility too, along with Android Auto.

The Insignia Grand Sport is good on the move and overall it has more of an large executive saloon feel than a compact executive one.

Rear seat passengers are suitably well catered for and it has a big, open and opulent feel.

The 2.0-litre 210ps diesel engine is an able and smooth performer and certainly delivers mated to the eight-speed automatic gearbox.

To me it had all of the advantages of a diesel - in particular that impressive low and mid-range torque - but none of the drawbacks. It felt swift from a standing start and was not too noisy.

Handling-wise one is sometimes aware of the Insignia's bulk but it has lots of advantages from a driver's point of view over an alternate family car in the shape of a SUV.

Perhaps people are prepared to make compromises these days when it comes to driving dynamics but there is something inherently pleasing about being closer to the ground and not having to deal with pitch and roll through the bends at speed.

The Vauxhall engineers have done a good job in delivering a driver's car that delights and the four-wheel drive capability gives it added grip.

The ride quality does not disappoint either, even if it errs towards the firm.

Rounding off the family-friendly package is a handsomely sized boot, with 490 litres of carrying capacity with the seats up, which increases to 1,450 litres with the rear seats folded down.

As with many cars now the list of safety features is extensive. Add the Driving Assistance Pack One (standard on this model) and you'll also get forward collision alert with automatic city emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, following distance indicator and lane departure warning with lane assist.

At almost £40,000 this top end model is pricey but it does feel plush and luxurious and comes with a hell of a lot of kit.

The range starts at a shade under £20,000 for an entry-level Design model.

Other trim levels are SRi, Tech Line, SRi VX-Line and Elite.


Vauxhall Insignia GSi Grand Sport 2.0

Price: £38,520

Mechanical: 210ps, 1,956cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 145mph

0-62mph: 7.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 40.4

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 184g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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