Last month, I mentioned that many of my favourite things about the Insignia were optional items that cost extra over and above the car’s list price. Thing is, while that’s still true, it’s worth mentioning that there’s still plenty to like about the basic car.
First off, it looks the absolute business. The family estate car class isn’t one known for its flamboyant styling, but stood next to the boxy, conservative cars with which the Insignia competes, the big Vauxhall really stands out. It may still not be as stylish in many people’s eyes as a similarly-sized SUV
, but SUVs are selling so strongly at the moment that the Insignia is a fair bit less ubiquitous. Imagine saying that about an Insignia a few years ago…
The main thing that makes me thank my lucky stars on a daily basis, though, is how comfortable the car is. The first reason for this is the seats, which are fabulously supportive in all the right places, meaning you can spend hours at the wheel without feeling any aches and pains afterwards. The fact that the driving position has so much adjustability helps on that score, too.
The ride quality is another big factor. Whatever sort of road surfaces you’re on, and whatever speed you’re going, this is a car that does a really great job of isolating you from lumps and bumps, leaving you and your family to get on with your journey in a relaxed, tranquil manner. It’s a quiet cruiser
as well, with a subdued 1.6-litre diesel engine and impressive isolation of exterior noises. True, it’s not the sportiest car you’ll ever drive, but it’s still stable, secure and controlled in the bends. Besides, when I’ve been hard at work or have the family in tow, I’ll take comfort over handling all day long.
And that family
aspect is another important factor, and for a couple of reasons. The fact that the car has five Euro NCAP stars – and a whole shedload of clever safety technology - gives me peace of mind when ferrying around my two young children, because let’s face it, they’re the most precious cargo I’ll ever carry.
And when it comes to carrying other sorts of cargo, the Insignia has that nailed as well. The boot is massive
– bigger than in many rivals – and it has a low load lip, a good shape and rear seats the go pretty much flat when you fold them down. Perfect for the trials and tribulations of family life.
Perhaps the most appealing part about the Insignia, though, is the financial proposition it represents. While the list prices of previous Insignias have been disproportionately expensive, Vauxhall has got sensible with the latest one, and that has a variety of positive knock-on effects. It means more competitive monthly payments for private customers buying on finance
and – more likely – competitive leasing rates for companies running fleet cars
. Low CO2 emissions also mean low tax
bills for the employees that run them, and that impressive efficiency means similarly impressive fuel economy. In short, this is a much more affordable car than it used to be. Great news, since it’s also a much better car than it used to be.