Long-term Review

Living with a... Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

What’s made the Vauxhall Insignia one of the UK’s best-selling cars for so many years? Auto Trader's road test editor Ivan Aistrop is trying to find out...

Words by: First published: 8th May 2018
Month one: First impressions
Mileage: 800
Costs: £0
People do the strangest things, don’t they? For the life of me, I’ve never been able to understand what would motivate someone to jump out of an aeroplane, run a marathon or, until recently, buy a Vauxhall Insignia. And yet, thousands upon thousands of people do exactly these things every single year.

You see, the previous Insignia - like the Vectra before it – simply wasn’t very good. It wasn’t particularly comfortable, particularly quiet, particularly practical, particularly well-equipped or particularly cheap. On top of all that, it was simultaneously as common as muck and as dull as dishwater. But despite all that, it always remained one of the UK’s best-selling cars. The question is, why?

To try and find out, I’ve taken delivery of the new version – in Sports Tourer (estate, to you and me) form, to get familiar with it and see if there’s something about the car that only those-in-the-know can see. On paper it suits my needs, because it has plenty of space for my two young children and all their associated gubbins, and an economical diesel engine that returns official fuel economy of 62.8mpg, saving me money at the pumps that I can instead spend on buying more gubbins for the kids.

We’ve chosen SRi Nav trim, because it balances a good amount of luxury kit with an affordable price, but also because it gives the already-handsome Insignia a slightly sleeker, sportier look. We’ve also embellished our car with a few optional extras – details of which can be found at the bottom of the page – to a total of around three grand.

Even at this early stage, though, my little experiment seems to be going off the rails slightly. That’s because, unlike its predecessor, the latest Insignia actually appears to be quite good. Not only is it practical, rammed with kit and good to look at, it’s also comfortable, quiet and secure on the road, it gives punchy performance, and the economy is living up to expectations. Bad news for my experiment, but good news for me and my family.
Key specs:
  • Model: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 1.6 Turbo D 136 SRi Nav
  • List price: £23,690
  • Price as tested: £26,655
  • Engine/gearbox: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, six-speed manual
  • Power: 136 horsepower
  • Torque: 320NM
  • Top speed: 132mph
  • 0-62mph: 10.1 seconds
  • Economy: 62.8mpg
  • CO2/BIK tax liability: 119g/km / 27% (2017/18)
  • Boot space: 560/1665 litres
Everything extra fitted to our long-termer:

LED Matrix headlights: £1010
Winter Pack 1*: £660
Driving Assistance Pack 4**: £595
8.0-inch colour display: £415
Brilliant paint: £285

*(heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen)
**(advanced park assist, lane change assist, blind spot alert, rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert)

Interested in buying a Vauxhall Insignia?