Review

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer estate

Price  £18,884 - £29,669

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Sporty for an estate
  • Big boot with a large opening
  • Lots of engines and trims to choose from
Cons
  • Steering is very light
  • Poor used values
  • Noisy diesel engines

"The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is one of the most attractive estates around, yet still offers a big boot and decent interior space."

Vauxhall made some big changes when it replaced the old Vauxhall Vectra estate with the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer. While the Vauxhall Vectra was a big, chunky car, the Insignia sacrifices some practicality for sleeker, sportier looks. And it's worked – the sloping bootlid and sharp styling make this one of the most attractive estates around.

The Sports Tourer rides smoothly and is a comfortable car over long distances. There's a vast selection of specification levels and engines, but the petrol models' high fuel consumption means they aren’t as cost-effective as the diesels.

If you like the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, but want something a bit more rugged with improved ground clearance and four-wheel drive, you have the option of the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer, which adds raised suspension and better grip.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.5 / 5

Automatic gearbox reduces fuel economy significantly

A pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines are available with 128bhp or 158bhp, and these are the best choice when it comes to running costs and performance. However, compared to the best family estates, Vauxhall’s diesel engines fall short on fuel economy. With 47.1mpg and emissions of 159g/km, the 158bhp 2.0-litre CDTi diesel is comparable to the more powerful (and quieter) 168bhp TDI diesel in the Skoda Superb estate. Add an automatic gearbox, and the Insignia’s economy really suffers.

What’s more, as it's a very popular car without a prestigious badge, the Insignia won’t hold its value very well come resale time. That means higher leasing prices and monthly finance payments.

Engines, drive & performance

3.4 / 5

The steering is very light

The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer's sleek styling and sporty driving position flatter to deceive: it’s not the best family estate to drive.

The steering is light, so you feel disconnected from the road. The 138bhp and 158bhp 2.0-litre CDTi diesel engines are quite noisy, too, although they’re still the best choice for the estate, as they have plenty of power and don’t need to be worked hard, even when the car is fully loaded.

A high-performance VXR Supersport petrol version offers 321bhp and four-wheel drive – but running costs are very high.

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

Comfortable over long distances

The Insignia Sports Tourer is a great car for covering long distances, with supportive seats, a comfortable interior and an adjustable driving position.

However, at high speed there’s too much wind and tyre noise, and at low speeds the car clatters over potholes and bumpy roads. Ultimately, rivals like the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6 are more fun to drive, while the Citroen C5 is even more comfortable.

Practicality & boot space

4.1 / 5

Estate has more rear headroom than saloon and hatch

Although the Vauxhall Insignia estate has a smaller boot than the old Vectra, its load area is still one of the biggest in the class, at 540 litres. However, with the rear seats folded, there's less space than in the Ford Mondeo estate. The Insignia tops out at 1,530 litres, compared to 1,733 for the Ford, and both are dwarfed by the Skoda Superb estate, with its boot increasing from 633 litres to 1,865 litres when you drop the seats. But a longer roofline does mean the Insignia Sports Tourer has more rear headroom than the Insignia saloon and hatchback.

If you want an Insignia with some off-road ability, you could try the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer, which adds raised suspension and four-wheel drive.

Reliability & safety

3.2 / 5

Cabin feels solid, and advanced traction control boosts safety

The Vauxhall Insignia has been on sale since 2009, with a major update arriving in late 2013, and no serious problems have been reported so far. Impressively, there have been no recalls, either. The cabin feels well built, and there is an advanced traction control system that boosts stability and safety in bad weather.

Price, value for money & options

3.2 / 5

All cars have alloy wheels and air-conditioning

You’ll pay a little more for the Sports Tourer than for an equivalent Vauxhall Insignia saloon or hatchback, but there aren’t as many specification levels to choose from.

The range is still comprehensive, though, going from a basic 1.8-litre petrol ES model all the way up to the expensive high-performance Vauxhall Insignia VXR, with a 321bhp 2.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

All cars have alloy wheels and air-conditioning, and prices are about on par with the Ford Mondeo Estate. However, like-for-like the Vauxhall is more expensive than the bigger, higher-quality Skoda Superb estate.

What the others say

3.2 / 5
based on 4 reviews
3.0 / 5
"There's a huge range of engines and trim levels to choose from, and every version comes with air-con and USB connectivity. The cabin feels very upmarket but prices are high compared to mainstream rivals and residual values are poor."
3.0 / 5
"Vauxhall's most stylish estate ever, and backed by a lifetime warranty. It has more rear headroom than in the hatch, and it's supple and secure on the motorway."
3.5 / 5
"Disappointingly, the latest diesel engines aren't as quiet or refined as those in alternative estates. In June 2010 the diesel engines saw significant improvements to make them quieter and more refined resulting in the cabin being a more relaxed and comfortable place to be when it comes to noise levels."
13.0 / 5
"There's an element of ride improvement that happens on the Tourer not present in the saloon - and there's acres of space. Noise levels are kept well down and the car doesn't ride badly even on the optional (£475) 19-inch wheels - a sign of decently sorted suspension."
Last updated 
21 Mar 2014

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