Review

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback

Price  £16,829 - £28,359

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Attractive styling
  • Decent choice of engines
  • Comfortable driving position
Cons
  • Entry-level cars sparsely equipped
  • Rear headroom is tight
  • Poor resale values

At a glance

The greenest
DESIGN 2.0CDTi 120PS S/S ecoFLEX 5dr £19,084
The cheapest
DESIGN 1.8i 140PS 5dr £16,829
The fastest
ELITE NAV 2.0i 250PS Dir Inj T S/S 5dr £24,814
Top of the range
ELITE NAV 2.0CDTi 195PS BiTurbo auto 5dr £28,359

"The Vauxhall Insignia is styled to look more like a coupe than a family car, but it can’t match the Ford Mondeo for driving fun."

The Vauxhall Insignia has won plenty of awards since its launch and Vauxhall targets this model at premium saloons such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. In truth, though, the Insignia and its predecessor the Vectra have always been more of a match for large family cars such as the Ford Mondeo or Citroen C5 and Honda Accord.

Vauxhall has plenty of experience of building big family hatchbacks, and it shows in the Insignia's pretty, coupe-like looks, practical interior and decent range of engines. Buyers can have anything from a small 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine all the way up to the 2.8-litre, 321bhp V6 that powers the Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport. There's a wide range of diesel engines, too, offering varying mixes of power and fuel economy.

The Insignia received a mid-life facelift in 2013, bringing improvements in styling, quality and driver engagement. Vauxhall also gave it a more appealing look and a refreshed cabin, reducing the number of buttons on the centre console. Now all Insignias get a touchscreen to navigate through the major functions. Should you choose a model equipped with sat nav, you also get a touchpad that's used to work through the menus and write characters.

One of the most appealing options that Vauxhall offers on the Insignia is the eight-inch TFT instrument cluster for around £400. This replaces the traditional analogue dials with a large screen that can show a range of information, from a speedometer and rev counter to your current fuel economy and driving efficiency. This is a nice touch and looks very modern thanks to its clear, colourful display.

It's also worth pointing out that the least powerful diesel engine – the 118bhp 2.0-litre CDTi – isn't the best option in the range, even though Vauxhall expects that most Insignia buyers will choose it. Our recommendation is the marginally punchier 138bhp version, since it's just as efficient, isn’t that much more expensive to buy outright and accelerates strongly from low revs.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.3 / 5

Vauxhall Insignia diesel models are cheap to run, but not the best in class

Engines, drive & performance

3.3 / 5

The Vauxhall Insignia is a great long-distance cruiser

Interior & comfort

3.5 / 5

Headroom in the back of the Vauxhall Insignia feels tight

Practicality & boot space

3.5 / 5

The Vauxhall Insignia has a big boot and a practical cabin

Reliability & safety

3.3 / 5

The Vauxhall Insignia scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests

What the others say

3.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
3 / 5
This is the most desirable Vauxhall for ages. It comes with lots of high-tech toys and smart coupé-like styling, all backed up by a lifetime warranty.
4 / 5
With its flowing lines and eye-catching details, the Insignia is a huge styling step forward over the Vectra it replaces. Both the hatchback and saloon share the same low-slung roofline, while Sports Tourer adds a practical estate rear end.
3.5 / 5
As you'd expect, it inherits many of the Vectra's strengths. It's comfortable, a great motorway cruiser and is good value for money (especially used). However the Insignia is far more sophisticated than the car it replaces so not only is the styling more refined, the interior fit-and-finish is much better than before and there's a vastly improved satellite navigation system.
13 / 20
The Vectra is dead, long live the Insignia. Vauxhall's back on form with this tech-laden, swoopy Mondeo rival – in fact, it's so good that we made it our Exec Car of the Year.
What owners say 
4.365671641791
4.4 /5 based on 268 reviews
74%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
27 Mar 2015
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