The Vauxhall Insignia banished the ‘decent but dull’ image of its family car predecessor, the Vauxhall Vectra. It's available as a hatchback, saloon or Sports Tourer estate, and each features sleek styling, much improved interior quality and more comfort than before. Headroom is tight in the rear of the hatchback and saloon, but boot space is good. The Vauxhall Insignia is better to drive than the car it replaced, and there's a good choice of petrol and diesel engines. A high-performance four-wheel drive VXR model that's designed to compete with the Audi S4 is also available.
- Attractive styling
- Decent choice of engines
- Comfortable driving position
- Entry-level cars sparsely equipped
- Rear headroom is tight
- Poor resale values
The Insignia hatchback offers a fine blend of good looks and performance. It's an upmarket offering too, with a classy cabin and a smooth ride that's been designed by Vauxhall to match executive cars like the BMW 3 Series. It's relatively practical, with a comfortable seating position and generous boot, but space in the back is limited, with headroom in particular in short supply.
- Coupe-like styling
- Massive choice of engines and trims
- Good driving position
- High emissions compared to rivals
- Tight rear headroom
- Poor resale values
The Insignia is much better than the Vectra it replaced, with styling that makes it look more like a sporty coupe than a four-door family car. It offers plenty of space up front, although the sloping roofline means rear headroom is tight for taller adults. Its main rival is the Ford Mondeo, and it's priced to match. A huge range of trim levels and engines are available, with diesel versions offering good fuel economy.
- Sporty for an estate
- Lots of engines and specs
- Big boot with a large opening
- Steering is very light
- Poor used values
- Noisy diesel engines
Sports Tourer is Vauxhall's fancy name for the Vauxhall Insignia estate. Like the saloon and hatchback versions, it sacrifices some outright practicality in order to look sporty – with a relatively low roofline and sloping boot meaning it's not quite as big as the Ford Mondeo for rear occupant or luggage space. However, the boot opening is wide and there's a good loading space. The engine and specification range is wide, including some really economical diesels.
- Handsome looks
- Optional four-wheel drive
- Generous equipment levels
- Noisy when accelerating
- Not very fast
- Poor resale values on top-of-the-range models
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer gets raised suspension and the option of four-wheel drive to give Vauxhall's big estate added on-road grip and some light off-road ability. Buyers can choose between two diesel engines, with either 161bhp or 193bhp. The more powerful engine comes with an automatic gearbox that shifts smoothly, but it blunts the car's performance and increases fuel consumption. All models get lots of equipment, including climate control, cruise control, an electrically operated boot and xenon headlights.
- Very fast
- Four-wheel drive grip
- Cheap to buy
- Expensive to run
- Dated interior
- Not that much fun to drive
The standard Vauxhall Insignia got a facelift in 2013, with updates to the front grille, headlights and intakes that direct air to cool the engine. The Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersports got the same treatment, including restyled lights with chrome detailing at the back – making this current model looks just as fast as it performs.
Expensive running costs let it down slightly, but you get a generous list of equipment for the price tag. Put simply, this is one of the fastest cars you can buy for less than £30,000.
Gunning for buyers of the Audi S4 Avant, BMW 5 Series and Skoda Superb V6 Estate, the top of the range Vauxhall Insignia VXR Sports Tourer is a spacious estate car that packs a serious punch. The highly powerful 2.8-litre V6 engine produces 321bhp which is transfered to the road through a sophisticated four-wheel drive system. Performance is very impressive for such a big car, but owners will pay the price at the fuel pumps as the engine is quite thirsty and running costs are high. Nevertheless, the sporty but subtle body hides a classy interior that features 540 litres of luggage space and comfortable seating for five people.