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 Vauxhall Insignia hatchback offers a fine blend of good looks and performance. It's an upmarket car, 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 a generous boot, but space in the back is limited, with headroom in particular in short supply.
- Smart styling
- Solid build quality
- Good ride comfort
- Poor used values
- Noisy diesel engines
- Astra Sports Tourer is almost as practical
If you’re currently looking at the Vauxhall Insignia hatchback or saloon, it's also worth considering the Insignia estate – which Vauxhall calls the Sports Tourer. While it isn’t quite as affordable to buy and run, it's still highly competitive in its class, and an extended roofline means it offers much more rear headroom than the hatchback and saloon models. As with those versions, all Insignia Sports Tourer models have a well built interior and there's a good range of engine and trim levels to choose from.
- Handsome looks
- Optional four-wheel drive
- Generous standard equipment
- Not very quick
- Noisy when accelerating
- Top-of-the-range models lose value fast
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
- Cheap to buy
- Four-wheel-drive grip
- Dated interior
- Expensive to run
- Not that much fun to drive
The standard Vauxhall Insignia was facelifted in 2013, with updates to the front grille, headlights and intakes that direct air to cool the engine. The Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport received the same treatment, including restyled lights with chrome detailing at the back, giving the current model the eyecatching looks to match its breathtaking performance.
Expensive running costs let it down slightly, but you get a generous amount of equipment for the what you pay. 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.
- Coupe-like styling
- Good driving position
- Wide choice of engines and trims
- High emissions compared to rivals
- Tight rear headroom
- Poor resale values
The Vauxhall Insignia saloon is a much better car than the Vectra it replaced, looking 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 returning good fuel economy.