Vauxhall Insignia hatchback (2008-2017) - Engines, drive & performance

The Vauxhall Insignia is a great long-distance cruiser

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.6 out of 5

The latest Vauxhall Insignia is an incredibly comfortable car that’ll eat up long distances with ease, which is why it’s highly favoured by company fleet buyers. Recent tweaks made to the suspension filter out the biggest bumps to deliver a comfortable ride, while the engine is quiet and wind noise is low. In short, the Vauxhall Insignia can't be faulted for its cruising capability, however the economical ecoFLEX models have stiffer suspension which make the ride firmer.

Despite boasting plenty of grip, the Vauxhall Insignia doesn't come anywhere close to the Ford Mondeo or Mazda6 for driver thrills. There’s not much in the way of feedback through the steering wheel and the payoff for that comfortable ride is a soft feel in corners. The Vauxhall suffers more body lean than the Ford and its suspension is easily unsettled by mid-corner bumps.

In terms of engines, the Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi diesel ecoFLEX is seriously impressive and efficient, while the 168mph VXR Supersport is one of the fastest cars on sale in the UK in its price bracket. It takes 5.6 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph and gets a special ‘HiPerStrut’ front suspension system to improve grip.

Vauxhall Insignia petrol engines

There are four petrol engines to choose from in the Insignia, with one of those being reserved exclusively for the flagship performance version that accounts for a small percentage of sales.

Of the three more realistic choices, the 1.4-litre is the easiest to recommend. Although the 1.8-litre model is marginally cheaper to buy, it’s not hugely fuel efficient. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, meanwhile, has brisk performance, but relatively low fuel economy, and high CO2 emissions mean it’s an expensive car to run, even if it gets the Insignia from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.

If the 2.0-litre petrol engine isn’t punchy enough for you, then you’ll be happy to know there’s a mighty 321bhp engine available in the Insignia VXR Supersport, which we’ve reviewed separately. As you’d expect, running costs are very high for this model, although it’s worth pointing out that no similarly priced car is as fast and practical.

Diesel engines

For most Vauxhall Insignia buyers, the 2.0-litre CDTi diesel engine will be the go-to choice. It can return over 60mpg and takes 9.4 seconds to go from 0-62mph. The Insignia is also treated to Vauxhall's latest 1.6-litre 'Whisper' diesel engine. A 10.9-second 0-62mph time won't set anyone's hair alight, but it's a decent enough performer. Its top speed is 130mph and it’ll provide the best blend of performance and economy for most drivers. Yet despite its 'Whisper' name, it's actually quite loud at idle and sounds gruff when you put your foot down.

Recommended

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback review
Vauxhall Insignia hatchback
Vauxhall Insignia
27 Jan 2022

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback review

Have You Considered

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback review
Vauxhall Insignia hatchback
Vauxhall Insignia
27 Jan 2022

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback review

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback (2008-2017)
Vauxhall Insignia hatchback
16 Dec 2016

Vauxhall Insignia hatchback (2008-2017)

Most Popular

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
MG4 Front driver side
News
5 Aug 2022

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge
2024 Kia EV4 - front
News
5 Aug 2022

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Renault Clio hybrid
Deals
5 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022