Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer estate (2017-2019)
"The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is a practical, capable and good-looking SUV alternative"
- All-weather ability
- Average economy
- Not as sharp as standard car
- Minimal increase in ground clearance
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is an estate car that offers a lower-riding alternative to more traditional SUVs, with rivals including the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout, Audi A4 Allroad, Volvo V60 Cross Country and Subaru Outback. Just like those cars, the Country Tourer is based on a conventional estate (the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer) with the option of four-wheel drive, an increased ride height, plastic exterior cladding and lots of standard equipment.
For now, the Insignia Country Tourer is available with one engine – a 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel – with a more powerful twin-turbo diesel due to arrive early in 2018. The current engine offers decent performance and quiet running, helping make the Country Tourer a relaxed and swift cruiser. The Country Tourer is just as spacious, practical and well built as the standard Sports Tourer, with a focus on comfort on rougher roads. It’s a fine all-round package, backed up with rough-and-tumble styling and capable four-wheel drive (if specified), at a price that’s competitive compared to rivals.
MPG, running costs & CO2
There’s only one engine in the current Insignia Country Tourer for now, badged as Turbo D – a 2.0-litre, turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel producing 168bhp. Performance is ample, there’s lots of low-down power and it’s remarkably quiet. Front-wheel drive cars return the best economy, with the manual returning an average of 51.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 145g/km. Go for the automatic and economy will drop to 47.1mpg, with emissions climbing to 157g/km.
Sadly, if specified with four-wheel drive (which is often the point with cars of this sort), fuel economy drops further – the resultant average of 43.5mpg is low, though CO2 emissions aren’t particularly impressive at 172g/km. By contrast, the Audi A4 Allroad in comparable 2.0-litre diesel form manages 57.6mpg and produces 128g/km of CO2.
All Insignia Country Tourer models cost £140 per year to tax (after a first-year CO2-weighted payment that’s usually rolled into the on-the-road price). It’s not likely that you’ll be able to push the price over the £40,000 mark with options, but If you do, you’ll have you’ll have to pay an additional £310 per year for the following five years of ownership, bringing your total annual bill to £450.
Vauxhall’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty applies as usual, as does its range of servicing options, with monthly payment plans available to suit your intended mileage. Vauxhall Care (costing around £20 per month) covers the first three services, three years of roadside assistance and the first MOT.
Engines, drive & performance
Until next year’s twin-turbocharged diesel engine arrives, the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is only available with a single turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel with 168bhp. There’s plenty of performance on offer, especially low down in the rev range, with 0-62mph taking 9.3 seconds with four-wheel drive or 8.6 seconds without. If you choose the automatic model, 0-62mph takes 8.8 seconds. Top speed is 135mph for all models except the manual front-drive version, which tops out at 137mph. The engine is pleasingly hushed in operation, with very little noise making its way inside.
While the Insignia Sports Tourer offers a fairly sporty driving experience, the Country Tourer is a softer, less agile car with a greater focus on comfort. As such, the higher-riding Country Tourer rolls more in corners and doesn't feel quite as poised, even with its standard adaptive suspension set to ‘Sport’ mode. But it’s still more controlled than most similarly sized SUVs.
With four-wheel drive fitted, the Country Tourer can even hold its own off-road – it's perfect for tackling rough country tracks and soggy fields.
Interior & comfort
If you’re familiar with the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, the Country Tourer’s interior will feel very familiar. It’s well built, features plenty of good-quality materials and is very logically laid-out. Some rivals have better designed interiors (the Audi A4 Allroad, for example), however the Insignia still feels like a quality car inside.
Standard equipment is good, too: all models get an eight-inch infotainment screen, sat nav, DAB radio and access to Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge service, which offers on-demand information and assistance through a direct line to a dedicated call centre. ‘Comfort’ front seats are standard, but you have to pay for leather; other standard features include climate control, cruise control with a speed limiter function and keyless entry and start.
Practicality & boot space
There’s loads of space inside the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer, both for passengers and luggage. The rear seats offer more space than those in many of its direct rivals, with plenty of head and legroom for adults. Boot space is also excellent; there’s 560 litres with the seats up, or 1,665 litres with them folded.
In contrast, the Subaru Outback offers 512 litres with the seats up and a cavernous 1,848 litres once fully opened up. The Audi A4 Allroad is smaller inside than the Insignia, too, with its 505-litre boot extending to a maximum of 1,510 litres. There’s plenty of storage elsewhere in the Country Tourer’s interior, including good-sized door bins, central cup-holders, a useable glovebox and two more small storage areas in the centre console.
If you’re buying your Insignia Country Tourer with a view to towing, you’ll need to specify the optional Towing Pack, which includes a retractable tow bar and a trailer stability programme for the standard car’s ESP system, for around £700.
Reliability & safety
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer hasn’t be been tested by Euro NCAP, but the Insignia hatchback has; it gained a five-star rating, scoring 93% for adult occupant safety and 85% for child occupant safety. The Country Tourer comes with a range of active safety systems as standard, including forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator, plus lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance.
The Insignia is too new to have featured in our Driver Power 2017 satisfaction survey, but Vauxhall itself finished 23rd overall out of 27 surveyed manufacturers. Its fairly average performance in most categories can be attributed to its previous range of cars, but the Insignia in particular is a higher-quality model that’s bound to perform better than its predecessor. Only time will tell if the Insignia Country Tourer turns out to be as solid and reliable as rivals like the Subaru Outback and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, but it’s clear that Vauxhall has made an effort with its toughened-up estate.
Price, value for money & options
Not only is it a solid performer that’s comfortable and more practical than more expensive rivals, the Insignia Country Tourer is priced to undercut nearly all of its rivals. The Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Volvo V60 Cross Country and Audi A4 Allroad all have starting prices of over £30,000; the Insignia is joined only by the Skoda Octavia Scout under this threshold.
The Insignia Country Tourer is well-specced for the money, with 18-inch wheels, ‘FlexRide’ adaptive suspension, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, power-folding heated door mirrors, sat nav, DAB radio and access to Vauxhall’s OnStar service as standard.
The options list has a number of reasonably priced highlights, including Vauxhall’s sophisticated LED headlights for around £1,000 and a head-up display for around £300. Heated front seats and a heated windscreen can be specified together for around £410 (under the ‘Winter Pack Four’ option), but this must be combined with the VXR Interior pack, which adds leather seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and other sporty interior details, bringing the total price to around £800.