The facelifted Insignia will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but we’ve visited Vauxhall’s UK HQ to speak exclusively to the team tasked with keeping one of its most important models looking fresh.
Chief exterior designer Niels Loeb told us one of the team’s key aims was to “keep the appeal of the Insignia’s exterior, but sharpen it up to fit with current models such as the Astra GTC.”
The exterior tweaks make the car’s nose seem wider and lower, while the hatch proportions are better in profile, thanks to the new front bumper design and a 20mm-longer rear bumper.
The estate’s tailgate looks much improved, too, now that the tail-lights don’t intersect with the bottom of the screen.
There’s a redesigned steering wheel and dash top, and the option of a digital screen instead of dials. Also, the outgoing button-heavy centre console has been replaced by a sleek touchscreen.
What's more, the Sporty VXR is set to get even more kit. This model will also debut at Frankfurt, and will boast the top-spec eight-inch touchscreen. It’ll also get its own, sportier version of the eight-inch TFT dial display, while new sports seats will keep drivers secure when putting the car’s revised suspension set-up to the test.
Engineering group manager Michael Harder showed us how the controls for audio, sat-nav and telecommunications function by touch, voice or via the laptop-style trackpad between the seats. The latter works particularly well, and a discreet vibration through the pad lets you know when you’ve selected a function.
Fleet buyers purchase 85 per cent of Insignias, and Vauxhall is keen to play up the car’s ability to operate effectively as a mobile office. Two new 99g/km engines bring huge company car tax benefits, while re-engineered suspension is claimed to improve the car’s handling without ruining the ride.
And with each model costing thousands less than before – the entry-level car is £1,771 cheaper – you’ll no doubt be seeing a lot more Insignias pounding up and down Britain’s motorways.