In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Insignia review

The Vauxhall Insignia is a practical, well-equipped family hatch, but lacks excitement

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£25,835 to £34,940
  • Spacious
  • Good to drive
  • Economical to run
  • Expensive top models
  • Small engines feel slow
  • Depreciation

The Vauxhall Insignia is practical, good to drive and quiet on the move - so it’s a decent choice if you’re after a large family car.

However, the market for these cars is shrinking. As more people flock to SUVs and premium cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, it leaves the Insignia with few direct rivals. One is the Skoda Superb, which is a tough competitor and one of our favourite family cars - but the Vauxhall is a close match for interior quality and practicality - two key areas for a family.

Buy at a good price and the Insignia is still a good choice - it doesn’t have the trendy looks of an SUV, but it beats those heavy, high-riding cars on ride comfort, handling and refinement.

About the Vauxhall Insignia

A change of name to Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport signified a big change for Vauxhall's family hatchback when it arrived in 2017. As well as being a replacement for the near-decade old Insignia Mk1, the new model went on sale as a bigger, more spacious and more upmarket family car. In fact, because the family car market is in such poor health, Vauxhall has rebranded the model as an executive choice, in the hope of stealing sales from cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.

A facelift in 2020 saw the Grand Sport moniker dropped, while slight exterior changes included a wider grille, a redesigned front bumper and slimmer headlights. A new entry-level diesel engine option was also introduced to the range, along with improved levels of safety kit.

Really, the Insignia treads the middle ground between these executive models and traditional family cars. It's more upmarket than cars such as the Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Hyundai i40 and Kia Optima, and is on a par with cars like the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat

The Insignia has good interior space and plenty of legroom in the back. That gives passengers room to stretch out, while cabin quality has been improved to add to the sense of space and comfort. In terms of pure size, the Insignia is also comparable to more upmarket offerings, such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. Like before, it comes as a five-door hatchback, although the extended roof line gives it more of a fastback look.

Vauxhall has hinted at plans that the next-generation Insignia will be a higher-riding SUV, featuring all electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The new model should be available from 2024, so it perhaps makes sense that the manufacturer has pared back the current Insignia range to a choice of just two trim levels: Design and GS Line. Prices start from around £26,500 and climb to almost £36,000.

Standard kit is pretty generous and includes 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a touchscreen infotainment system, navigation with traffic sign recognition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, dual zone climate control and cruise control. The sporty GS Line features 20-inch wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, upgraded upholstery and a wireless smartphone charging function.

The engine lineup has been equally simplified, with diesel power making up the bulk of the range: a 120bhp 1.5 litre unit, or a 172bhp 2.0-litre oil-burner, both available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. A single 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine is also offered, using a nine-speed auto 'box.

Used and nearly new

The Insignia replaced the Vectra as Vauxhall’s chief rival to the Ford Mondeo. Never the most exciting choice in the family car segment – although the hot VXR version was certainly rapid – the Insignia majored on comfort, low running costs and fuel efficiency, especially from the diesels. The Mk1 Insignia enjoyed nearly a decade of production before a new and more upmarket version arrived in 2017.

  • For the latest Vauxhall Insignia prices check out our sister site buyacar.co.uk

Vauxhall Insignia history

Vauxhall Insignia 1.5 diesel - front static

Vauxhall Insignia Mk2: 2017

A change of name to Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport signified a big change for Vauxhall's family hatchback when it arrived in 2017. As well as being a replacement for the near-decade old Insignia Mk1, the new model went on sale as a bigger, more spacious and more upmarket family car. This move up market edged the Insignia ahead of its more mainstream rivals.

Used Vauxhall Insignia - front static

Vauxhall Insignia Mk1: 2008-2017

The Vauxhall Insignia was the long-awaited replacement for the old Vectra – one of the least-liked cars of all time. The Insignia came along in 2008 and improved on its predecessor in almost every way. But it still scored in Vauxhall's traditional territory of value for money. The Insignia, like its predecessors, is big, spacious and well equipped as standard, and became a favourite in the company car park. Read our full Mk1 Vauxhall Insignia buyer’s guide here...

If you're looking to buy a Vauxhall Insignia, why not check out our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

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