Vauxhall Insignia review
The Vauxhall Insignia is a practical, well-equipped family hatch, although top-of-the-range models are expensive to buy
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.
Car group tests
- Vauxhall Insignia vs Skoda Superb
- Skoda Superb vs VW Passat vs Vauxhall Insignia
- Toyota Camry vs Vauxhall Insignia vs Skoda Superb
- Peugeot 508 Fastback vs Kia Optima vs Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
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.
You'd normally expect Vauxhall to deliver a host of confusing trim levels for the Insignia, although there are just five specifications for the latest model lineup. The entry SE Nav is followed by the sportier SRi Nav and SRi VX-Line Nav, then Ultimate Nav and top-of-the-range GSi. Prices start from around £24,000 to almost £41,000.
All trim levels include 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 engine lineup is also simplified, with diesel power making up the bulk of the range: a 120bhp 1.5 litre unit comes with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, while for those that want more power, a 172bhp 2.0-litre oil-burner is available solely with the auto transmission.
A 2.0-litre petrol engine is offered with a choice of 197bhp or 227bhp outputs, although flexibility is limited as the lower-powered version is paired only with the SRi VX-Line Nav trim, while the more potent four-wheel-drive 227bhp variant is available just with the GSi specification. Both petrol cars use a nine-speed auto 'box.
If you're looking to buy a Vauxhall Insignia, why not check out our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Vauxhall Insignia is a practical, well-equipped family hatch, although top-of-the-range models are expensive to buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Vauxhall Insignia is good to drive, with a compliant ride and tidy handling
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Vauxhall Insignia diesel models offer a good mix of power and economy, although there's no petrol plug-in hybrid tech
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Vauxhall Insignia benefits from a a handsome design and decent levels of standard kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Vauxhall Insignia is a practical family hatch with a big boot and plenty of passenger space
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Insignia achieves full marks for safety, but Vauxhall needs to improve poor Driver Power customer satisfaction rating