Family Car of the Year 2018: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2018 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended

The family car category has been wrapped up by the Insignia Grand Sport. That it’s beaten the multiple-winning Skoda Superb to the title shows what a brilliant package Vauxhall has produced.

Space is one of the biggest priorities for a car in this class, and the Insignia Grand Sport delivers it by the shedload. It’s most notable in the back, where the Vauxhall’s vast rear cabin means that there’s more than enough room to manoeuvre a bulky child seat into place and still huge reserves of knee and headroom once the kids have grown.

All of the kit you’ll ever need for family life can be swallowed by a generous 490-litre boot, while the Vauxhall’s enormous hatchback opening gives great access and lots of practicality.

The Insignia’s cabin looks smart, is solidly put together and well equipped. All models get at least air-con and a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, LED tail-lights and cruise control.

The car mixes excellent refinement with capable handling. It’s at its best on a long cruise, where the smooth ride, comfortable seats and strong refinement help the miles pass by easily.

There are two petrol engines or, if you do higher mileages, a choice of four torquey diesels. Also, a GSi Nav trim is available that adds a sportier flavour and power without sacrificing practicality.

We’d stick to the more affordable models, where the Insignia’s tempting pricing clinches its crown. Starting from £18,780, it undercuts some rivals by several thousand pounds, but is also priced competitively with cars from the class below. Factor in appealing monthly finance offers and the Insignia Grand Sport looks a real bargain.

Our choice

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 Turbo D (136) Design Nav (£20,435)

With a car that majors so strongly on value, it makes sense to go for the version that’s among the cheapest to run. Design Nav has a generous kit tally plus built-in sat-nav as part of an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen that features the same strong smartphone connectivity. The 1.6-litre diesel provides enough grunt for a fully loaded car, but claims 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. 

Commended 

Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb - front

The three-time winner of our family car category gives way to the Insignia this year. But there’s still plenty to recommend the Superb; it’s generously proportioned inside, comes loaded with clever storage spaces and has a vast boot. A wide choice of petrol and diesel engines mixes strong performance with impressive economy as well. 

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius 2016 UK - front tracking

Base your buying decision on running costs alone and the Prius is tough to overlook. Hybrid tech makes for great real-world fuel economy, yet it’s squeezed into a package that’s practical, comfortable and relatively fun to drive. A fourth place overall finish in our Driver Power 2018 rankings, and third in the reliability category, also give peace of mind.

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