Cargiant reviews the Vauxhall Insignia
Launched in 2008, the Vauxhall Insignia has become an increasingly popular choice of family car. Undergoing a revamp in 2013 left the series looking sleek, stylish and ultimately more attractive. Versatility of the Vauxhall Insignia has also increased, as it is nowadays available as a saloon, a hatchback and an estate.
The Vauxhall Insignia also boasts a range of fuel-efficient engines, including 5 diesels and 4 petrols, and an updated chassis, which has given it better steering, better suspension and better levels of comfort. That said, the actual drive of the Vauxhall Insignia has not improved in quite the same way. Rivals of the line such as the Ford Mondeo offers a much quieter, smoother and more enjoyable ride, with more secure handling and refinement.
The newer models of the Vauxhall Insignia are also a little cramped in the back and you run the risk of banging your head on the low roof as you get in and out. While it may be cheap upon purchase, the series unfortunately does not hold its value well for resale however it remains very and would be made less expensive if run as a company car.
Drive and Performance:
Despite the significant updates to the Vauxhall Insignia, it has been established that this has not improved the drive and performance of this series by very much.
The visibility in the Vauxhall Insignia is limited with quite large blindspots and the engines, particularly the diesels, sound quite guttural especially on smaller roads. The steering is both adjustable and more accurate than earlier models but provides little feedback, making the car feel unresponsive and the driver disengaged.
The good amount of grip is somewhat marred by the Vauxhall Insignia’s lack of agility, making it a much less exciting ride than that of the Ford Mondeo or Skoda Octavia. However the engines have been tweaked too, and are more powerful whilst still being economical.
And it’s not all bad. The Vauxhall Insignia has been designed with cruising in mind and it is at higher speeds that you notice the impact of amendments. The wind, road and engine noise is dampened, and the suspension jumps into action. Even on long journeys, uneven surfaces are smoothed out and body roll is minimised, giving you the feeling of stability that you need in a family car.
MPG, Running Costs & Emissions:
The Vauxhall Insignia comes with a range of diesel and petrol engines, which are highly competitive in regards to CO2 emissions.
The most efficient engines are the EcoFlex models, which can achieve 76.3mpg and only emit 98g/km, putting it below the magic 100g/km and ensuring no road tax is required. More powerful but less efficient is the 193bhp model which produces 125g/km CO2 emissions and can reach 60mpg.
The petrol engines are unsurprisingly less economic than the diesels but still only produce 123g/km of CO2, which isn’t too bad. Although the most powerful petrol engine found in the new Cascada model is less efficient, producing 186g/km and only achieving 35.8mpg.
There are also decent discounts available upon purchasing a Vauxhall Insignia however the series does not hold its value well and competitors will be worth a lot more by the time it comes to resale.
The 2013 makeover made significant but subtle changes to the Vauxhall Insignia. On the outside the main areas of work were the front and back, with a new grille, new LED headlamps and a broader chrome bar being added. The car just generally looks a lot more sleek and stylish than it did previously, and outdoes similar competitors like the Ford Mondeo and the Golf Passat in terms of popularity and sales because of it.
On the inside the complicated dashboard that you might find in the Vauxhall Astra has been cut down making it easy to read when driving, however voice control is also available simplifying life even further. It comes with a decent sized touch screen for satnav, DAB radio and phone communication in some models that can be controlled using the handy scroll wheel that you might find in SE cars.
Generally, the space inside the car is good however for taller passengers the back may seem a little cramped because of the sloping roof. Some owners have also criticised the Vauxhall Insignia for having inadequate leg space in the front, however the adjustable seats should help minimise this problem. The boot may be smaller than that of the Mondeo but is also of a decent size, and compliments the numerous storage spaces within the car nicely.
Improvements to the suspension mean that you can enjoy a mostly smooth and comfortable ride, more so at higher speeds. One problem is that because the Vauxhall Insignia is bigger than its predecessors, it is quite difficult to park so it might be worth upgrading to include parking sensors. Visibility is also not as good as it could be but nevertheless, the Vauxhall Insignia has benefitted hugely from the various facelifts it has received, and remains a comfortable and practical line of cars.
The Vauxhall Insignia comes with 6 airbags and stability control and was given the maximum 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. It also scored higher than both the Mazda 6 and the VW Passat for protection of adult and child passengers. It didn’t however score higher in the pedestrian protection tests, so it may be worth upgrading to include some additional safety features.
These can include advanced safety kit such as a rear view camera, blindspot monitor, rear traffic alerts and a front camera, which would assist avoiding an accident by providing lane departure warnings, collision alerts and distance control. All of this however would incur a considerable cost, so it’s really up to you how safe you want your Vauxhall Insignia to be!
The Vauxhall Insignia has also dropped in reliability ratings over recent years but does come with a 100,000-mile warranty with no limit on mileage. At the end of the day, the Vauxhall Insignia provides a safe and practical drive as both a family and company car so it just depends where your priorities lie when it comes to buying a car.