The exterior of a white Vauxhall Insignia

Vauxhall Insignia review

The Vauxhall Insignia offers a lot of space and equipment making it excellent value for money. With a fresh, practical design, it's ideal for the motorway, making long journeys a breeze.

Pros

  • Lots of choice means there’s an Insignia for everyone
  • Great value for money in the used market
  • A comfortable ride on all roads

Cons

  • Early models suffered from some reliability issues
  • Boot space on the latest generation isn't as good as rivals
  • Its company car image isn't for everyone

Summary

“The Insignia is a firm favourite for its style, space and affordability.”

The Vauxhall Insignia is a great all-rounder and a popular used buy. It comes as a hatchback and an estate. There’s a wide range of engines and specification levels to choose from, including the Country Tourer crossover estate and the VXR performance version. 

The five-door coupe, which was introduced in 2017 and renamed the Insignia Grand Sport, has sportier looks. 

The large dashboard, quality materials, relaxed driving position and overall finish give the Insignia an upmarket feel that matches German rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

Fascia shot of the Vauxhall Insignia

What's the interior like?

“Quality, space and good levels of equipment are all key features of the Insignia.”

The interior ticks all the essential boxes when it comes to design, comfort and practicality. There’s also a high level of standard equipment such as Bluetooth connectivity and air con. The SRi Nav and Elite Nav are great when it comes to kit such as parking sensors and sat nav. The SRi VX-Line Nav models feature all the sporty trimmings.

With its premium, luxurious interior and high level of technology, the latest Insignia Grand Sport competes with more expensive rivals such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. It has the best head-up display in the market, which is a feature that projects information onto the drivers’ windscreen so there’s no need to look down. The Grand Sport also features 4G connectivity, a clear digital dashboard and a good infotainment screen. 

Boot space has always been a strong point right from the original Insignia. It offers 530 litres in both the hatch and estate so you’ll be able to fit in a number of suitcases. The newer Grand Sport boot is 490 litres but this is still large enough for several bags. The estate’s boot can be expanded to 1,460 litres with the seats folded down.

The interior of a Vauxhall Insignia with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“Effortless and comfortable, it’s ideal if you spend a lot of time on the motorway.”

The previous generation Insignia is comfortable to drive and offers a sporty driving experience. The engine choices include three petrol and two diesels, including an efficient and relatively clean EcoFlex version. 

It’s most at home on the motorway where it cruises effortlessly, but its decent suspension also copes well with urban and rural roads. All the controls are easy to use making it a relaxing car to drive whether you’re off to the supermarket or heading off on a weekend getaway.

The latest Grand Sport continues to be a great cruiser but also provides a good grip on rural roads. The manual gearbox is responsive and the steering has a good feel, both of which can be improved at the press of the Sport button. There’s also a Tour button that softens suspension and gives a more relaxed automatic gear change for more comfort on longer journeys.

The exterior of a white Vauxhall Insignia

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Insignia matches its rivals on running costs and its diesel engines provide plenty of miles per tank.”

Vauxhall has kept the running costs similar to its main rival the Mondeo, which means the Insignia is low cost to buy and run.

Servicing is needed every 20,000km (12,500 miles) and Vauxhall offers fixed price minor and major service prices which greatly helps with budgeting for your car.

Insurance costs match those of the Mondeo with the exception of the performance VXR, while tax rates are all average for a family saloon or hatchback.

The interior of a Vauxhall Insignia with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

How reliable and safe is it?

“It doesn't have the best reputation for reliability but it's strong on safety.”

The original Insignia had a less than average reputation for reliability with a number of engine issues but even so, it was the top placed mid-size car in the latest JD Power Vehicle Dependability Index. 

Safety has always been good with a five-star Euro NCAP rating for both the original and the Grand Sport which, as well as all the usual safety kit, has the option of traffic sign recognition and forward collision warning.

Engine shot of the Vauxhall Insignia

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.0 CDTi

Best for family - CD - VXR

As a popular private buy, there are now plenty of versions and equipment options available and, as a sought-after company car, there are lots of diesels but not so many petrol versions around.

It's worth looking at the mid-range 1.6-litre petrol engine and the larger of the two diesels, which is a two-litre and a better bet if you travel longer distances or do any towing.

There are also plenty of trim levels so there's lots of choice. The basic spec might lack equipment as standard but you should be able to find some models where options were added when new.

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