10 October 2013 Last Updated: 29 October 2013

Full Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback (09 on) Model Review

by James Taylor, Staff Writer

  • We hit the motorways in Vauxhall’s updated Insignia
  • This 2.0 CDTi version emits just 99g/km of CO2
  • P11D value of £21,594 and BIK rate of 13 percent
Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback (09 on) 2.0 CDTi (140bhp) ecoFLEX SRi Nav 5d - Road Test
It may not look dramatically different from the old one, but this is the ‘new’ Vauxhall Insignia. From October onwards, Vauxhall’s company car favourite has a new look, new equipment and a thrifty new engine.

It may not look dramatically different from the old one, but this is the ‘new’ Vauxhall Insignia. From October onwards, Vauxhall’s company car favourite has a new look, new equipment and a thrifty new engine.

Exterior changes are subtle, the most obvious being a wider and lower front grille and altered headlights.

Inside there’s a new instrument cluster and a redesigned centre console with less buttons. It’s still a plasticky affair but it’s an understated, attractive and logical layout that’s easy to use. Among the new equipment list is a larger touchscreen display and an optional digital instrument panel, both of which were featured in our SRi Nav spec test car.

That trim sits in the middle of the eight-stage trim grade list. For comparison, the entry-level Design grade has a P11D value around £2,600 lower when fitted with the same 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine as our test car.

Vauxhall Insignia touch screen

New eight-inch touchscreen is well-resolved and standard-fit on certain trims

This particular engine is significant as it’s also brand new to the range and offers extremely low CO2 emissions of only 99g/km.

That places it in the 13 percent BIK band, meaning that with a P11D value in SRi Nav spec of £21,594 a 20 percent tax payer will shell out only £47 a month in company car tax.

Claimed average fuel consumption is 76.3mpg, although we covered more than 550 miles (mostly motorway-based) in our time with the car and according to the trip computer it averaged 54mpg.

Either way, a 70-litre tank means you shouldn’t have to visit the pumps too often.

On the road the new engine is impressively smooth and progress is fairly effortless thanks to 350Nm of torque. It’s also very quiet, as is the car in general – the updated Insignia is far more refined and well insulated than before.

It’s comfortable too, the SRi’s cloth-upholstered seats providing plenty of support and the suspension (which has a lower ride height than normal on the SRi) striking a good balance between a decent ride and relatively taut handling.

Vauxhall Insignia

Touch-pad behind gear lever allows letters and numbers to be traced onto the screen

The new eight-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard is attractive and straightforward to use. As well as a voice control function, it also features a separate touchpad surface behind the gearlever which allows menu functions to be accessed by drawing a finger across the pad or tracing a letter onto the screen. It’s similar to the system we tried in the BMW 518d recently. Although it’s a clever idea we found it easier to simply use the conventional rotary control on the centre console most of the time.

Also new is a well-resolved digital instrument panel (an £800 option), which is very clear and easy to switch between various displays showing sat-nav instructions, vehicle information and audio playlists, for example.

Standard on SRi Nav models is the aforementioned touchscreen sat-nav and touchpad, digital radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, front fog lights and an excellent cruise control system.

It’s a spec that would suit many business drivers, as indeed would the car as a whole. With a roomy interior, big boot and much improved refinement and driving manners, the updated Insignia really is well worth a look.

Around 80% of Insignias have been sold to business customers since the car’s launch back in 2008, and with the new 99g/km engine it’s a more solid company car choice than ever.

Also consider:

VW Passat saloon

Like the Insignia, it’s not exciting but it is very practical and very roomy. Lowest CO2 figures belong to the 1.6 TDI BlueMotion at 109g/km.

Ford Mondeo hatchback

Due for replacement soon but still a capable company car, the Mondeo is a natural rival to the Insignia. The 1.6 TDCi Eco can manage 119g/km.

Peugeot 508 saloon

Often overlooked, the big Peugeot is comfortable and one of the most refined cars in the sector. The Hybrid4 version emits 95 g/km CO2 and the non-hybrid 1.6 e-HDi diesel 104g/km.