Vauxhall Insignia: Welcome to Parkers

  • Nearly new Insignia joins our fleet
  • With the new Insignia Grand Sport around the corner…
  • …does it make sense to buy an end-of-line model?
  • Nearly new Insignia joins our fleet
  • With the new Insignia Grand Sport around the corner…
  • …does it make sense to buy an end-of-line model?

With new car finance the dominant way of purchasing a car these days, focus has overwhelmingly switched to buying new.

But what if you don’t want to tie yourself into a three- or four-year contract or pay high interest charges? You can still go for a used or nearly new option with the benefits of buying new, such as the remainder of a new car warranty and the guarantee it's been prepared to a high standard.

With a new Insignia Grand Sport just about to launch in the UK, we’ve got our hands on a nearly new version of the outgoing Insignia in SRi VX-Line trim to see if it makes sense to go for this sensible - yet popular - mile-muncher as a run-out model.

New, this car cost £25,805 before adding any options, but a quick Parkers Valuation reveals this six-month-old example would now be on a Vauxhall forecourt for £16,780 - a signifcant saving.

We're also keen to see how it compares with the new Grand Sport when we swap it over for one this summer.

Our test car is a 2.0-litre diesel in SRi VX-Line trim

You’d struggle to believe the Insignia is an eight-year-old design – it still looks good thanks to a refresh in 2012, especially in our SRi VX-Line Nav trim. We’ll dive into what kit comes as standard in a future update, but first impressions are good and we think it still looks very smart.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre CDTi diesel engine with 170hp driven through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

My 100-mile round trip to and from the Parkers office five days a week is prime commuter-style journey (the Insignia is a firm favourite with company car drivers), so it’ll be good to see how well it laps up the miles.

Trying out Network Q dealer service

We picked up the 66-plate car from Forest Gate Vauxhall in Corby with just shy of 6,500 miles on the clock – it’s been plucked directly from Vauxhall’s Network Q national stock. Rather conveniently, Network Q’s national storage and refurbishment centre is located just down the road.

Why this dealer? It may not be Vauxhall’s flagship showroom, but it was the dealer that debuted the Network Q system more than 20 years ago.

It started off as a multi-franchise used car scheme that offered multi-point checks to ensure the car was up to standard, a comprehensive warranty and roadside assistance among the benefits.

We’re hoping we don’t need to make use of these services in our time with the car, but buyers will no doubt feel reassured with this back up, should anything go wrong with their car.

First impressions

The Insignia has settled in well to the rigours of life on the Parkers fleet after just a couple of weeks. It feels solid and well-built and, because of its 6k mileage, it’s already nicely run in and the engine feels pokey and refined. We think it looks especially good and bang up to date in SRi VX-Line trim with its enormous 19-inch alloys and body kit.

We’re looking forward to seeing how it copes as a commuter car (we have high hopes) and if it makes sense to go for an older model that costs almost £10,000 less than it did six months ago.

In a few months’ time we’ll be swapping VX66 KKN for the all-new Insignia Grand Sport to see just how much Vauxhall has stuck to what appears to be a winning formula for company car drivers.

Mileage: 6,486 miles

Fuel economy: 62.8mpg (claimed)

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