What is the Vauxhall Insignia?
The Insignia is the collective name for what would have traditionally been Vauxhall’s large family car range – although you can no longer buy one as a saloon.
In fact, you can no longer buy a plain old Insignia, either. Instead the range is split into the fancy sounding Insignia Grand Sport five-door hatchback and the Insignia Sports Tourer five-door estate.
The estate is also available as the Insignia Country Tourer – an alternative to vehicles like the Skoda Octavia Scout and Audi A4 Allroad.
More generally, the Insignia’s fiercest rival is the Ford Mondeo, with other competitors including the Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Avensis and vast Skoda Superb. However, these days more and more buyers are turning to SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga instead.
- Top speed: 127-146mph
- 0-62mph: 7.2-11.1 seconds
- Fuel economy 35.3-57.7mpg
- Emissions: 116-188g/km CO2
- Boot space: 490-1,665 litres
Which versions of the Vauxhall Insignia are available?
The estate also comes as a pseudo off-road lifestyle variant called the County Tourer; this has just two engine options, however. You can read more about it below.
The regular engine range runs from a 140hp 1.5-litre turbo petrol with front-wheel drive to a 210hp BiTurbo 2.0-litre diesel with four-wheel drive.
There are plenty of choices in between, so there should be an Insignia with the performance to suit you.
Both body styles are offered in a large selection of trim levels, all of which come generously equipped – though obviously the further up the range you go, the more exciting and comprehensive the on-board technology.
There is not currently a range-topping Insignia VXR performance model; keen drivers will have to make so with the (much less powerful) GSi instead.
What is the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer?
The Insignia Country Tourer is one of those beefed-up estate car types that comes with plastic body cladding, front and rear bumpers with fake underbody protection panels picked out in silver, and standard-fit four-wheel drive.
It also rides 20mm higher than the regular Insignia Sports Tourer estate, giving it a touch more ground clearance.
It’s hardly a true substitute for proper SUV, but the Country Tourer will tackle a greasy grass field no problem whatsoever.
Plus you get a choice of powerful petrol or diesel engines, and a lot of equipment included in the price. It’s one of the more appealing models in the Insignia range.
Vauxhall Insignia styling and engineering
The switch to the Grand Sport name has been accompanied by a styling direction that makes this five-door hatchback into more of a five-door coupe – the Insignia is a good looking car.
The design language translates well to the estate versions, too.
On the inside you get a roomy cabin for people (though the boot is smaller than in the previous generation) and good rather than outstanding build quality.
The dashboard layout is functional rather than thrilling, too, while the infotainment system is clunky and less polished than in many rivals – especially those made by the Volkswagen Group.
While Vauxhall is now part of the PSA Peugeot-Citroen family, the Insignia pre-dates this change in ownership and is based on a platform that’s shared with a number of American cars rather than French ones.
Is the Vauxhall Insignia good to drive?
The Insignia range provides tidy handling, with impressive comfort levels (if you avoid the larger wheels), and a number of high-functioning extras, including variable FlexRide suspension and a pretty fancy four-wheel drive system.
However, it is not an especially involving car. Drivers looking for more thrills will be better off with a Mondeo, for example.
But if you just want a decent, no nonsense motorway cruiser with loads of space and plenty of toys, the Insignia will do the job nicely.
How much does the Vauxhall Insignia cost?
Given the amount of fitted equipment you get, the Insignia is fairly priced for cash buyers.
But if you’re planning a purchase on monthly finance, be aware that many rivals typically offer more competitive deals.
Want to find out what other buyers think? Read our comprehensive Vauxhall Insignia owners' reviews.
Vauxhall Insignia Model History
Current generation Vauxhall Insignia
May 2017 – New Grand Sport arrives in dealerships with seven trims – Design, Design Nav, SRi, SRi Nav, SRi Vx-Line Nav, Techline Nav and Elite Nav – and lots of engine choice: 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesels, 1.5- and 2.0-litre turbo petrols.
July 2017 – Insignia Grand Sport GSi announced as performance derivative with 260hp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, all-wheel drive and suspension honed on the race track.
First-generation Vauxhall Insignia (2009-2017)
The original Insignia (known as the Insignia A or Insignia Mk1, as the current range is known as the Insignia B or Insignia Mk2) replaced the Vectra in the Vauxhall line up, just as the Vectra replaced the Cavalier.
It was sold as a four-door saloon, a five-door hatch and a five-door Sports Tourer estate – which was in turn sold as a Country Tourer, in much the same pattern as the current version, detailed above.
There was also a high performance Insignia VXR model, which really was tremendously fast for the money, if not especially delicate or entertaining.
As with the present car, this Insignia was spacious for passengers, but struggled to match the best rivals for material quality and comfort. It was always good value, however – even if some of the on-board tech was rather clunky.
Find out more by reading what buyers think in our comprehensive owner’s reviews.