- All-new family hatchback arrives in 2017
- Longer, lower and packed with technology
- All-wheel drive available on top models
The Vauxhall Insignia – a firm favourite with company car drivers and family users alike – has been given a sleek makeover for 2017. It’s also got a new name: Insignia Grand Sport.
We’ve already had a chance to drive a prototype version (you can read what we thought by clicking here), but there’s a lot to differentiate it from the car it replaces as it now sits on entirely new undepinnings that Vauxhall calls Epsilon 2.
Sleek looks and more space
The Insignia Grand Sport is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing hatchback, but it also weighs up to 175kg less than before.
At the front there are slim LED headlamp units next to a newly-designed grille, while there are familiar scalloped sections down the side of the car that have become something of a Vauxhall hallmark.
At the rear, a sloping roofline and new tail-lights finish off the exterior redesign. It’s clearly a Vauxhall, but it’s sleek and sharp with some neat details. It’s also very aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of just 0.26.
Inside, the Insignia’s cabin has become more driver-focused and angled towards the driver. It’s very reminiscent of the latest Astra with a large touchscreen infotainment system at the centre. The driver sits 30mm lower than before and the extra 92mm length in the wheelbase means rear-seat occupants should benefit from more space.
However, it’s not all good news. The current Insignia hatchback boasts 530 litres of boot space, whereas the new Grand Sport has just 490 litres. It’s a similar story with the rear seats folded down – the Grand Sport’s load space is 20 litres short of the current car’s 1,470-litre total capacity.
Safety and assistance tech
Vauxhall is debuting the latest generation of its Intellilux Matrix LED headlamps on the Insignia Grand Sport, with 32 LED segments in the light cluster. They’ll work in the same way as the units found in the Astra, but with more LEDs the adaptive function should be more precise and they’ll be brighter, too.
Generous equipment list
On top of the advanced extras available, the new Insignia will come with a more generous level of equipment across the board. Keyless entry and keyless ignition are standard on all models, while heating elements for both front and rear seats will be available, as will a heated front windscreen for frosty winter mornings.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will feature as in many other Vauxhall models, while the firm’s OnStar virtual concierge service will be on hand to make driving a bit easier thanks to a central call centre and assistance in the event of an accident.
New auto ‘box and all-wheel drive
While the full engine line-up is yet to be announced, Vauxhall has confirmed a new eight-speed automatic gearbox will debut in the Insignia Grand Sport, available only on all-wheel drive models for now.
These all-wheel drive models will come with torque vectoring for the first time, too. This works by shifting accelerative power to the outer wheels when cornering, allowing the car to turn more precisely. We’ve already tried this in the latest Mazda 6 – one of the Insignia’s biggest rivals – which you can read about here.
When can I buy one?
The Insignia Grand Sport will make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show before arriving in showrooms in the middle of the year.