Our cars: What Car? test fleet - Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
List price: £24,280
Target Price: £20,869
Run by: Alex Jenner-Fust
Tested for: One month/2200 miles
Looks aren't everything, but I'm a sucker for a bit of automotive eye candy. Like a David Beckham impersonator, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is a handsome model that's regularly mistaken for something much more expensive.
The car's sleek shape looks great in Black Sapphire with chrome window surrounds and roof rails, and tinted rear windows. Inside, too, the design detailing is impressive, with precision markings on the dials that would suit a Rolex watch.
I collected the car from Graeme Potts, managing director of Eden Vauxhall in Reading (0845 121 1571). His colleague Jason Blaney guided me through the maze of dashboard buttons, and showed me the boot's false floor, which conceals enough space for a laptop or picnic blanket.
Just one gripe…
Since then, things have been good. I have only one gripe so far: the protrusive rear bumper that means I almost have to climb into the boot to load items at the back. I'm suffering for beauty: it's the bumper that helps achieve the car's perfect figure. I'm also paying for it with bruises on my forehead from clouting the unusually shaped tailgate with its snazzy rear lights.
We've chosen the 158bhp 2.0-litre diesel model, which has the same fuel economy as the 128bhp version, but with far more flexibility. It's noisy at low speeds, but smooth and quiet on the motorway. Promised economy of 47.1mpg isn't too far from the 42.4mpg achieved so far.
Sporty SRi Nav trim includes sports suspension as well as a dazzling array of standard kit. You get electric seats, cruise control, sat-nav, and auto lights and wipers. We've added front and rear parking sensors to keep that bodywork pristine (£365), a FlexOrganiser pack to keep the boot tidy (£100) and an intelligent adaptive lighting system that includes sparkly bi-xenon headlights with washers (£850).
There's no question that the car looks the part, and it has already passed the 'family holiday in Wales' test. Even carrying enough luggage for a world tour, it felt powerful and comfortable. Now the holidays are over I'll see how it copes with the cross-town commute. Wherever we are, I'm going to keep enjoying the admiring glances.
What Car? says
Supermodel looks without the hefty price tag