Vauxhall Insignia 1.4T review

  • New 1.4-litre turbo Insignia driven
  • 47.6mpg; 134g/km CO2
  • Priced from £18,795; on sale now
What is it? Vauxhall has added a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol to the Insignia's extensive range of engines.

The 138bhp 1.4 is equally as powerful as the 1.8-litre petrol that's also available, but it offers better fuel economy at 47.9mpg, and lower CO2 emissions of 134g/km (compared with the 1.8's 37.2mpg and 179g/km). The 1.4 costs £710 more than the 1.8, but it does get an engine stop-start system.

The VX-Line trim of our test doesn't hurt the economy, either, despite its 19-inch alloys and a styling pack that includes front and rear spoilers, and sideskirts.

What's it like to drive? The Insignia is reasonably responsive at lower speeds, but get caught in a gear that's too high and it struggles to pull the car's sizeable bulk.

Drive in a more enthusiastic manner, and the 1.4-litre emits a sporty engine note, although it remains refined and quiet at lower speeds.

The VX-Line pack adds a stiffer and lower suspension set-up. The Insignia feels stable and secure on the motorway, but the steering is vague, while its ride and handling fall short of the class-leading Ford Mondeo's.

What's it like inside? The big Vauxhall comes with an attractive cabin that is easy to get comfortable in. Rear visibility is limited, so parking sensors make a crucial addition.

Boot space is a generous 520 litres, and the back seats are easily folded to create a 1470-litre loadbay. However, while the space is good, it is not quite as large as that offered by the Ford Mondeo.

Should I buy one? The 2.0-litre diesel's superior economy will appeal to Insignia owners who do the majority of their mileage on motorways, but this 1.4-litre unit still makes a compelling case.

The engine sounds good, and the turbocharger means it's capable of reasonably lively performance, although the shortage of low-down pull is woeful in a car of this size and will be missed by those used to diesel power.

However, the 1.4 is cheaper to buy and it's in a lower company car tax bracket than most versions of the diesel, so it still makes sense for people who cover fewer miles.

Rivals
Ford Mondeo review
Volkswagen Passat review

What Car? says


Tom.Webster@whatcar.com

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