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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Good motorway cruiser; spacious cabin

Against Not the most refined; not the biggest boot

Verdict An elegant estate, but disappointing overall

Go for… 2.0 CDTi SRi

Avoid… 2.8T V6 4x4 Elite Nav

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
  • 1. Of the two 2.0-litre diesels, we prefer the 158bhp version over the 128bhp model
  • 2. Electrical problems are the most common complaint. Gremlins include controls and switches not working, and stereos failing
  • 3. It's too shallow and isn't easy that easy to load.
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Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer full review with expert trade views

Vauxhall isn't known for building elegant estates, but the Insignia Touring certainly looks handsome when compared with the Vectra it replaced.

It's substantially bigger than the Vectra, both in width and length. This translates to decent cabin space and a 520-litre boot with the back seats in place, and 1460 with them folded down. However, the boot is disappointing for such a big car; it's too shallow and awkward to load because of the big bumper.

The dashboard is logically arranged and most drivers should be able to get comfortable. Rear visibility isn't stunning, thanks to thick door pillars.

The Insignia is smooth and stable at high speeds, however, the steering is too light and imprecise. There's also too much wind noise, especially at higher speeds, and road noise can become intrusive. If that wasn't enough, the diesel engines are a little noisy, too.

Trade view

Despite the car's size, the Insignia Estate's boot isn't that impressive. It's too shallow and isn't easy that easy to load.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Most buyers go for one of the diesel models, but don't rule out a smaller petrol engine if you don't cover many miles.

Of the two 2.0-litre diesels, we prefer the 158bhp version over the 128bhp model. The first is more flexible, while the second is hamstrung by long gearing. In April 2009, the ecoFLEX was launched, offering improved fuel consumption and lower emissions.

Of the four petrol engines, the turbocharged 1.6-litre with 178bhp is worth considering, while the 1.8-litre with 138bhp is merely adequate. There's also the 217bhp 2.0-litre turbo, which is fast, and a thirsty 265bhp 2.8-litre turbocharged V6.

Four-wheel-drive versions of the 2.0-litre and 2.8-litre petrol engines are available, while automatic gearboxes are optional on the larger petrols and both diesels.

Only the entry-level ES misses out on climate control, stability and cruise controls. The SRi gets alloys, sports suspension and electric windows all round, with the VX-Line option adding an aggressive bodykit and other sporty styling cues. The SE is more comfort-orientated with alloys, auto wipers, and the Elite ups the sophistication with electrically adjustable leather seats and dual-zone climate control. The Nav editions of each trim add a large-colour satellite-navigation system.

Trade view

The more powerful, 158bhp diesel model is best, but look out for mid-2010 models with better fuel economy and lower emissions.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Originally, both diesel engines produced 159g/km of CO2 and returned an average of 47.1 mpg, but in mid-2010 these were improved. The 128bhp engine improved to 136g/km and 55.4 mpg, while the 158bhp engine increased efficiency to 149g/km and 50.4mpg

When introduced in 2009, the ecoFLEX diesel managed an average of 53.7mpg and emitted 139g/km of CO2, but this was improved in 2010 to 55.4mpg and 134g/km.

The least powerful petrol and diesel models start at insurance group 16, with the potent V6 model in group 36. Servicing and maintaining an Insignia won't cost a fortune. Vauxhall dealers are plentiful and prices are broadly in line with those of rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6.

Trade view

Despite the car's size, the Insignia Estate's boot isn't that impressive. It's too shallow and isn't easy that easy to load.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Insignia hasn't made the best start when it comes to reliability.

Electrical problems are the most common complaint, with numerous faults. The most severe involve manufacturing issues with the car's wiring loom, which can be incredibly difficult to cure. Other gremlins include controls and switches not working, and stereos failing.

There have also been isolated problems with the clutch mechanism and diesel particulate filters.

Trade view

The more powerful, 158bhp diesel model is best, but look out for mid-2010 models with better fuel economy and lower emissions.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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