Used Vauxhall Insignia 08-17 long-term review

It's the Insignia's first birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a spot of pampering and some cake?...

Used Vauxhall Insignia 08-17 long-term review

25 May 2017 – fourth report

Price when new: £26,415 Value on arrival: £15,000 Value now: £13,000 Mileage on arrival: 8752 Mileage now: 10,232 Official economy: 65.7mpg Test economy: 48.3mpg

Today is the Insignia’s birthday. No, seriously. It’s a year old today, according to the date of first registration written in the service book.

I did buy it a cake, but I wasn’t sure how the engine would cope with trying to combust a few hundred grammes of Victoria sponge and buttercream. So I settled for giving it a tank full of premium diesel as a gift instead, and ate the cake myself.

The Insignia’s birthday treats didn’t end there, mind you. I also booked it in at Now Vauxhall in Richmond for its first service. The oil life was down to 7%, according to the dashboard indicator, and with a 2000-mile pan-European road trip planned for next week, it made sense to get it done sooner rather than later, especially as I’d noticed an occasional squeal from the front brakes when in slow-moving traffic a couple of times recently.

The good news is that I couldn’t have been more impressed with the service from Now. I was able to book in online quickly and easily, and on the morning I turned up there was enough parking outside to pull up almost by the door – which I wasn’t expecting, given the small lot and tough parking restrictions on the surrounding roads.

Having dropped the car off, I wasn’t expecting a call until at least 4pm, as per some other main dealers I’ve taken cars to before. So I was quite surprised when I had an email drop into my inbox at 11am, complete with a video healthcheck on the car. A technician narrated the walk-around, with the car up on a two-post ramp, and explained that the car was in good health with no issues of concern. He put the squealing brakes down to a bit of dirt caught between the pad and the disc, and said that while the pads could be changed, a bit of motorway braking would probably solve the problem.

Accompanying the video was a form offering me the chance to tick a box to have the extra work done, but I declined as per the technician’s recommendation. And just a few minutes later, Muki Vasistha, the service advisor who’d taken my keys that morning, was on the phone to let me know the car was ready to collect.

I headed down after work to pick the Insignia up, and once again Muki was there ready to give me the bill and the keys. I’d opted to have a mini-valet done on the car to get it shining ready for the trip, for an extra £9.99, which brought the total bill up to £239.76. Not exactly cheap, but not unreasonable by any means, especially given the exemplary level of service. All in all, I left deeply impressed.