Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer long-term test review

With four-wheel drive and a powerful yet frugal diesel engine, the spacious Vauxhall Insignia estate could be all the car you need. We've added one to our long-term fleet to see if it delivers...

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer long-term test review
  • The car: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 BiTurbo D Elite Nav 4x4 auto
  • Run by: Mitch McCabe, head of video
  • Why it’s here: To see if Vauxhall’s flagship offers an unbeatable combination of practicality, value and executive comfort in estate form?
  • Needs to: Be economical over a large mileage, accommodate lots of luggage and provide enough creature comforts to outshine rivals

Price £28,695 Price as tested £29,495 Miles 6121 Official economy 40.0mpg Test economy 34.8mpg Options fitted Driver Assist Pack 4 (£650), Two-coat metallic paint (£565), Winter Pack 2 (£400), Flex organiser (£120)

12 April 2018 – Easter break

I wish I could calculate how much of my life I spend buffering, because as a videographer, upload speeds and download speeds play a key part in how long a day’s work takes.

Through Vauxhall’s OnStar system, our Insignia Sports Tourer offers a subscription-based wi-fi hotspot; effectively a 4G data roaming network that offers an Internet connection to those inside the car.

Recently, on the return leg from a job at Silverstone, I paused at Beaconsfield services for a break and a cup of something hot after a long day’s filming. And I needed to upload the pictures for this very report before my day’s job was complete. Rather than waiting and using my medieval-speed countryside internet when I arrived home that evening, I decided to ingest and upload from the car park.

Another buffering wheel appears on my laptop screen – this time the blue worm of our cloud-based storage system. And I’m surprised to see the 30MB of data upload in less than a minute. That’s faster than my domestic broadband was a year ago.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer long-term test review

Over the Easter bank holiday, on a separate trip up the M40 to see the in-laws in the North-West, my better half and I were fed up of flicking between adverts on commercial radio stations. And if I’m totally frank, I’d run out of patience with her pre-downloaded playlists that we’d been listening to for the first two hours of the trip. She has a good music taste, but there’s a limit to how much Gwen Stefani I can hear on one journey.

So we turned to the Insignia's wi-fi in an attempt to stream a wider variety of tunes through streaming service Spotify. And with great success. On previous work gigs, I had always encountered a 3G blackout when passing through the industrial heartland of the British car industry up Coventry way. The tunes would cut out, leaving me to have to talk to the other videographers – heaven forbid.

However, this time there was no doubt at all about the speed of the stream, and as such the Insignia was able to keep us entertained on one of the busiest days for motorways of the year.

As instant access to the web continues spread, my tolerance of buffering diminishes. But Vauxhall OnStar keeps me happy and connected, both for professional and entertainment purposes.

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