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 9355 Official economy 40.0mpg Test economy 34.2mpg Options fitted Driver Assist Pack 4 (£650), two-coat metallic paint (£565), Winter Pack 2 (£400), FlexOrganiser (£120)

20 July 2018 – collision avoidance

Look, I don’t want to run anyone over, okay?

I’ve loaned the Insignia Sports Tourer to a couple of colleagues in the past month or so, and it’s been returned with remarks along the lines of: "Don’t you find the collision warning system a bit trigger-happy?"

The car has front and rear sensors that detect not just other motorists but also pedestrians who might be walking into the line that you’re driving on. I have set the system to be as sensitive as possible, figuring that it’s better to be on the safe side. I don’t want a crash. I don’t want to run someone over. It’s simple.

At first, when the forward-facing radars detect a pedestrian walking along the side of the road, a small yellow human-shaped icon pops up among the dashboard dials. If they are standing on road furniture or chevrons in the middle of the carriageway and you’re heading towards them, the car flashes a row of red LEDs on the windscreen and beeps loudly. Just a warning, but a useful one. This is what my colleagues are commenting on. When it’s in the most cautious setting, the harrying flashes can be fairly regular.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer long-term test review

Following traffic is dealt with in a similar fashion. If you’re behind another motorist, a small car-shaped icon pops up on the dash. The Insignia constantly calculates your distance to the car in front in seconds, working out your braking distance and predicted reaction times required to stop safely. If you're too close, the icon changes from green to amber. If the car in front hits the brakes dramatically, the windscreen flashes and alert noises are once again set off.

If you really have left it too late, then the automatic emergency braking will kick in. Gladly, I haven’t experienced AEB in nearly six months of running the Insignia so far.

The systems don’t guarantee anything in terms of safety, by any means, but I’m more than happy to take any extra assistance on offer. Additionally, I think the system has made me a marginally better driver. To keep the systems from being annoying, as my colleagues find, I drive in an ever so slightly adapted manner. It’s probably fair to say I experience fewer beeps after six months than at the beginning of this long-term test, perhaps reflecting a more relaxed driving style.

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