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 8100 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)

14 September 2018 – All clogged up

Last time we featured our Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, we were waiting for a slot at our local dealership to get the car seen. It's been in for two weeks now, and the dealership has confirmed that the issue we've experienced is to do with the diesel particulate filter (DPF), as had been suggested by the car’s dashboard.

Everyone to whom I’ve explained this issue has retorted with: "Don’t you just need to boot it down the motorway for a bit?" What they’re referring to is the regeneration of the DPF. These filters, which collect the black soot associated with diesel exhausts, are cleaned by sustained driving at over 2000rpm.

So when the sensor reads that the filter is close to full, it asks you to drive at high revs for 25 minutes. This is tricky in the south of England, where finding a stretch of road without traffic, motorway or otherwise, at a sensible time of day is nigh on impossible. I did go out of my way to find a suitable stretch, but even so the Insignia’s DPF couldn’t regenerate itself. The dealership hoped they would be able to do it themselves – but couldn’t.

Last Thursday, I received a call telling me that the DPF would have to be replaced. The specific model wasn’t in stock, however, and the waiting time was just over a week.

Long-term vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer outside dealer

On this occasion, I’ve been informed that the part will be replaced under warranty, although this is not always the case. When it comes to DPFs, there are criteria that discern whether it’s a warranty issue or not. If the dealership decides that the filter has clogged up because of your driving style, the onus is on you to pay for it.

What does ‘driving style’ mean? Well, these filters are known to have difficulty if you continually do short journeys, such as the school run, but rarely get out on the open road. I’ve done more than 10,000 miles in little more than six months in the car, many of them on the M4 down to Wales, and yet the filter has still filled up.

So, to tell you the truth, I haven’t seen my car much lately. And due to a lack of courtesy cars available at any Vauxhall dealership I spoke to for the first fortnight of the Insignia’s absence, I’ve spent far too much time on public transport in the interim.

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