What's the used Vauxhall Insignia estate like?
There was a time when the estate car was all the rage, but demand for higher-riding SUVs has eroded its popularity. To combat this, Vauxhall has given the Insignia Sports Tourer a name that bears no association with the word estate and given the car some bolder styling to make it stand out.
To drive, the Insignia Sports Tourer is hardly exciting, but most won’t be looking for driving thrills in an estate car. The handling is safe and secure, with well-weighted steering that allows you to accurately place the car. It’s very stable on the motorway and allows you to relax on long journeys without having to make lots of tiny steering corrections to keep it heading in a straight line. This is accompanied by very little wind noise – especially on examples fitted with laminated side windows.
There are both petrol and diesel engines on offer and they all come in a variety of power outputs. There is an entry-level 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that comes in either 138 or 163bhp guise, a 197bhp 1.6-litre that was added in 2018 and a range-topping 256bhp 2.0-litre that's pretty swift and comes with four-wheel drive. Diesel options come as either an economical 1.6-litre (109 or 134bhp) or a torquey 2.0-litre (168bhp or twin-turbocharged 207bhp). The petrols are smooth and flexible, while the more powerful of the 1.6 diesel engines is punchy enough for most situations to negate the need for the occasionally boomy 2.0-litre.
The primary objective of a big load-lugger is to carry lots of stuff and, fortunately, the Insignia ST has a square-shaped boot opening and there’s only a shallow bumper to lift items over. Luggage capacity is impressive and it will swallow five people's holiday gear with ease, although rivals such as the Skoda Superb Estate and Volkswagen Passat Estate have bigger cargo areas with the seats up or down.
That said, the Insignia ST hits back with generous levels of standard equipment. Every version comes with lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition – a thoughtful touch since some rivals only offered these as options – along with cruise control, automatic lights and a 7.0in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. SRi adds 17in alloy wheels, auto wipers and dual-zone climate control; SRi VX-Line gets bigger alloy wheels and a discreet bodykit, heated steering wheel and a 4.2in colour driver's information display. Tech Line has similar toys to SRi cars, just without the sporty trimmings, but adds front and rear parking sensors. Elite has brighter LED headlights and an upgraded stereo. GSI is the sportiest Insignia ST and gets bigger Brembo brakes and adaptive drive modes.
Any version with 'Nav' added to the end of it will come with sat-nav.
Every car comes with Vauxhall's OnStar concierge service. This brings online connectivity, a 4G wi-fi hotspot and a connection to a dedicated call centre, whose operatives can download a specific Google map route you’ve requested directly to your sat-nav (provided the infotainment system you have has this facility). This service is provided for free as part of a 12-month trial when the car is new, but you can extend this for an annual fee.
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