Vauxhall Insignia review

Category: Executive car

Section: Performance & drive

Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front tracking
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 dashboard
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear seats
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 infotainment
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front tracking
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front static
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear static
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 grille detail
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front tracking
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 dashboard
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear seats
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 infotainment
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front tracking
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 front static
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 rear static
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2021 grille detail
What Car?’s Insignia deals
Nearly new deals
From £29,500
In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Vauxhall Insignia engine range is refreshingly simple, with just two petrol and two diesel engines to pick from. Things kick off with the 1.5 Turbo D, a 1.5-litre diesel that’s available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. With a modest 120bhp, it matches the power output of the entry-level 2.0 TDI Skoda Superb. However, while that car’s engine delivers surprising urgency from below 1500rpm, the Insignia’s is very weak below 1750rpm before suddenly waking up and delivering a dollop of power.

Well, maybe not a dollop – a 10.7sec 0-60mph is nothing to write home about, and it rises to a yawning 11.5sec with the optional automatic gearbox. It’s not like the equivalent Superb is faster outright, but its extra low-end urgency means you don’t have to work it anywhere near as hard, making for more relaxed progress. Not helping matters is the Insignia’s exceedingly long gearing, which means you have to shift down a cog or two with frustrating regularity. The 2.0 Turbo D knocks a couple of seconds off the 0-60mph run, although we’re yet to sample it.

Suspension and ride comfort

We found that the Vauxhall Insignia equipped with standard suspension and relatively small 17in or 18in wheels handles crests and compressions on smooth roads in a reasonably relaxed way, proving less floaty than the Skoda Superb. However, throw in some craggy surfaces and the ride quickly deteriorates, with the car fidgeting noticeably and thumping over abrupt imperfections, such as potholes.

Things do improve markedly if you’ve opted for the 2.0 petrol (only available in SRi VX-Line Nav) as this gets Flexride adaptive dampers as standard. They’re a bit too floaty in Tour mode, yet Normal brings a good balance of control and comfort at speed with much less fidget than regular models. However standard 20in wheels mean we’d still give potholes a wide berth. We haven’t tried the GSi’s adaptive sports suspension.