What's the used Vauxhall Insignia like?
It might have been an attempt by its maker to move upmarket, but the Vauxhall Insignia has always struggled to shake off the stodgy image of its predecessor, the Vauxhall Vectra.
In some ways, that’s unfair. The Insignia is a dramatically better car than the Vectra. It has a classy, well-built interior with upmarket-feeling plastics. There’s loads of room in the front, and the hatchback bodystyle makes for a more practical boot that can take larger loads than the Volkswagen Passat or BMW 3 Series. Head room in the rear seats is less impressive, mind you, and bettered by the Ford Mondeo.
The Insignia also came with a huge range of engines. The diesels are the ones to have for their mid-range punch and frugality, even if early examples are a little noisy; their petrol counterparts are quieter and smoother, but non-turbo models feel rather insipid.
No Insignia is enormously fun to drive, though. Safe, stable and competent, yes, but sterring that is remote and overly light saps any engagement from the experience.
It’s on the motorway that the Insignia is most at home. Here, the smooth ride quality damps out expansion joints and bumps – as long as you choose a model with smaller wheels; larger wheels with their lower tyre sidewalls tend to ruin the ride quality.