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Insignia means a badge or distinguishing mark of office or honour, but it would appear that it isn’t distinguishing enough for a car name, since the second-generation Vauxhall Insignia has ‘Grand Sport’ attached to the end of it.
The ‘Grand’ part is certainly covered by the size, because the Insignia Grand Sport is a big vehicle. This means that there’s plenty of space inside for passengers, provided that you stick to the front. Leg space in the back is very generous, but head room isn’t quite so good, particularly for those over six foot.
The ‘Sport’ bit might be a little harder to justify. Thanks to its size, the Insignia Grand Sport is not the wieldiest thing on smaller roads. However, the steering, while not exactly brimming with feedback (what electric system is?), does allow you to accurately place the car at speed. Body roll is no worse than that of rivals and grip levels are high. In short, it’s safe and sure-footed rather than exciting.
Ride comfort and refinement are perhaps the strongest assets of the Insignia Grand Sport. On 17in wheels, it rounds off the bumps well and only the very worst broken surfaces generate annoying road noise. You won’t hear much wind noise, though, even at speed, especially if you can find an Insignia Grand Sport with the optional laminated side glass.
Inside, you get plenty of equipment as standard and big, comfy seats in which to while away the miles. The interior feels well screwed together, but the indicator and wiper stalks have a flimsy twang to them and the plastics look noticeably cheaper the lower down you go. It’ll probably last the course, but it just doesn’t feel quite as classy as the interior in a Skoda Superb.
Vauxhall does equip every Insignia Grand Sport with its OnStar service. This brings online connectivity, a 4G wi-fi hotspot and a connection to its dedicated call centre, whose operatives can download directly to your sat-nav (provided the infotainment system is compatible) a specific Google Maps route you’ve requested. This service is free as part of a 12-month trial when the car is new, but you can extend this for an annual fee. There’s also an emergency response button that you can press for assistance if you’re involved in an accident.
In terms of safety, every Insignia Grand Sport comes with lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. A thoughtful touch, since some rivals only offered these as options.