Vauxhall Insignia Estate

The Essentials

  • Price from £19,350
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 62.8mpg
  • What is it? A desirable family estate car packed with high-tech gadgets. Shame the Insignia isn't better to drive.

Great

  • This land yacht is perfect for motorway cruising
  • Looks great, inside and out
  • Prices are competitive and lots of kit comes as standard

Gripes

  • Boot could be bigger and a lot easier to use
  • Pack earplugs: the diesel engines are noisy
  • Forget driving thrills, this is a relaxed cruiser
  • Drive

    Stick to its natural habitat - the motorway - and the noisy diesel engines won't be a problem

  • Inside

    Stylish, easy to live with and comfortable for every driver. Rear passengers might grumble about legroom

  • Safety

    High-tech optional safety gadgets make Insignia exceptional, but even as standard it goes beyond the basics

  • Reliability

    You should have no concerns, especially with the much-improved build quality

  • Space

    Boot isn't as big as you'd expect, and is compromised by the large sill and awkwardly shaped tailgate

  • Standard and extras

    Most models get climate control, cruise control and electric windows as standard. SRi models add sporty touches

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer excels in its natural habitat -the motorway - where it feels solid and comfortable. We like the 2.0-litre diesel with 158bhp which offers plenty of power without eye-watering running costs. SRi models have sports suspension for a more engaging drive, but even then the car is never as much fun to drive as a Mazda 6 or Ford Mondeo. At low speeds the SRi's ride is uncomfortably firm, too. The diesel engines are noisy and rough surfaces kick up road noise.

  • What's it like inside?

    Think the Insignia Sports Tourer looks good from the outside? Then jump inside where the classy materials, ample seat adjustment and gadgets galore continue the premium feel. The payoff for the car's stylish shape is a compromised boot. The protruding sill and stingy opening make loading items awkward, and a kinky shaped tailgate is easy to bump your head against. If you're expecting Vauxhall Vectra levels of space, forget it - the boot will match a Mondeo with the seats in place, but fold them away and it's 200 litres smaller.

  • How reliable is it?

    Possibly. The Insignia was rated only average for mechanical reliability in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey. The Ford Mondeo and the VW Passat both scored higher marks.
    All versions have six airbags and stability control as standard, along with anti-whiplash front head restraints. That safety kit helped the Insignia achieve 94% for adult safety and 79% for child protection when it tested by Euro NCAP; better marks than the VW Passat managed.

  • Should I buy one?

    With competitive prices and reasonable running costs, it shouldn't be too painful to own a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer. Quality is up with the best and equipment is generous too. Climate control (except on S models, which get air-con), electric windows and cruise control are standard, along with traction and stability control and plenty of airbags. Depreciation is on a par with the Ford Mondeo: it will hold onto around a third of its value after three years.