Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (2013 on) review

The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is one of the best looking estate cars in the maker’s recent history. It is far more stylish than the Vectra was with its rakish lines. It is up against stiff competition in this sector with rivals including the Ford Mondeo estate.

The Vauxhall is undoubtedly a sharp looking family car, but can it take top step of the podium in its class? Read on to find out.

Prices for the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer currently start at £18,829, while the hatchback and saloon variants start from £16,479 and £18,104 respectively.

Exterior

Facelifted in 2013, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is maturing with age like a good wine. Vauxhall calls the design on the Insignia ‘sculptural artistry meets technical precision’, a bit of marketing spiel, however, in normal language the design cues are sharp and aesthetically pleasing.

Walk round to the front of the car and you’ll see that the high-gloss chrome grille is wider and lower than before. The logo-bar that cradles the Griffin badge is thinner and includes winglets that link with the re-designed headlamps.

Interior

Jump inside the refreshed Insignia Sports Tourer and the first thing that springs to attention is the completely re-designed centre console and instrument cluster. There’s fewer buttons surrounding the infotainment screen while the instrument cluster has new dials and a fresh, high-tech look.

Optional across the range is an 8-inch screen infotainment display (up from 5-inches in the outgoing range) and a new, upgraded instrument cluster with an 8-inch, high-resolution colour display. The 8-inch infotainment display has touch-screen functionality, allowing drivers to access all functions and sub-menus such as radio stations, song titles, smartphone connection or 3D navigation.

DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux-in jacks, CD/MP3 player, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, electric height and lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat, an electric parking brake, automatic lights and climate control all come as standard on the new Insignia.

On the road

As a result of the Insignia facelift, three diesel units are offered including three power outputs from a 2.0-litre engine. These include 118bhp, 138bhp and 161bhp – with the two lower-powered versions being the most efficient on offer.

Two petrol options are also offered with a 168bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and a 248bhp 2.0-litre version.

On test we drove the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. Performance from this unit is very good and it can reach the benchmark sprint from a standing start in 9.0 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 133mph.

Vauxhall offers the option of a ‘Flexride’ system on its Insignia Sports Tourer and this gives the driver the option of choosing between a comfortable or sporty set-up for the car. You can switch between ‘Tour’ or ‘Sport’ – the Sport button makes the car firmer and more responsive. You can easily flick between the two modes while driving.

Verdict

The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is one of the best looking cars on the market in its sector. With the additional touches on both the exterior and inside the car, Vauxhall has really upped its game. The car now feels far more modern and leaves some rivals trailing in its wake.