The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is a comfortable motorway cruiser that has optional four-wheel drive but isn’t as affordable as the very similar Insignia Sports Tourer
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is a roomy family estate with pleasing looks and a relaxing interior. Effectively, it’s a version of the regular Insignia Sports Tourer estate that’s been given an SUV-style makeover, with a slightly higher ride height and chunky bodykit that give it a more rugged look.
Sink into its laid-back driving position and the first thing you’ll notice is all the glossy plastic and soft-touch materials that surround you. If you really poke around you’ll find it doesn’t feel as well made as a Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, but it’s not bad.
However, in terms of interior technology, the Vauxhall definitely plays second fiddle to the Volkswagen. The Insignia does get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can mirror Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible devices, but the screen itself isn’t as crisp, easy to use or quick to respond as the system in the Volkswagen.
The Country Tourer claws back points in the front seats, where there’s a tad more space than in a Passat Estate. The Vauxhall has a little less shoulder room in the back than the Volkswagen, but there’s still space for a six-foot adult to sit behind someone of the same height.
It’s a similar story in the boot, which is impressively big. The load area is nice and square, plus a good number of hooks and tether points help keep your luggage from moving around.
The Insignia Country Tourer laughs at the face of trips to the tip and will get there even if the only way is a muddy track
Even with a full boot, the Insignia Country Tourer never feels slow. That’s because it comes only with a range of 2.0-litre diesel engines that have more than enough power for overtaking or towing. You can opt for an automatic gearbox with any of the engines, but it feels reluctant to kick down and ponderous to pick the right gear – far from a fast-shifting DSG. And, you can get a four-wheel-drive system that keeps the large Vauxhall impressively planted and secure on slippery roads.
No matter which engine you pick, the Insignia Country Tourer thrives on the open road, especially on motorways where it’s hushed and relaxing. It’s pretty composed on back roads, too, but drive into town and its sheer size is quite startling. However, alternatives feel similarly bulky on tight city streets and the Vauxhall’s standard-fit all-round parking sensors help with tricky manoeuvres. Also standard is Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge service, but safety assist systems such as automatic emergency braking are optional.
All in all, the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is a comfortable and relaxing motorway cruiser with a spacious cabin and a practical boot. However, if you’re not too fussed about the rugged exterior styling, you can have all these attributes in an Insignia Sports Tourer for less money.
To look at some other alternatives, scan through our list of The top 10 best estate cars you can buy.