The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport has a low price, lots of standard equipment and a decent interior but alternatives are more spacious and better to drive.
The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport replaces the old Insignia. It’s called the ‘Grand Sport’ because, well, it’s supposed to be more premium than its predecessor and it needed a showbiz name to match. It’s available as an estate, called the Insignia Sports Tourer which we’ve tested separately, but it’s the hatchback model being tested here.
To keep the sporty theme alive, the Insignia has a bold grille and swept-back roofline that makes it look more like a five-door coupe than a conventional family car. It’s wider, lower and longer than the old Insignia and it has a more imposing look as a result.
Unfortunately, the sporty roof eats into rear-seat headroom – that could be a problem if you have tall teens or regularly carry adults in the back, and the boot is also smaller than what the competition offers. As a result, the Skoda Superb is the better big family car if you need lots of space.
The Vauxhall has a nicer interior, though. High-quality plastics are abundant up front and the dashboard design is fresh. The tall hump between the front seats helps you feel cocooned like you’re in a sports car and you get a reasonable amount of storage spaces. You also get decent levels of standard equipment – a 4G mobile data connection, automatic emergency braking and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring systems all come as standard.
The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is a really good looking, good value, family car
The Insignia has heavy-feeling steering that makes it easy to drive quickly in corners and the big Vauxhall doesn’t lean too much in bends. The gearshift is precise but overall it’s less fun to drive than the Mazda 6 – however that’s not something you’ll really notice unless your commute involves lots of twisty country roads.
If your day-to-day driving is mostly made up of shorter journeys then go for an Insignia with the 165hp 1.5-litre petrol engine – it has a healthy turn of speed and decent fuel economy – and it’s relatively cheap to buy. If you do lots of motorway miles then the 2.0-litre diesel is the better option because it’s slightly better on fuel and its extra pulling power makes higher speed overtakes a touch less stressful.
One thing you needn’t fret about is safety. All models come with road-sign recognition to flag up speed limits on the infotainment screen, lane assist to keep you between the white lines on the motorway and automatic emergency braking to reduce the chance of low-speed crashes. All that resulted in a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2017.
That’s a lot of standard equipment – and it’s one of the reasons why the Insignia Grand Sport is a top choice if you’re after a large family car. Not only does it also have a low price, you get a nice cabin too – albeit one with slightly limited headroom in the back and a boot that’s smaller than that in the Skoda Superb.