This Insignia feels better built than the old model and all cars come with high-tech infotainment features, but you can’t really stamp your own personality on the cabin
The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport’s dashboard controls all points subtly towards the driver’s seat – a trick pioneered by BMW. Most surfaces feel high solid and the dashboard comes with a soft-touch finish and some embossed stitching that looks just like the real thing. There are a few scratchy plastics on the doors and down on the centre console, but no more than you’ll find in the likes of the Skoda Superb’s cabin.
Unlike the Skoda, the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport’s design has a bit of flair to it. The dashboard features a variety of different shapes, with shiny black plastics to highlight the buttons on the centre console.
Stamping your own character on the car isn’t really an option, though. Those shiny black plastics are fitted whether you go for the cheapest Design model or the Elite Nav range-topper. SRi cars get sports seats, aluminium pedals and some carbon-fibre-effect trims, VX-Line versions add a flat-bottomed steering wheel, Tech Lines get a 4.2-inch digital display in the instrument binnacle and Elite Nav models get a leather interior.
Unfortunately, the infotainment display and the heating and ventilation controls are quite hard to reach without leaning forward – especially if you’re rather tall and like to sit with your seat reclined.
One thing that really impresses about the Insignia is just how much equipment it comes with as standard
The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is offered with a choice of two infotainment screens, either 7.0 or 8.0-inches in size. Design and SRi models are the only ones to get the smaller, more basic screen. Actually, that’s no hardship because the standard-fit R4.0 IntelliLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you can use your phone’s sat-nav and media apps via the main screen. You also get a USB plug, a Bluetooth wireless connection and hands-free for your phone.
The rest of the range gets an 8.0-inch screen and integrated sat-nav that includes 3D maps and European coverage. The maps are bright and easy to read, and they respond without any frustrating lag when you swipe across and pinch to zoom in. A traffic sign recognition system that can read roadside signs – including temporary ones – and display them on the screen is also standard.
All models – bar the 260hp petrol – come with a seven-speaker stereo that isn’t too bad for a standard unit. The upgraded 180W Bose system costs extra unless you buy an Elite Nav model, which get it as standard. Its thumping bass – a subwoofer takes the place of a spare wheel – is an improvement over the weedy basic system, but it lacks the clarity to break a Queen track down into its component instruments.