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 Insignia Grand Sport’s dashboard controls all points subtly towards the driver’s seat – a trick pioneered by BMW no less. Quality is high with soft-touch plastics on all the surfaces you’re likely to touch – they’re more abundant than in the Skoda Superb and, dare we say it, even the Volkswagen Passat.
Those VW Group cars also suffer from interiors that look very samey, whereas the Vauxhall’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 gets sports seats and aluminium pedals, 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.
One thing that really impresses about the Insignia is just how lovely it looks on the inside
The Insignia is offered with a choice of two infotainment screens, either seven or eight-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 the 900 IntelliLink system, which has an eight-inch screen and integrated sat-nav that includes 3D maps and European coverage. A traffic sign recognition system that can read roadside signs – including temporary ones – and display them on the screen is also standard.
Whichever model you choose all Insignias come with Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge system fitted as standard. Pressing a button on the car’s overhead console can put you through to an OnStar representative who can recommend local places of interest, book hotels and programme the sat-nav remotely. The system can also be used to call for breakdown assistance and to diagnose the problem remotely.
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 £510 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.