Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Big estate car feels best on the motorway

7.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 24 reviews
  • Handsome looks
  • Attractive interior
  • Lots of standard kit
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Some noisy diesel engines
  • Not the largest boot
 

£20,229 - £29,779 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

38 - 65 MPG

Review

The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is a stylish family estate car that rivals estate versions of the Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb.

The large Vauxhall glides over potholes with ease and is very quiet at speed – it’s seriously capable over long distances, but ultimately, a Ford Mondeo will be more fun.

After a 2015 facelift, instead of a button-heavy dashboard you now get a much more elegant design centred around a touchscreen infotainment system. Material quality is greatly improved, but still far off the Passat, while the Superb is a lot more spacious.

There is an engine in the broad lineup to suit most buyers, but a large part will go for the 2.0-litre diesel because of its impressive pulling power and quiet running. You can always go for the bonkers 325hp VXR version, but the running costs are almost as eye-watering as the performance.

The basic Insignia Sports Tourer comes with cruise control, a DAB radio with a Bluetooth phone connection, cruise control and automatic lights as standard.

See the paint shades available for the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and check if it’ll fit into your life with our dimensions guide.

The interior is a far better place to be than the old Vectra. The quality of the cabin is good and the dashboard is stylish and well laid out.

The 2015 facelift cleaned up the button-heavy dash and replaced it with an eight-inch touchscreen – it’s a step up in quality and nudges on a premium feel. It may not be as intuitive to use and as feature-heavy as BMW’s iDrive, but navigating the menus is still pretty easy.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer passenger space

Passenger space in the Insignia is adequate – you certainly won’t feel hemmed in – but it’s by no means class-leading. Three adults can just about fit on the back seat, but the stylish roofline eats away at headroom. A VW Passat is a more spacious car for passengers.

The driver and front passenger get very comfortable chairs, and the range of adjustment for the steering wheel and seat make it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. All-round visibility is good, apart from the the small rear window, but that can be remedied by opting for the £450 parking sensors.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer boot space

In terms of luggage space there’s a dose of style over substance with the Sports Tourer. The heavily sloped tailgate means that seats-up load space is just 540 litres, which is less than some estates from the class below. It’s a fair size at 1,530 litres with the seats folded flat, but still some way short of benchmarks set in the category – look to the Skoda Superb if you need more space.

The Sports Tourer is a very capable long distance cruiser. It’s remarkably quiet at speed, even improving on the previous model with reduced wind and road noise. Testers report that even on the largest 18-inch alloy wheels, the Insignia is rarely disturbed by the UK’s scarred roads.

Once off the highways it’s a little more disappointing. It can’t match the dynamics of the class leaders, largely due to its numb steering.

Vauxhall offers a selection of two petrol engines and two diesel units that have between 136hp and 325hp, and are capable of returning between 25.7mpg and 72.4mpg. They can be mated either to a six-speed manual or an automatic with the same number of gears.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer petrol engines

At the bottom of the petrol line-up is the turbocharged 1.4-litre option – it uses the latest in fuel saving technology and even though it makes 140hp, it uses little fuel and accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 10.9 seconds. With combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg and £130 annual road tax it’s the recommended petrol option.

The 250hp 2.0-litre serves as a middle ground between the 1.4-litre and the hugely powerful 2.8-litre V6 in the VXR. In a car with no sporting aspirations, it provides effortless acceleration, but its running costs are sure to divert company car buyers to the top-of-the-range diesel. The official combined fuel economy figure is 38mpg, but expect 25-30mpg in the congested streets of the real world, while annual road tax costs £205.

Speed junkies will head right for the VXR SuperSport model, which packs 325hp and four-wheel-drive to make for a truly alarming way of ferrying your dogs about, thanks to a 0 to 62mph time of around six seconds. Go for the automatic model and 25mpg and– you’ll have to pay an equally alarming £490 in road tax per year.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer diesel engines

The latest addition to the diesel range is the all-new 1.6-litre unit. It’s part of Vauxhall’s Whisper diesel range and you barely hear it on the motorway, but during heavy acceleration it starts to grumble loudly. That’s a small drawback when you bear in mind the impressive running costs. Annual road tax costs £20 and up to 72.4mpg is possible if you go for the EcoFlex model with manual transmission. Go for the automatic gearbox and you get poorer fuel economy (55.4mpg) and a £130 annual road tax bill – although naturally you get a hassle-free driving experience because you’re not changing gears yourself.

The larger 2.0-litre engine packs 170hp and a healthy 295lb ft of torque, which makes for quick overtakes. Running costs aren’t class leading, but with fuel consumption at 62.8mpg it’s just 6mpg shy of the Ford Mondeo 2.0-litre diesel. Annual road tax is a reasonable £30, but spec the automatic gearbox and you get a few mpgs less and £115 added to the annual tax.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 1.6T reviews from the best publications.The 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol unit is a strong performer with 178bhp and 170lb ft of torque. It will the haul the big Sports Tourer from 0-60mph in a respectable 8.7 seconds and yet still return a 35.8 mpg combined and sits in tax band H. It’s also a substantial amount cheaper to buy than the 158bhp 2.0 turbo diesel model.

In Exclusive trim it’s almost the cheapest way to get behind the wheel of an Insignia. However, critics have rated the turbocharged petrol engine as pretty poor, claiming that it suffers from chronic turbo lag below 2000rpm and flat spots, resulting in it not being a particularly easy or fun car to drive.

Unless you are absolutely dead set on a petrol it’s hard to recommend this 1.6T. The diesel engined models offer better mpg, more refinement and more low down power, which is vital for a load lugger like the Insignia.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTi 130 reviews from the best publications.

Vauxhall predict 80% percent of Insignia Sport Tourer’s will be diesel. This one is the cheapest and least powerful diesel engine on offer and would make a good choice for families and business users alike.

There's only one review, the reckon the performance is good for as estate, and it does not leave you with the feeling you constantly need more power, however, it is a tad noisy.

The 130bhp makes light work of motorway cruising, but some reviews have stated that performance is not what it could be due to the gearbox’s long gearing. On the plus side the power delivery is smooth and economy is impressive with a combined mpg of 47.1 and tax band E.

However, be aware that a lot of experts say the more powerful 2.0 CTDI 160 is smoother, almost just as economical and a fair bit faster.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTi 160 reviews from the best publications.

This 158bhp diesel is the best suited to the Sports Tourer and is favoured over its less powerful sibling. It is smoother, quieter and much more responsive than the 130bhp version, largely due it not being hampered with long gearing. Despite being more powerful, its CO2 emissions remain the same as its less powerful variant of 158g/km, thus meaning the car tax stays the same, tax band E. The economy also remains the same with 47.1mpg combined.

If you can afford that little bit more for the 160bhp model, car reviewers agree that it is definitely a wiser buy over the less powerful version.

Note that there’s also a more economical version, labelled ecoFlex.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTi 160 ecoFLEX reviews from the best publications.

is engine is almost identical to the 2.0 CDTI 160, but the ecoFLEX changes make it even more economical. Unlike other manufacturers Vauxhall decided not to detune the engine, but to make subtle cosmetic changes to boost economy. The transmission is higher geared to keep the revs as low as possible.

The ecoFLEX is aimed primarily at business users who could save a small fortune thanks to it offering on average a 13% improvement on economy and lower CO2 figures than the 2.0 160bhp CDTI and a lower tax band of C. However, reviewers suggest these impressive economy figures could attract the family man too.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.8 V6 VXR reviews from the best publications.

The addition of a VXR badge changes everything on any Vauxhall and the Insignia is no exception, but it does come at a price. The 2.8 V6 develops 321bhp, enough to haul it from 0-60mph in a claimed 5.9 seconds, although some critics claim that despite impressive figures the car doesn’t feel that fast, especially when pulling away from a standstill.

The VXR engine makes the car more of a fast, relaxed tourer than a sporty performance estate car. It’s also four wheel drive which aids traction off the line and around corners. Thanks to its large 2.8 litre V6 emissions and economy both naturally suffer, with CO2 emissions at 259g/KM and 25.7 combined mpg.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

The Sports Tourer hasn’t been specifically tested by Euro NCAP, but can piggyback on the hatchback’s ratings. This is a full five star performance, with an impressive 94% in the adult safety category.

It achieves this despite a pretty modest array of electronic aids as standard. More are available if you specify top end models – adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and automated parking are grouped together as a £1,100 option.

No less than 12 trim levels are available for the Insignia if you don’t count the sporty VXR model, but for the good of everyone’s sanity we’ll only focus on the highlights here.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Design

The basic Insignia comes with a leather wrapped steering wheel, hill-hold assist, electrically height adjustable driver’s seat, heated side mirrors and a Bluetooth capable stereo with steering-wheel mounted controls.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer SRi

The SRi trim adds a bit of flair to the Sports Tourer. Inside, you get a sports steering wheel, racy metal pedals and heavily bolstered leather seats with adjustable leg support . On the outside, the SRi sits lower thanks to sports suspension and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels rather than the base model’s steel items. Tinted rear windows, bright LED headlights and a visible exhaust pipe further mark it out from the basic car.

Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer TechLine

As the name suggest this is the trim level packed with technology. For starters you get the updated sat-nav system with an eight-inch touchscreen. It has audio streaming and InteliLink – an app that connects the infotainment to your smartphone. Other upgrades include rain-sensing wipers and an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Elite

The most expensive Insignia trim adds convenience equipment such as climate control with two separate temperature zones, an electric tailgate and powerful bi-Xenon headlights that dip automatically if they sense another car. The driver also gets an electrically adjustable seat with memory function, but more interesting is Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge service. It has a huge range of functions including a 24hr helpline and can automatically call the emergency services in the event of an accident.

Conclusion

The Insignia Sports Tourer is good looking, competitively priced and well built. It should serve any family very well and is one of the cars helping improve Vauxhall’s image.

However, the family car market is one of the toughest and, as a result, the Insignia falls behind almost all of its rivals in key areas.

Looking for great Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer offers?

On carwow you can easily compare the best new car offers from local and national dealers. Get a great Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer deal without any of the usual hassle!

Compare Insignia Sports Tourer offers Save on average £2,600