The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer comes with an impressive amount of equipment as standard and makes a great long-distance cruiser but some alternatives are better to drive
The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is a stylish, spacious family estate, based on the Insignia GrandSport, that feels pretty posh inside and has a large, easy-to-load boot.
Jump inside and you’ll find almost every surface comes with a glossy plastic or soft-touch finish – just like in the more expensive VW Passat Estate. The Vauxhall’s sweeping dashboard and tall centre console make it feel even more sporty than the Mazda 6 Estate, too.
Don’t think that’ll make it cramped or uncomfortable, however – all the Vauxhall’s buttons are easy to reach and there’s loads of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel to help you find your ideal driving position. The standard-fit 7.0-inch infotainment screen is bright and relatively easy to use and even comes with smartphone mirroring for Android and Apple devices.
Also standard is Vauxhall’s OnStar personal concierge service. It’ll help you program the satellite navigation, find an empty parking space nearby and even call the emergency services if you have an accident.
Things might not be quite so high tech in the back seats but there’s more than enough space for six-foot-tall passengers to sit behind an equally tall driver and almost as much shoulder room as you get in the capacious Skoda Superb Estate.
It’s a similar story in the Vauxhall’s boot. There’s space for a large baby buggy or a bulky set of golf clubs and the back seats fold completely flat to make sliding in heavy luggage a breeze.
The upmarket Insignia Sports Tourer moves away from the rep-mobile image of its Vauxhall estate predecessors but it’s still cheap to run, relaxing to drive and hugely practical
Even with the boot full to the brim and four passengers on board, the Insignia’s 1.5-litre petrol engine is nippy enough and reasonably frugal. If you do lots of motorway miles, however, you’ll want to look at the 2.0-litre diesel instead – it’s even cheaper to run and makes barely any noise when you’re cruising along.
Unfortunately, the Vauxhall’s not quite so relaxing to drive when you’re pottering around town. It feels rather ungainly and only mid-range cars get parking sensors as standard. On twisty roads, it grips well and it’ll take tight corners without leaning much.
Head out onto a motorway and things get much smoother, but it’s not as quiet as either the VW or Skoda. It does, however, come with just as much high-tech kit designed to help prevent accidents, including lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking.
Combine these safety features with its impressive standard equipment and well-built cabin and the Insignia Sports Tourer is hard to ignore if you’re looking for a practical family car that’s affordable but feels upmarket inside.