The VAUXHALL Insignia Grand Sport
Drive down any given motorway for five minutes and we guarantee that you’ll see at least one version of the Vauxhall Insignia. It might not have been the best car in its class, but it was cheap, frugal and well equipped – just what fleet managers wanted.
But with even more spacious rivals, like the Skoda Superb and Ford Mondeo, plus premium competition from BMW and Audi, it was time for a refresh. That’s where the Insignia Grand Sport comes in, a car that takes the familiar formula and adds even more interior space, more equipment and is somehow even cheaper to buy, with base models costing only as much as a high-end supermini.
But the big question is whether it has more to offer than acres of space for a bargain basement price? After all, the old Insignia’s diesel engines were gruff, and it was never particularly great to drive.
A wide range of petrol and diesel engines are available from launch with the cheapest option being a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol with either 138bhp or 163bhp. We’ve tried the high-powered option, finding it flexible from low rpm and fairly fuel-efficient. Given the small price, emissions and economy penalty over the lesser version, we’d say it’s worth considering if you don’t do a high mileage.
The other petrol engine is a 2.0-litre turbo with 256bhp that comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. We’d avoid this as it has high running costs and is only available in Elite Nav trim, pushing up the price. We suspect the higher-powered diesels will feel just as brisk in the real world, too.