Driver’s verdict: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Driver’s verdict: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
Driver’s verdict: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

What does a reader test team make of the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport?

The Vauxhall Insignia is a strong seller for the British brand. For company car drivers in particular, it is a very popular machine: you’ll see a multitude of them at motorway service stations across the land. And now there’s a new one, called Insignia Grand Sport, that’s going to be turning drivers’ heads as they do the daily coffee run.

We thus assembled a group of them to offer their verdict on Vauxhall’s all-new rival to the very impressive Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb. Our first tester, 51-year-old Philip Dury, is already an Insignia driver – and it sounds like he may continue to be. “I love that the car has been widened and its ride height dropped. It’s going to look absolutely beautiful on the road.”

Dury’s delight continued inside. He liked the Vauxhall OnStar assistance system, particularly its wifi functionality, the all-round parking sensors and the potential of the bright adaptive headlights. He was less impressed by the lack of an SD card slot, and is worried his Windows mobile won’t be compatible, but this wasn’t enough to stop our happy Insignia driver awarding it a full five stars.

David Harrison-Brown also drives an Insignia, a Sports Tourer estate. He too felt the design wass fantastic and, inside, “it’s hard to put into words just how much better it is”. He liked the materials, the seating position, the fact everything just fell to hand, and “the Intellilink infotainment touchscreen looks fantastic”. His fingers are crossed that the new one doesn’t suffer the electrical problems his current one has…

Harrison-Brown may ultimately prefer an estate, but reckoned the boot in this one is fantastic. If Vauxhall carries that through to the new Sports Tourer, the brand will secure yet another happy future customer: it’s four stars this time round.

John Marshall drives, guess what, a Vauxhall Insignia. And, guess what, he was amazed. “I can’t believe the step up in quality over my current car… the interior is fantastic.” He reckoned it looks better on the outside than a BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Seriously high praise.

It could be enough to steer him away from the Volkswagen Passat he was considering as its next car – “this new Insignia is far more stylish, with better perceived quality and design inside, and it’s better specced”. Vauxhall beats Volkswagen – yes, really. Marshall also clocked the fact company car tax should make it the cheapest in the market, thanks to the new lower list prices, and was happy to say for certain, “this will definitely be my next car”. Five stars from him, too.

Paul James doesn’t drive a Vauxhall Insignia. He drives a Vauxhall Cascada cabriolet instead. He agreed with the others that the design seemed a real step on, and he also loved the interior. “The way it sweeps across the car looks great, and the coloured ambient lighting you can have on it is beautiful. The stitching and the fault-leather give it an upmarket ambience.”

Was there anything he didn’t like? It seemed not. Yet another five-star rating from him. All of which will delight Vauxhall. The early verdicts are in, and suggest it’s onto a winner with the stylish new Insignia Grand Sport. Now let’s see if the wider car-buying public feels the same: if it does, the firm could have quite a hit on its hands…

Living with the BMW M135i

How will a used rear-wheel hot hatch measure up?The plan was to take a used hot hatch and see what we could do with it. Could we improve a

Review: Mercedes E220d Cabriolet

New E-Class range is completed by the Cabriolet – does it work best as a 2.0-litre diesel?The fourth and final piece in the new E-Class

Review: SsangYong Turismo

A great deal of space for not a great deal of money. Is that a good deal?In our vehicles, particularly if we’re thinking of family transport,

Living with: Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio

Can Alfa Romeo really make a BMW M3-beater?There’s nothing like living with a car to find out what it’s really like. The road testers