GRAND ALL ROUND: VAUXHALL’S HI-TECH NEW INSIGNIA MOVES UP-MARKET
Vauxhall has relaunched – and rebranded – its popular Insignia saloon. What’s it like? We find out.
VAUXHALL is currently reimaging its Insignia range. The model name of Insignia remains the same but the old saloon and estate versions have been rebranded.
The hatchback saloon has become the Insignia Grand Sport, and the estate the Insignia Sports Tourer.
It’s unclear where the Sport classification comes into it, as the cars remain pretty much standard saloon and estate cars. Possibly to make them sound more SUV or Crossover-ish.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with them. There isn’t.
Take the Insignia Grand Sport, for instance. This is the basically the second generation of the Insignia, the first having been on sale in the UK since 2008 when it replaced the Vectra.
And a lovely job they’ve done of it, too, whatever the merits of the Grand Sport name change.
LOOKS AND DESIGN
It’s gone on a starvation diet, losing 175kg (that’s about 27 stone) and received a nice external overhaul which raises the bar in terms of looks and elegance as it attempts to move into German premium saloon territory.
Despite the weight loss, the Insignia Grand Sport’s wheelbase has grown in size. It’s now challenging the Skoda Superb and even the Merc E- Class and BMW 5-Series in length.
A swooping roofline gives the car a coupe-like feel (and consequently less rear headroom than some rivals).
There’s a prominent grille and slim- line headlamps to enhance the wide horizontal design. What Vauxhall calls a “sweepspear”, a crease feature, starts in the front door and sweeps to the back, giving the impression that the Insignia Grand Sport is always ready to rumble.
The look works: the overall feel is Merc-like both in its intent and its delivery. With a drag co-efficient of 0.26, it’s also very aerodynamic.
UNDER THE BONNET
Engines range from 110PS to 260PS with an all-new 1.5-litre Turbo looking very nice amongst a familiar line-up of diesels and petrols.
There is also a Flexride chassis with
Standard, Sport and Tour modes to control the dampers, steering and throttle responses.
New intelligent all-wheel drive is provided via two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches which replace the rear axle differential allowing torque vectoring for the first time (for example, when cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel).
You will, of course, expect your new Insignia Grand Sport to be packed with the latest kit given the veritable arms-race in automotive technology.
Next generation Intellilux LED matrix lighting is integrated into the new slimline headlamps, whilst Lane Keep Assist, a Headup Display, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with emergency braking and a heated windshield are also amongst the goodies.
INSIDE THE CABIN
The cabin has been thoroughly upgraded, and includes seats specially crafted to support the human back – a big plus, if you ask me.
There is excellent infotainment and connectivity, with Apple CarPlay/android Auto, smartphone
“IT’S GONE ON A STARVATION DIET, LOSING 175KG (THAT’S ABOUT 27 STONE) AND RECEIVED A NICE EXTERNAL OVERHAUL WHICH RAISES THE BAR IN TERMS OF LOOKS AND ELEGANCE AS IT ATTEMPTS TO MOVE INTO GERMAN PREMIUM SALOON TERRITORY.”
integration, wireless charging and the ability to connect seven different devices to the onboard wifi.
TECHNOLOGY Infotainment and connectivity is delivered thanks to the latest generation Intellilink systems and Vauxhall Onstar, which with the launch of the Insignia Grand Sport, will offer even more functionality for customers.
New Onstar features allow occupants to book hotel rooms and search for suitable parking spots via an Onstar advisor.
There are seven trim levels: Design, Design Nav, SRI, SRI Nav, SRI Vx-line Nav, Tech Line Nav, and Elite Nav. WHO WOULD BUY ONE? Insignias have always been popular with fleet managers due to low Bik costs, and this continues with even bigger savings over old models.
That said, it will also be popular with general business drivers and families.
Price ranges from £17,115.00 for a six-speed 1.5 turbo Design model to £26,755 for an Elite Nav 2.0 Turbo D automatic. The Grand Sport is on sale now.