Practical Caravan - - Showroom Tow Car Test -

The Coun­try Tourer makes a wor­thy al­ter­na­tive to SUVS and con­ven­tional es­tate cars. Per­haps its great­est strength is value for money. You re­ally do have to check twice when you com­pare the Vaux­hall with its ri­vals, as it un­der­cuts them by such a healthy amount. You’ll lose some of that when the time comes to trade the car in, but not so much that it isn’t a sound and sen­si­ble buy. It’s a prac­ti­cal one, too. It may not as roomy as a Škoda Su­perb Es­tate, but then, very few cars are. It’s there or there­abouts com­pared with most ri­vals, and much more spa­cious than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion Coun­try Tourer. The In­signia drives well, too, so long as you value com­fort over a sporty or agile drive. At a steady pace, it smooths bumps in the road, es­pe­cially with the Flexride sys­tem in ‘Nor­mal’ set­ting. Se­lect­ing ‘Sport’ firms things up, but trades some of the standard set-up’s ride com­fort. As a tow car, the In­signia is good rather than great. The soft suspension al­lows the car to be pushed around a bit in strong winds. We never felt at all ner­vous tow­ing with the Vaux­hall, but we’ve towed with plenty of big es­tate cars that are bet­ter tied down in windy weather. The 2.0-litre diesel is a fine en­gine. So long as very low revs are avoided, it pulls strongly and smoothly, with enough brawn to cope with any sen­si­bly matched car­a­van. It might not be per­fect, but the Coun­try Tourer is like­able, ca­pa­ble and very good value.

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