Insignia Sports Tourer SRi Nav 2.0 CDTi 140 ecoFLEX
upon a time people bought
lots of estate cars. Then along came
crossovers and SUVs and lured
away the traditional estate buyers.
However, what goes around comes
around and today new generations
of savvy buyers are appreciating
the virtues of the current crop
of stylish estate cars...
VAUXHALL'S SLIPSTREAM-CHEATING Insignia Sports Tourer is one such estate
vying for your money and, hailing from Vauxhall, there's a wide choice of models,
trims and engines even an all-wheel-drive higher-riding
Country Tourer. And with prices kicking off at under £19K, they're pretty much
on the money. Should you have a need for speed, then there's even a 170mph VXR
Power for the Sports Tourer can be petrol or diesel. Turboed petrol units offer
1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre engines under the bonnet, as well as a 2.8 for customers
going down the autobahn-blasting VXR route; oil-burners all use the same core
2.0-litre engine but can he had with a variety of bhp outputs, from 116 through
their wraparound head and tail lights, wide high-gloss chrome grille and lower
stance, the recently refreshed Sports Tourer models are handsome machines
and they need to be, given that they compete for sales not just against load-luggers
such as Skoda's Octavia and VW's Passat, but also against the likes of the A4
from Audi, the 3 Series from BMW and the C-Class from Mercedes.
Mirror, mirror, on the
wall, whos the leanest of
In the Sports Tourer
2.0-litre CDTi ecoFLEX
with an official
combined figure of
But it's not just their looks that appeal... Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's
the leanest of them all? In the Sports Tourer line-up it's the 138bhp
2.0-litre CDTi ecoFLEX with an official combined figure of 72.4mpg (60.1 urban
and 80.7mpg extra-urban). CO2 emissions of 104g/km keep the road tax down to
a manageable £20 per year, with no tax payable during the first year of ownership.
Stop-Start is fitted and does its bit to maximise economy which
in our hands worked out to 51.8mpg. Drivers with lighter right feet should fare
The Sports Tourer Sri, which sits fair and square in the middle of the eight
Insignia trim levels, comes with a smart five-seater cabin that's packed with
worthwhile equipment such as a touchscreen navigation-infotainment system (includes
touch-pad control, IntelliLink, Bluetooth connectivity, USB + aux-in socket,
CD player), digital radio, one-shot up/down windows, electrically-adjustable
heated door mirrors, ally sports pedal set, tyre pressure monitoring, leather-covered
multifunction sports steering wheel (cruise, speed limiter, voice, phone, audio,
and driver's information), cruise control, electric parking brake, electronic
climate control, tinted glass, privacy glass (from the B-pillar back), trip
computer, and driver's ergonomic sports seat with extendable seat cushion and
powered four-way lumbar adjustment plus power seat height adjustment.
Other standard-fit kit includes LED daytime running lights, FlexRide, sports
suspension, six airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels and an electronic stability programme.
Desirable extras fitted to our car included the instrument cluster display (£400)
that incorporates a reconfigurable 8-inch screen featuring two outer dials showing
fuel and revs, while in the centre sits a speedometer that can be shown in analogue
or digital form, or changed to show driver-defined details on navigation, smartphone
use and audio options all directly in the driver's line of sight.
Front and rear parking sensors add another (£395).
welcoming cabin is enhanced by a fascia that gives the driver and front passenger
a clear sense of their 'own' space with fit-and-finish that wouldn't be out
of place on a BMW or Mercedes. There's generous premium finishing too, with
carbon-look veneers to the fascia, satin black door inserts, and chrome and
Adding much to the
new-look cockpit is the
totally redesigned centre
console and instrument
there are fewer buttons
than ever before.
At its heart is a large
The sporty, well-bolstered seats have comfy headrests, height-adjustable seatbelts
and long bases that provide fine under-thigh support. The
driver is pampered more than his or her front passenger, with powered height
and four-way lumbar adjustment as well as an extending leading edge to the seat
base for decent under-knee support all of which makes long trips
behind the wheel exceedingly relaxing.
And Sports Tourer drivers don't go short of space either, thanks to generous
headroom, plenty of shoulder room and no clashes elbow-wise with their front
passenger. Likewise, there's more than enough leg- and knee-room in a cabin
that's clearly been designed for 'real' people and which also comes with plenty
of practical-sized bins and storage solutions.
The driving position is spot-on, with a well-sited rest for your left foot when
'in the cruise'. Adding to the driver's comfort and pleasure is a sporty wheel
with perforated work areas around the rim that make it exceedingly nice to use.
Front and side visibility is first class, as too is visibility looking back
through the rearview mirror.
Adding much to the Insignia's new-look cockpit is the totally redesigned centre
console and instrument cluster. Ruthlessly simplified, there are fewer buttons
than ever before. At its heart is a large 8-inch, high-res colour touchscreen
fronting a cutting-edge, multifunctional, customisable infotainment system that
incorporates Bluetooth-operated Internet connectivity, navigation and voice
control. For the record, the SatNav is excellent one of the best,
both for instructions and on-the-move views.
The system is operated by fingertip, rotary control (on the centre console),
touchpad (positioned between the front seats), steering wheel controls and voice
commands (enter addresses into the navigation system; play songs saved on the
smartphone; make calls, etc all with your hands safely on the
wheel). The system also has full smartphone compatibility to allows drivers
unrivalled communications while on the move.
your smartphone with the infotainment system is a cinch and many of your phone's
contents can be displayed on the central touchscreen; and not just the usual
phone and song lists, but films too. There's even a downloadable app which augments
the traditional glovebox manual.
various vehicle, comfort and infotainment settings can be separately memorised
for each driver based on their individual key. Editable settings include those
for the power seat and door mirrors, climate control, lighting, infotainment,
central locking, driving modes, comfort settings, etc.
smartphone with the
infotainment system is
many of your
be displayed on the
touchscreen; not just the
usual phone and song
lists, but films too...
Wide opening doors make it easy to enter (and exit) the rear cabin. Once seated,
headroom is good and most people will have a nice wedge of air between the crown
of their head and the roof. Foot room is good too, and there's a big, wide drop-down
centre armrest to ensure that two travel very amicably indeed, cooled or warmed
by their own air vents. Views forward, thanks to the wide space between the
front seats, is nicely uninterrupted and the restful backrest angle makes it
easy to nod off en-route to your destination always a good sign!
Lift the large, high-opening tailgate and you'll have easy access to a 540-litre
boot. For those times you have a long, thin load and at the same time need to
carry rear passengers there's a load-through hatch. For full loads you can fold
down the 60:40-split rear seats to open up a cargo bay that will accommodate
1,530 litres all made easier by the just-above-knee-height load
sill that's level with the loadbay floor.
Driving the wind-cheating Sports Tourer is a breeze. Should you really want
to know, its drag coefficient is an aerodynamically slippery 0.28. Along with
revisions to the car's ride and handling, the soundproofing has been improved
and the Tourer serves up a quiet ride most appreciated when cruising
motorways. The electronic power steering has also been reprogrammed for improved
feel. The result is a compliant ride and composed handling enhanced by quicker
steering with better feedback.
All neatly underpinned by Vauxhall's FlexRide adaptive damping system. This
innovative chassis networks all driving dynamics systems and features electronic
damper adjustment, as well as speed-dependent power steering.
best part is that the driver can choose, at any point, any one of three driving
modes: Standard is the default for driving comfort; Tour gives an even more
accommodating and comfortable drive; while Sport provides a more focussed and
sporty driving experience.
mode you use, this quiet and refined Insignia estate is a fine long-distance
cruiser. The brakes too are smooth operating, whether you're slowing progressively
to a gentle stop or have a need to urgently kill your speed.
Choose between Normal, Tour and Sport driving
modes Whichever mode you use, this quiet and refined Insignia
estate is a fine long distance cruiser...
And when you have 258lb of torque on tap from a low 1,750rpm (as you do in the
direct injection 2.0-litre CDTi turbodiesel), your right foot also commands
some strong pick-up and outright acceleration. A word to the wise: as on almost
all of today's cars, the gearbox's top ratios tend to favour economy and motorway
cruising not a problem, just don't expect to shove it in sixth
and leave it there when pressing on along country roads.
Keep to the right gears and the 138bhp and muscular torque will be more than
enough to get you to the church on time. And keeping to the right gear is no
hassle, thanks to a short-throw gear lever and well-defined gate.
As with all Vauxhalls, the new Insignia comes with a Lifetime Warranty that
gives first owners real peace of mind for as long as they own the car up to
100,000 miles. On top of that the competitively-priced Sports Tourer serves
up a pleasant drive wherever you're going, whatever you're doing, and however
fast or slow you're travelling.
Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Sri Nav 2.0 CDTi 140 ecoFLEX
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-60mph: 10.9 seconds | Test Average: 51.8mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 104g/km