The first Vauxhall Insignia was launched in 2008 and continued in largely unchanged form for nearly a decade. Although it is descended from the medium-sized Cavalier and Vectra, it is now Vauxhall’s largest car, and can therefore be seen as the modern equivalent of the Carlton and Omega.
It has taken nine years for Vauxhall to come up with a replacement for the original model, but it’s here now, already available to order in the UK with first customer deliveries scheduled for this summer. As you might hope, it’s significantly better in almost every way, giving Vauxhall a better chance of competing against sector rivals such as the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb.
The styling of the Insignia is derived from the 2013 Monza concept. The sloping roof line makes it look more like a coupe than a large hatchback, though fears that rear headroom may be limited are dispelled as soon as you climb inside.
It is also the first Vauxhall to be supplied with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This unit, produced by Japanese company Aisin and also found in the Porsche Cayenne, is used in the 256bhp two-litre turbo petrol version with four-wheel drive.
The star performer here is the Grand Sport with the 109bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine. Which has combined fuel economy of 70.6mpg and a CO2 rating of 105g/km. Benefit In Kind taxation for business users is 23% in this financial year, rising to 28% in 2019-2020.This engine is not available in the Sports Tourer estate mini-range from launch, but Vauxhall says it will definitely be introduced at some point.