Vauxhall’s new large family car was such a radical change from the previous model, the Vectra, that it needed a new name to underline the improvement.
Every area of the new model feels improved, and it’s equipped with a 158bhp turbodiesel engine that really complements the Insignia’s coupe-like profile and purposeful lines.
Thanks to the turbocharged engine, there’s a lot of pull from low down in the rev range that means a 60mph sprint time of 9.2 seconds while returning 52mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 144g/km of CO2, meaning relatively lowly road tax for this model.
Chief among the most obvious differences are the Insignia’s stunning exterior looks, with a much more streamline profile than the previous model and arguably the best-looking family saloon on the roads today.
Details such as alloy wheels, front foglights and chrome trim around the side windows make the Insignia stand out, while the quality continues inside, with premium levels of interior quality on Sri models, including leather trim and aluminium pedals.
Also on Sri models is a lowered and uprated sports suspension that makes the Insignia more nimble into the corners without affecting ride comfort.
As a result, the Insignia offers one of the best mixes or ride comfort and driving dynamics in the sector. As a motorway cruiser the Insignia is superb.
There’s also good room for five and an enormous boot, in saloon and hatchback models. Boot space is lightly larger in the saloon model, but practicality is greater in the five-door hatch models.
Overall boot space is 530 litres in the hatch, though this extends to a massive 1470 with rear seats folded down.
All in all, the Insignia is an excellent car in the sector. It’s a big step forward for Vauxhall, and a big step forward for the large family car sector.
The Insignia proves that family cars can be practical, comfortable, spacious and cool.