Vauxhall Insignia Sri [NAV] Review
Vauxhall’s Insignia is well established in the company car market place, along side the Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord, Mazda6 et. al. as a quality mid-range company workhorse for reps around the UK. The Insignia, which succeeded the Vectra in 2008, has smart modern lines and is available as the ever popular 5 Door Hatch, as well as an estate (or Sports Tourer as Vauxhall call it).
The modern and assertive lines of the Insignia make it look like smart, and right up to date even though it has been on the roads for nearly a decade now. Subtle design tweaks over time have also kept if fresh.
The modern look extends into the cabin as well which is decidedly driver focussed, which makes sense bearing in mind the target market. The interior quality is rather good quality with a well-built feel to it, a compliment which was once reserved for the likes of VW Passat. The seats are comfortable but notably firm (perhaps they have taken a little too much inspiration from VW). However, by comparison to the long gone Vectra which was well renowned for giving drivers back problems due to the unusual cant of the seat this is a massive improvement.
As far as specification is concerned this is a broad range available to cater to all tastes and budgets. To be honest there are far too many trim levels to list here, but the entry level Design is has a passable specification with Cruise Control, DAB Radio/CD for all the TalkSport fans, Heated Door Mirrors, Auto Lights with LED Daytime Running Lights, Climate Control and 17³ Alloy Wheels, certainly enough for most reps. Perhaps the most popular trim level though is the SRi Nav (on test) which includes Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth Hands Free, Sports Style Front Seats, Lowered and Stiffened Suspension, and tinted windows. The range topping Elite Nav, honestly a rare beast, includes 18³ Alloy Wheels, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Lights & Wipers, High Beam Assist, Adaptive Lighting, Electric & Heated Front Seats, Climate Control, and Vauxhalls OnStar system.
Another popular business specific model is the Techline which includes Cruise Control, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, DAB Radio, Auto Lights & Wipers and Climate Control.
There are two main engines on offer for the Insignia, their frugal but slightly underpowered 1.6CDTi 136hp, which makes great sense from a fleet perspective in terms of P11D values, CO2 at only 109g/km, and running costs, and their more well known 2.0CDTi (on test) which produces a more driver pleasing 170hp and CO2 rating of 114g/km. There is also a 1.4 Turbo 140hp Petrol engine but with the loss of torque, reduced fuel economy, identical 0-60mph performance and increased CO2 output against the 1.6CDTi, it is unlikely to be a popular option. Even though the 2.0CDTi has a little less wallet friendly CO2 rating, it is still relatively frugal with a combined 65mpg (only a little less than the 1,6CDTi at 68mpg. The engine is smooth and powerful and pulls well with a decent amount of torque available pretty low in the rev range. Whilst it is powerful, it could be a little more refined with engine noise invading the cabin under mid to hard acceleration.
To drive around in the Insignia, with the 2.0CDTi engine is overall pretty pleasant. Bearing in mind the life of many Insignias is to be spent driving up and down the M1 and the like, it does this very well. To be honest, the 1.6CDTi is perfectly acceptable to all but those yearning for more but being lumbered with a Vauxhall when they really want a BMW, which is outside their pay grade.
Overall, the Insignia is a great company car, it is frugal yet still pretty responsive, it has most creature comforts as standard and doesnt look too bad either. From the perspective of the fleet manager it is cheap to run and lease with a standard 3 + 35 / 10,000 miles per annum contract coming in under £300+VAT a month for the 2.0CDTi SRi Nav on test and the 1.6CDTi Techline around as little as £200+VAT per month.
Facts & Figures (Insignia 2.0CDTi SRi Nav on test):
Engine: 2.0l 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Top Speed: 139mph
Fuel Economy (Combined): 65mpg
CO2 Emissions: 114g/km