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Thinking big in Insignia Tourer

Created on 21/06/2017 @ 17:10
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

You simply have to think big in the Sports Tourer sector these days and Vauxhall has done just that with the unveiling of the new Insignia.

The new Insignia Sports Tourer isn’t just big it’s massive with the suits in Vauxhall’s design department putting the emphasis on practicality, flexibility and space – the 1,665 litre boot is 135 litres bigger than the outgoing model.

And despite growing the length of the boot from 1,997 to 2,005mm Vauxhall has managed to reduce the car’s weight by 200kg and improve performance. The tailgate can be opened with a kick gesture, without the need to even touch the car. Using the keyless empty system a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper opens or closes the tailgate – though you do ooka bit silly if it doesn’t work at the first attempt.

An optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seat combination means a multitude of luggage space configurations and all at the press of a button, conveniently located in the luggage compartment – no lifting required.

Rear seat leg room is class leading, even for the taller passengers but there’s a big disappointment for the person in the middle with much firmer seating – you wouldn’t get me seated there for long.

The new Insignia Sports Tourer comes with a range of engines from 110PS to 260PS but for me the pick of the bunch is an amazing and all-new 1.5 litre Turbo petrol SRi Nav with 165PS.

As the move away from diesels continues at pace this could be the perfect option for the under-pressure businessman or just the job for the family focussed owner who still likes to feel the power underneath his feet.

Performance is simply stunning with 0-60mph in only 8.4seconds and a top speed of 138mph, though I doubt you would achieve Vauxhall’s claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 47mpg – the urge to floor the accelerator was certainly too great for me.

There is a raft of top technologies that make driving the Insignia Sports Tourer safer, more relaxing and more comfortable than before. Next generation IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up Display and unique AGR-certified premium seats, front- and rear-seat heating and a heated windscreen are just some examples.

Outstanding infotainment and connectivity are also on board thanks to the latest generation IntelliLink systems and Vauxhall OnStar, which with the launch of the Insignia Sports Tourer, will offer even more functionality for customers. The new Insignia is also the first Vauxhall with an active aluminium bonnet, improving pedestrian protection considerably.

Despite the exterior dimensions have grown slightly to 4,986 millimetres, the Insignia Sports Tourer looks even more athletic and agile than its predecessor. The prominent front grille and Monza Concept-inspired headlights all add to this perception.

The model’s stance is also emphasised by the extended wheelbase, now 2,829 millimetres, and a front overhang that has been reduced by 30 millimetres. The silver roof rails make it look lower, and emphasise the high-quality design.

The slim, slightly protruding LED rear lights in double-wing design help the rear end of the Insignia Sports Tourer make a strong impression.

Inside the driver now sits 3cms lower with most of the instruments easy to find. It’s just the starter button, hidden behind the steering wheel, that proves difficult to find on the first drive. Pretty much everything you need to find is contained in the central infotainment screen and is easy to master.

You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems to keep you in touch and smartphones can seamlessly integrate into the vehicle’s infotainment system. It can also be charged wirelessly thanks to the latest inductive charging technology.

Vauxhall OnStar, is also on board, offering services ranging from automatic crash response to stolen vehicle assistance. A new concierge service is launched with the all-new Insignia, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation. Up to seven devices can be connected to the Wi-Fi Hotspot available with OnStar.

Prices start at a competitive £18,685 with the test car running at £21,510 though options which included a Winter Pack, LED headlights, parking sensors, leather interior, a bigger instrument display, a top-class heads-up display system, driving assistant pack and upgraded paint finish took the total to £26,525.

Standard features include 17inch alloys, automatic lights, keyless entry, electric door mirrors, rain sensitive wipers, ports pedals, six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring and a security alarm system.

While the Insignia Sports Tourer may lack the refinement of the big boys like Audi in the sector there will be a growing following for this Vauxhall.

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