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Sports Tourer sure bet for Vauxhall

Created on 09/09/2015 @ 21:01
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Test Report by Graham Breeze

Vauxhall’s Insignia was the only car to make the national top ten of best selling cars during the successive months of May and June.

And with new engines set to hit showrooms soon the Sports Tourer is a sure bet to keep Vauxhall bosses happy throughout 2015.

Insignia was the fifth best seller during May and went up a place to fourth in June – could the rise continue into July and August, only time will tell.

There’s a huge selection of engines to pick from and I drove the 2.0 litre CDti which will be replaced by a 1.6 Whisper Diesel later this year – but it wasn’t really the engine I was interested in.

The Sports Tourer has been receiving rave reviews for its versatility and I was keen to see how it fared against other sportswagons in a very competitive sector. And had Vauxhall addressed the saloon model’s failings.

There simply isn’t enough room in the back of the saloon because of a dramatically sloping roof but Sports Tourer puts that right with ample room for rear seat passengers and all their luggage - and that includes golf clubs.

Loading at the tailgate is compromised a little by an unusual wraparound-style tailgate and there’s a big protruding bumper to reach over when loading, but once inside there’s the bonus of rear seats which fold virtually flat.

There’s enough seat and steering column adjustment to keep even the most awkward driver happy but rear vision is certainly impaired by the angled rear screen.

I was also keen to see if Vauxhall had improved things for the driver, having found previous model dashboards a little dated and the answer was “yes”. The problem was a week probably wasn’t long enough to find out just how everything worked.

Digital screen technology is all the rage now and it certainly helps the Sports Tourer look the part but there’s an awful lot of scrolling through menus to contend with and that put off one or two non-techie buyers.

But everything else inside the cabin is stylish and well positioned and you get speed limit recognition and display systems so there really is an air of  quality about this model.

And there are improvements on the horizon with the promise of Wi-Fi hotpot reception connecting drivers with a call centre along with class leading iPhone connectivity and a vastly improved sat-nav system.

The diesel on test was a little on the noisy side and was nowhere near as happy around town as on the motorway where it really came alive with good fuel figures and keen acceleration, making it an ideal choice for the fleet buyer.

The Sports Tourer is quite highly priced which means company car tax implications but the good news is that big discounts are usually available to private buyers and there’s also a 100,000 miles warranty.

The biggest problem a buyer may encounter is which model to pick with so many versions available. Trim levels include ES, Exclusiv, SRi, SE and Elite and Tech Line.

There are nine engine options, including low Co2 Ecoflex units as well as a four-wheel drive choice.

The Insignia Sports Tourer ticks all the right boxes and with models available from £19,544 to £31,429 there’s one for just about every need.

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