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Sports Tourer takes on the big boys

Created on 08/01/2018 @ 21:53

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

If you’re looking to move into the Sports Tourer sector and are watching the pennies then the Vauxhall Insignia might just be what you have been looking for.

The latest arrival is a real step up from the old model and with prices starting at less than £20,000 is likely to win sales from a lot of the pricier options in the sector.

The Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is an eye-catcher with long sleek looks and much more practical than its predecessor. There are obvious attractions for the fleet market but this model will also appeal to the man or woman looking for that extra bit of space to transport a growing family.

The length of the boot has grown by 97mm to 2005mm versus the previous model and 40/20/40 foldable seats are standard across the range, making it even more practical. For those pulling a caravan or a trailer, towing capacity for the Sports Tourer is up to 2200kg.

The Tourer is 200kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks to use of lightweight materials and more efficient packaging allowing for all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and the new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Next generation IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up Display and unique AGR-certified premium seats, front- and rearseat heating and a heated windscreen are a few examples of improved safety levels.

Outstanding infotainment and connectivity are also on board thanks to the latest generation IntelliLink systems and Vauxhall OnStar, which offers even more functionality. The Insignia is also the first Vauxhall with an active aluminium bonnet, improving pedestrian protection considerably.

A prominent front grille and Monza Concept-inspired headlights  make the vehicle stand out and the  stance is also emphasised an extended wheelbase and a front overhang that has been reduced by 30 millimetres. Silver roof rails make it look lower, and emphasise the high-quality design.

Although prices start under £20,000 we put the Sri Nav 1.6Turbo D ecoTEC to the test hitting the road at £22,740. Winter pack IntelliLux LED, parking sensors, Leather seats, eight inch instrument display, a heads up system,18 inch alloys, a driving assistance pack and brilliant paint finish pushed the price up to just under £28,000 though.

Standard features on the test model included, keyless entry, heated door mirrors, front fogs, tinted rear windows, automatic wipers, silver-effect roof rails, leather steering wheel, adjustable steering column, sports front seats, sports pedals and twin user rear USN sockets.

You also get a fully integrated European SatNav system, Bluetooth, seven speakers, Vauxhall On Star, electronic stability control, anti-locking brakes, driving assistance pack, six airbags and a security alarm system.

Most of the functions are controlled via the touchscreen to simplify the interface, while all functions have been grouped into three distinct sections to allow quick operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, and the lower ones for driver assistant controls.

The cabin is a comfortable place to be and the driver’s seat has been lowered by 3cms, meaning the instruments fall neatly to hand. There’s plenty of adjustment for both seat and steering wheel to make sure you find the best position too.

For a big car the Insignia is surprising agile both in town and on demanding country roads and gives combined fuel figures of 65mpg and Co2 emissions of 112g/km. There’s a top speed of 127mph and 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds.

But most of all there’s more room than you are ever likely to need and an easy-to-manage combination of seat placements to help cover just about every eventuality making this Vauxhall a real player in the sector.

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