Vauxhall Insignia 2017: Prices, specs and reviews
Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series rival is 'good old fashioned value for money', say reviewers
Vauxhall is gearing up for the launch of its all-new Insignia Grand Sport executive saloon, which is set to rival the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series.
The Insignia Grand Sport will feature a complete design overhaul, with significantly reduced overhangs and a wheelbase extended by 3.6ins. Vauxhall says the look is inspired by its Monza concept, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2013.
Under the bonnet, the Insignia will feature a selection of turbocharged engines, which CarBuyer says will probably be "the previous car's turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol" and latest "Whisper" diesel. These will be paired with a choice of gearboxes, including an eight-speed automatic transmission, which Vauxhall will detail next year.
There's also a new all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring, which distributes the amount of power to each wheel depending on the driving conditions.
Despite the added weight a high-tech all-wheel drive system often brings, the updated Insignia is 386lbs lighter than its predecessor.
Inside, the cabin is packed with gadgets, including keyless open and start as standard, driver heads-up display, Apple CarPlay and concierge services that allow occupants to book a hotel room via Vauxhall's OnStar personal onboard assistant.
Auto Express reports there will also be an estate version called the Insignia Grand Tourer, which is likely to arrive "a couple of months after the hatchback, in late 2017".
Insignia Country Tourer
Vauxhall has taken the wraps off its rugged Country Tourer, months ahead of its public debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.
Notable additions over the base Insignia include black plastic wheel arches and side skirts to protect the bodywork on harsh surfaces, while the company says the silver front and rear skid plates "help to give the car a solid stance".
It will be powered by a "brand new top-of-the-range diesel engine", which AutoExpress suggests could be a 220bhp twin-turbo four-cylinder unit.
As the Country Tourer is positioned at the top of the Insignia range, it should be packed with standard equipment, the magazine adds. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available, as will a heads-up display and adaptive cruise control.
Buyers can also spec automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assistance and automatic steering correction. Vauxhall's OnStar virtual assistant, which can automatically seek road-side assistance if the vehicle breaks down, is available as an optional extra.
Prices details and a release date will be announced closer to the car's pubic appearance, but Car expects "a premium of at least £2,000 over a basic Insignia Sports Tourer estate".
On the road, the new Insignia is "easy-going to drive" and can handle long distance cruising "without fuss", says The Independent.
Motorway driving is also "excellent" and even the entry-level 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine is surprisingly powerful, adds the paper, packing "lots of pulling power" without emitting obtrusive noises into the cabin.
The Insignia's longer wheelbase has made the car significantly more practical than its predecessor, says Autocar. Rear legroom is "better than you’ll find in most compact executive saloons" and there's enough headroom to accommodate occupants over six-feet tall.
Interior quality itself is "a little bit mixed" and there are "flimsy plastics around the steering column" which can "feel quite poor". However, higher-quality materials on the dashboard and centre console are much better to the touch, adds the site.
Nevertheless, there won't be many cars arriving this year that offer the level of "good old-fashioned value for money" than the new Insignia, adds the mag, which concludes it's "a handsome car" that will be a "strong and appealing prospect" for those looking for an entry-level executive saloon.
Price and release
The Insignia Grand Sport is available to order now for as little as £17,115, says Autocar, which is around £8,000 cheaper than the BMW 3-Series and £10,000 less than the entry-level Audi A4.