2018 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport review – is it a match for Audi and BMW? | What Car?


It’s safe to say that the old Vauxhall Insignia
was a bit…bland. It was a common sight on motorways and synonymous
with sales reps and company car drivers but private buyers just didn’t see it as cool,
which was a bit harsh given that it’s so frugal and well-equipped. With this brand new version then, Vauxhall
has upped the ante. To put it in line with Skoda Superb, Ford
Mondeo and pricier options from BMW and Audi and now it’s got a new name; it’s called the
Insignia Grand Sport, claiming to have even more space, even more kit and somehow cheaper
than outgoing Insignia. Is it all too good to be true? We’ll find out, starting with what it’s like
to drive…There’s a wide variety of engines to choose from with the Insignia Grand Sport,
ranging from 1.5 litre petrols to 2 litre diesels. But let’s be honest, most people are going
to go straight for the 1.6 litre diesel we’ve got today. It’s a good choice too, offering flexible
performance despite being the cheapest to run. That said, if you regularly fill all of the
seats in your car, you may wish to look at one of the more powerful engines. On standard suspension and relatively small
alloy wheels, the Insignia Grand Sport rides over most bumps well although, it will start
to fidget over rough surfaces. Adaptive dampers are optional but we’d definitely
stay away from larger alloy wheels which are likely to spoil that ride. When it comes to handling, the Insignia Grand
Sport is much better than the outgoing model; the steering feels well weighted and accurate
and road and wind noise is not too bad, you can hear the diesel engine a little bit and
the petrol engines are even quieter. Well, the interior is a big step up from the
outgoing model of Insignia and these seats come as standard even on the entry-level model,
Design and they’re supportive and comfortable…the only down-side is you have to spec mid-range
to get some lumbar support. There’s plenty of adjustment, so you can find
a comfortable driving position and once you’re there, forward visibility is excellent thanks
to these slim pillars…rear, not quite so good however if you go for tech-line or Elite,
you get parking sensors front and rear as standard or you can spec them. There’s also a reversing camera on the options
list as well. Now, our only real complaint is that, although
it’s a massive improvement, there’s still a few areas that are a bit iffy. For example, these indicator and windscreen
wiper stalks make a bit of a cheap twang, when you use them. A 7 inch touchscreen is standard on the Vauxhall
Insignia Grand Sport, however if you go for Satnav, like we’ve got in this car, you get
this 8 inch touchscreen. Overall, it’s easy-to-use and the icons are
large enough so that you can use it on the move. Plus you can connect your phone to Apple Car
Play or Android Auto. The only downside is when you’re trying to
scroll through the radio stations, it can feel a little jerky and not quite so easy-to-use. You also get Vauxhall’s OnStar service, which
has a 4G WiFi hotspot and a dedicated call centre. It can send instructions to the Satnav and
even call emergency services if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved an accident. Now though, I’m going to connect my mobile
phone and see how easy it is to set a destination in the Satnav. First of all I’m going to connect my mobile
phone…so if I click on “pair device” and go to my bluetooth, and hopefully I will find
the Vauxhall here somewhere. “Set pin”…I’m quite happy with the one it
generated. “Pairing new device”, yes, yes that matches,
ok…wow! That must be the quickest connection ever,
I am super impressed Vauxhall! Will you be as good with setting a destination
in the Satnav? Will it be just as easy? “Ok”…”destination”…”address”…let’s go
for, let’s go for Dartmouth, go and see some boats. “Dartmouth”…”Street”…”Highstreet”…or
higher street, highstreet might not even exist. Ah, there we go! “Higher Ferry”…we’ll definitely see some
boats there. Tick, “go”. Wow! Super easy. There’s plenty of space here up front and
your passenger will really feel like they can stretch their legs out, and there’s also
a lot of storage spaces, for example there’s quite a deep storage space there…and another
one there…we have cupholders here, decent size door bin and glovebox is a pretty good
size. Move to the back and it’s a bit of a mixed
bag, the seats are comfortable because they actually have a bit of lumbar support which
is a criticism of BMW and Audi’s backseats where it’s lacking and there’s plenty of legroom…although
because of the sloping roofline, taller passengers may struggle with headroom. Move to the middle seat and you’ve got to
put your feet on this big lump in the floor or either side and even for 5ft 4 me, it is
a little bit squishy! The Insignia Grand Sport’s boot is big enough
for a couple of sets of golf clubs or some holiday luggage, but most of its key rivals
offer more space. Plus while the rear seats do fold down to
increase that room more, you can’t get a variable height boot floor even as an option. One of the big things going for the Insignia
Grand Sport is its price tag, and that’s before you’ve rangled some discounts out of the dealers
and benefitted from attractive finance options…and if it’s a company car, the benefit in car
payments should be cheaper than a lot of rivals. Go for the 1.6 litre diesel engine, as most
buyers will and running costs should also be fairly cheap and team it with out recommended
design trim level and you’ll get everything you’ll need, including keyless entry and start,
air conditioning and Satnav. Every Insignia comes with automatic emergency
braking and lane keeping assistance too. The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is now more
appealing to company car drivers and private buyers than ever before…but there are more
luxurious and more practical rivals around. That said, if you’re looking for a well equipped,
motorway cruiser, it definitely deserves a place on your short-list! Now, if you’re thinking of buying an Insignia
Grand Sport then head over to our new car buyer marketplace where we can save you money
on your next car, and head over to whatcar.com for our full review of this car as well as
other key rivals, and of course remember to hit subscribe to never miss a video.


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