It’s only been a few months since we first drove the all-new Vauxhall Insignia in Grand Sport guise and now we’ve had an opportunity to try its load-lugging counterpart, the Sports Tourer.
Vauxhall has increased the size of the new Insignia in pretty much every direction and the new Sports Tourer gains 135 litres of boot space compared to the outgoing version.
Fold down the seats and a vast 1,665 litres of space is made available. A 40:20:40 folding seat arrangement allows the balance of passengers and ‘stuff’ to be adjusted as necessary.
Despite the extra space, the new Sports Tourer has shed around 200kgs which should pay dividends when it comes to fuel consumption and handling.
Powertrains include a 1.5-litre turbo petrol, the 1.6-litre diesel unit that we tried in the hatch and a 170PS 2.0-litre diesel that is fitted to our test car.
Although the 1.6 is the economy champion, with CO2 emissions starting at 112g/km, we found it a little lacking in urgency and in the heavier estate this is likely to be amplified.
The larger engine is much more suited to the car. There is plenty of torque – 400Nm to be specific – and a decent level of refinement.
It emits 139g/km, which is quite high, although when we questioned Vauxhall it said the engines have been developed to perform better in real-world testing.
During our three-day test the car returned an indicated average fuel consumption of 52mpg which very close to the official figure of 53.3.
Nonetheless, under current emissions testing the Insignia Sports Tourer – in fleet-focused Tech Line trim – will cost drivers £115 per month (20% taxpayer).
That’s around £200 a year more than a 2.0 TDI Škoda Superb estate.
Running costs are £2,000 lower for the Škoda over a four-year cycle despite its higher list price and it also offers more load space.
The new Insignia has a more premium feel to its interior. The dash is simpler in its layout and is shaped around the driver. Digital instruments and a head-up display add to the upmarket experience.
The driving position is lower and more engaging, which works well with improvements to the car’s handling characteristics.
Two driving modes are available: Tour or Sport. Both offer distinct differences.
In Tour the Insignia is cushioned with light steering. Switch to Sport and it takes on a different demeanour, throttle response is crisper, the steering weight is up and the dampers stiffen giving a harder, but more dynamic, ride.
The range consists of four trim levels, priced from £18,685: Design, Sri, Tech Line and Elite. All models get touchscreen infotainment systems with OnStar, alloy wheels and keyless entry and start.
Tech Line versions benefit from an eight-inch sat-nav screen and front and rear parking sensors.
An optional driving assistance pack (£480) adds adaptive cruise control and autonomous braking.
The Insignia Sports Tourer offers fleet customers a premium quality vehicle at a competitive price.
Many will be better suited to the 1.6-litre models but the larger engine does handle the bulk of the Sports Tourer better, with a small fuel consumption penalty in the real world.
Stats shown for Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 Turbo D 170 Tech Line