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Arval’s pick of the range:
Vauxhall Insignia 1.6 136hp turbo diesel Tech Line
The new Insignia is a bolder, sleeker and more low-slung car than its predecessor, as Vauxhall tries to give it a hint of four-door coupe. As well as the hatchback, known as Grand Sport to differentiate it to the previous Insignia, there are also Sports Tourer and Country Tourer models. The former model is a straightforward estate and the latter, launching in autumn 2017, is a raised estate with four-wheel drive, cladding and underbody protection to give it a faux-off-roader appearance.
In keeping with its popularity among a fleet audience that accounts for around 80% of sales, it’s fair to say the Insignia is at its best on longer runs. There’s plenty of grip from the chassis, but it’s clear that Vauxhall has put the emphasis on comfort. Refinement levels are another advantage for longer runs, especially with its effective softening of wind and engine noise, and the ride quality is excellent. The 136hp diesel, expected to be most popular along with the 110hp version, offers plenty of performance, helped by the fact the car has shaved off up to 175kg of weight compared to its predecessor. The gearchange has a nice solid feel to it and the lever itself is shaped to slot nicely into the palm of the hand.
WATCH THE VAUXHALL INSIGNIA REVIEW
Vauxhall offers five trim levels on the Insignia, the bottom two of which also have a ‘Nav’ derivative to allow drivers unable to select options to also choose sat nav, which is standard on the Tech Line and Elite trims. In addition, there is a VX-Line version of the SRi trim, offering a styling pack, uprated alloys and heated steering wheel. strong>VXR (over Design) Intellilink sat nav with 8in touchscreen, VXR bodykit, Recaro sports front seats, sports wheel and pedals, digital instruments, ambient lighting, auto bi-xenon lights and wipers, performance exhaust, Brembo brakes, 19in alloys.
SRi (in addition to Design)
Tech Line Nav (in addition to Design)
Elite Nav (in addition to Tech Line Nav)
The Tech Line trim has been devised with company car buyers in mind, packaging everything business users are likely to want into one choice. Vauxhall has also, however, worked hard to make it attractive to dabble in the options list by making appealing extras very affordable. For example, the safety-orientated Driver Assistance Pack Four costs £595, but brings a rear-view camera, lane change assist with blind spot monitor, advanced park assist, electric folding mirrors and rear cross traffic alert. Head-up display, a really useful feature once you’ve lived with it, costs an additional £290, whereas the Winter Pack One consists of heating for the steering wheel, front seats and windscreen and is priced at £660, or £410 without the heated steering wheel.
The most impressive thing on the inside is the excellent rear leg room. Up-front, the interior is a significant improvement over the previous Insignia in quality, design and functionality terms and there’s a impressive amount of storage space. The boot space on the Grand Tourer hatchback is a little below the class average at 490 litres, where the Ford Mondeo is at 541 and the Skoda Superb’s luggage space sits at 625 litres, but is well worth it for the extra rear leg room.
The much-improved new Insignia is a big step forward in all areas. It’s sleek, brilliant to drive, refined, well-equipped and aggressively priced, making it a fantastic choice for most company car drivers.