The Vauxhall Insignia is one of the most popular saloons among business users in the UK. Private buyers have been more reluctant to buy, but that’s starting to change – a facelift Insignia was recently released and it’s now better looking than ever.
I have to admit I’m a big fan of the way the Vauxhall Insignia looks, especially in this form. It’s a little wider than the standard car and it looks all the better for it. Also, the matte black plastic wheel arches and front / side splitter give the Country Tourer a rugged look.
And rugged it should appear, too, because this Insignia has four-wheel drive and rugged tyres designed to handle all terrain. In many ways this is a cut price A4 ALL-ROAD. The question is, is it worth £25,349 – £30,859?
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer forms part of the Insignia face lift range, with all Insignia benefiting from a new grille. This car sits 20mm higher than a regular Insignia for ground clearance, and it has grippy 18-inch wheels. As pointed out above, this version is beefier than the standard models, due to its wide bumpers and extra cladding to protect it from stone chips and dirt being kicked up.
The Country Tourer has a unique 4×4 system which features electronic control of the front to rear torque split, via a limited-slip differential. It has three driving modes – Sport, Standard and Tour. It’s a clever 4×4 system which sends 95% of the power to the front wheels under normal driving conditions. This gives the car excellent responsiveness around town and ensures that the car saves fuel.
The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is available with two diesel engines – a 161 bhp single turbo unit and a 192 bhp twin turbo unit. The latter is extremely capable, but it’s the former that is expected to make up the most UK sales. This will return a combined fuel economy of 50.4 miles per gallon on a combined cycle with a CO2 output of 147 g/km. It has 161 bhp and 258 lb /ft of torque.
The used Vauxhall Insignia at Bristol Street Motors isn’t the face lift version, but it’s still available with some solid diesel engines, including that 161 bhp unit.
Inside is where the biggest changes to the facelift Insignia have been made. Whereas the older model was of a questionable quality, the facelift version is a nice place to be. It’s very German, in that it’s dark and not very interesting, but the seats feel more comfortable and the dashboard and interior plastics are now much better to the touch. Everything also feels better put together and more solid in general.