Plenty of bang for your buck
We were asked to test drive the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport Elite Nav 2.0 260PS Turbo 4×4 Auto S/S. Yes a bit of mouthful but surprisingly a very enjoyable drive.
Having never driven one before mainly as we’d grown up believing that Vauxhall is only one better than Skoda in the car badge game, we were expecting a rather outdated square bland car that you could easily lose in a multi-story carpark. However, on first impressions we actually mistook it for a Mercedes or BMW at a distance. Our model was ‘Mineral Black’ which helped to accentuate its rather modern sleek lines.
It’s not a small car and certainly larger than most saloon cars so you get lots of room inside, comfy lower positioned seats with leg room you can stretch in to. The extra width also means there’s no need to fight over the arm rest and plenty of space in the back for passengers. The roomy 490 litre boot provides ample space for an exhibition stand and materials or just your families luggage and shopping. Leather steering wheel and seat facings come as standard along with heated seats both front and back.
On the downside, it does take a bit of getting used to the extra wide berth especially when you’re weaving around traffic on London’s busy roads or escaping down a small country lane as we found out after having to reverse a few times to get past oncoming cars. However, the passenger mirror does have a great safety feature alerting you when something is getting a bit too close on the inside which we felt all cars/lorries in London would benefit from, given the growing problem with cycling accidents and deaths.
The onboard computer was easy to use, even the navigation didn’t take too much head scratching. And if you get really stuck you can always use their Onstar service and ask someone for help whether that’s booking a hotel, finding parking or even help finding a restaurant.
On the motorway you couldn’t really expect more especially with all the little extras we had: 8-speed gearbox, cruise control, heads-up display and even auto correct steering when you stray towards the white lines as well as autonomous emergency braking if you get too close to the car in front. We could easily see why driverless cars are not that far off.
It’s 2.0 Turbo engine was quick reaching 60mph in 6.9 seconds with a maximum speed of 155 mph so we certainly didn’t feel like the underdog on the motorway surrounded by oversized 4x4s or those pricier saloons mentioned above. Combined fuel economy isn’t much to write about averaging 32.8mpg.
Overall, we found it a very easy car to get along with and wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in it and for a cost of just over £30,000 with all the bells and whistles you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Standard features included:
- 20-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels (2.0 (260PS) Turbo 4X4 models)
- IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights
- Front fog lights
- Dark-tinted rear windows
- Torque vectoring system (4X4 models)
- Automatic lighting control
- Electrically operated front / rear windows
- Electrically adjustable / heated door mirrors
- Air conditioning
- Leather-covered steering wheel
- Steering wheel audio / phone / cruise controls
- Steering column adjustable for reach / rake
- Leather seat facings
- Heated front seats
- Heated outer rear seats (Grand Sport 4X4 and all Sports Tourer models)
- 8-inch colour information display
- IntelliLink audio system – 7-inch colour touchscreen – Bluetooth® / Apple CarPlay™ / Android Auto™
- Seven speakers (five front, two rear)
- Bose® premium sound system (2.0 (260PS) Turbo 4X4 models
- Vauxhall OnStar
- Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Driving Assistance Pack One
- Six airbags
- Keyless entry and start
- Security alarm system (Thatcham approved, T1)
ON THE ROAD PRICE: £28,860
- Winter Pack Two – £400.00
- Head-Up Display – £290.00
- Glass Sunroof – £705.00
- Towing Pack – £685.00
- Brilliant Paint – £555.00
- Driving assistance pack 4 – £595.00
- Wireless Charger – £160.00
TOTAL PRICE OF CAR: £32,250