Review: Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)

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Handles reasonably well. Decent ride quality. Much improved after 2013 facelift.

Rear seats are not all that not comfortable for adults. Original engines all timing belt not chain. Poor quality interior.

Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017): At A Glance

The Vauxhall Insignia is a large and economical hatchback that's popular with company car drivers, owing to its low running costs, comfortable driving position and decent equipment levels. That said, the Insignia returns poor refinement and dull styling, which makes it a difficult recommendation for any non-company car drivers.

The Insignia does get a wide choice of engines, with the highlight being the 140PS 2.0 CDTi ecoFlex, which officially returns 76.3mpg and 99g/km of CO2. The 1.4 turbocharged is the most efficient petrol, offering 50+mpg and emitting 124g/km. There's also a track-focused VXR version, powered by a vocal 325PS turbocharged V6. 

Most Insignia models are well-equipped as standard with air conditioning, steering wheel mounted controls and a colour infotainment screen. The interior received a significant upgrade as part of the 2013 facelift, with a better dashboard layout, with less buttons and the option of a more intuitive eight-inch touchscreen.

However, the Insignia scores poorly for refinement though and lots of road and wind noise make it into the cabin. The sloping roof line makes the rear seats an uncomfortable fit for tall adults in the back.

The boot is a decent size though - 530 litres - and can be extended to 1470 litres with the rear seats down. That said, both the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb offer more space and the Insignia's narrow boot opening also makes it difficult to load heavy items without scuffing the trim. 

On the road the Insignia is easy to drive with predictable cornering and lots of front-end grip. Post-2013 cars benefit from suspension upgrades and improvements in body control in the corners, but the Insignia still lacks the reward and fun of the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Octavia. 

As a used buy, the Vauxhall Insignia makes a lot of sense, with affordable prices, good fuel economy and decent levels of standard kit. It's also extremely competitive as a company car, with low servicing and running costs. If you're not a company car driver the Insignia will be more difficult to justify, given that is considerably outclassed by the Ford Mondeo, Skoda Superb and Mazda 6.

Looking for a Vauxhall Insignia (2008 - 2017)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £20,090
Buy new from £18,948
Contract hire from £233.45 per month

Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4830–4842 mm
Width 1856–2084 mm
Height 1484–1498 mm
Wheelbase 2737 mm

Full specifications

The interior of the Vauxhall Insignia is practical, with a decent sized boot - 530 litres - and a set of comfortable front seats, with lots of head and leg room. However, while the cabin feels well-built, it's rather plain and mundane, with lots of dark plastics. 

Tall passengers will find the rear to be a tight fit, with the sloping roofline limiting head room. The middle rear seat isn't much good either, with its narrow base and limited legroom, owing to the fact that the floor is raised quite high to accommodate the transmission.

Compared to the class leaders - the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb - the cabin feels decidedly average. Both the Ford and Skoda get more boot space and the Insignia's high boot lip makes it easy to scuff the trim when moving large or heavy items. There's also a strange lump into the boot floor, which again makes it tricky to slide items in and out.

The Vauxhall is a comfortable place for the driver though and most models get a leather trimmed steering wheel and a large supportive cloth seat with lots of adjustment, along with plenty of support. All-round vision is generally fine, but the thick pillars and small rear window can make it tricky when it comes to the rear three-quarters.

The curved dash is typical across the range, but the button heavy and somewhat confusing layout was axed in 2013 and replaced with a smarter layout, with less dials and a more intuitive eight-inch screen. 

Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017) like to drive?

The Vauxhall Insignia is available with a good choice of petrol and diesel engines, as well as front-wheel and four-wheel drive. The best for fuel economy is the 140PS 2.0 CDTi ecoFlex diesel - officially returning 76.3mpg and 99g/km of CO2. The best petrol is the 1.4 turbo, providing a claimed 50.4mpg and 124g/km of CO2. There's also a track-focused VXR version, powered by a 325PS turbocharged V6. 

Models built before 2009 are mostly limited to the 140PS 1.8 EcoTec petrol or the 2.0 CDTi 130PS. Both will return a respective 40.4mpg and 63.0mpg but disappoint on the road with poor acceleration and refinement. The 1.4 petrol was added to the range in 2011, with more torque and better economy, along with a powerful 195PS 2.0-litre biturbo diesel with 400Nm of torque and the option of four-wheel drive. 

Insignia's built after the post-2013 facelift are the ones to aim for, where a raft of important changes came into force. The impressive 140PS 2.0 CDTi was added to the range, along with ecoFlex tech to lower CO2 to under 100g/km of CO2, along with a 163PS 2.0 diesel, offering more pace and an official 65.7mpg and 114g/km of CO2. 

Biturbo diesels aside, all of the engines are noisy at low and high speeds, while road and wind noise is also a problem across the range. The Insignia does drive adequately, although pre-2013 models lack refinement and are prone to pitching heavily into tight corners. Vauxhall revised the suspension and steering as part of the facelift and while the Insignia feels much more composed, it still lacks the smoothness of its chief rivals. 

Refinement issues were improved with the addition of the 136PS 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel’ in 2015, but even with this the Insignia shows its age against the latest Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4i Turbo 51–54 mpg 10.9 s 123–129 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 64 mpg 10.9 s 109 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 Automatic 54–57 mpg 10.9 s 129–132 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 ecoFLEX 64–72 mpg 10.9 s 99–109 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 ecoFLEX Automatic 54 mpg 10.9 s 129–132 g/km
1.6 SIDI Turbo 46 mpg 9.2 s 145 g/km
1.6 SIDI Turbo Automatic 41 mpg 9.9 s 164 g/km
1.6i Turbo 37–40 mpg - 164–179 g/km
1.8i 37–39 mpg 11.5 s 164–179 g/km
2.0 CDTi 49–63 mpg 11.1 s 119–154 g/km
2.0 CDTi 120 ecoFLEX 76 mpg 11.9 s 98 g/km
2.0 CDTi 130 63 mpg 11.1 s 119 g/km
2.0 CDTi 130 Automatic 53 mpg 11.2 s 139 g/km
2.0 CDTi 140 63 mpg 11.1 s 119 g/km
2.0 CDTi 140 ecoFLEX 76 mpg 10.5 s 98–99 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 42–59 mpg - 127–177 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 4x4 50 mpg - 147–149 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 4x4 Automatic 44 mpg - 169 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 Automatic 50 mpg - 149 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 ecoFLEX 58–67 mpg 9.5 s 112–129 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 66 mpg 9.5 s 114 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 Automatic 53 mpg 9.6 s 140 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 ecoFLEX 66 mpg 9.5 s 114 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 63 mpg 9.4 s 118–120 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 Automatic 50–52 mpg 9.4 s 143–147 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 ecoFLEX 63–66 mpg 9.0–9.4 s 114–118 g/km
2.0 CDTi 195 50–60 mpg 8.7–8.8 s 125–149 g/km
2.0 CDTi 195 4x4 51 mpg - 146 g/km
2.0 CDTi Automatic 48–52 mpg - 144–157 g/km
2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX 54–67 mpg 9.5 s 112–136 g/km
2.0 SIDI Turbo 39 mpg 7.5 s 169 g/km
2.0 SIDI Turbo Automatic 36 mpg 7.7 s 186 g/km
2.0i Turbo 29–39 mpg 7.5 s 169–225 g/km
2.0i Turbo (start/stop) 37 mpg - 179 g/km
2.0i Turbo 4x4 29–32 mpg - 209–229 g/km
2.0i Turbo 4x4 Automatic 30 mpg - 218 g/km
2.0i Turbo Automatic 31–36 mpg 7.7 s 186–214 g/km
2.8i Turbo VXR 27 mpg 6.0 s 272 g/km
2.8i Turbo VXR Automatic 26 mpg 6.0 s 251 g/km
2.8i V6 Turbo 4x4 26 mpg - 258 g/km
VXR 26–27 mpg 5.6–5.9 s 249–251 g/km

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

15–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Water is leaking through a windscreen replacement - is the dealer liable for selling me a faulty car?

I have a 2012 Vauxhall Insignia. I noticed dampness in the drivers footwell so I took it to a Vauxhall dealership under warranty. After a long investigation, they came to the conclusion that it was an aftermarket windscreen leaking. This is not covered under warranty and I was charged for investigation work. I tried to explain that the car was sold to me by them with the replacement windscreen. Vauxhall says there is nothing they can do and I will have to pay for replacement or a re-seal. Is there anything I can do to say they are liable? I have owned the car now for two years.
I doubt that the dealer who sold you the car can be held liable after two years has passed since the sale. You could attempt to invoke Clegg v Olle Andersson (trading as Nordic Marine), House of Lords, 2003, on the basis that the car was sold to you in a fundamentally faulty state: it was sold to you with the windscreen fitted incorrectly. In that case it would be you versus the dealer who sold you the car in Small Claims in the County Court. See:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Diesel engine, Motorway cruiser, Economical, Petrol engine, Cheap Tax and Large family.

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What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 17%
  • 4 star 50%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star 33%

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