Review: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2017)

Rating:

Represents very good value for money. Big boot and generous amount of rear legroom. Diesels are very economical while the 1.5 Turbo petrol is very good.

Interior material quality isn't great. Pretty dull to drive. 1.6-litre 200PS petrol is very thirsty and not particularly quick.

Recently Added To This Review

9 October 2018

On a certain number of Insignia models built between January 2017 and September 2017, the clip of a fuel line bundle might chafe against the fuel pump hose, resulting in fuel leaks and in the worst case... Read more

2 August 2018 New 1.6 Direct Injection Turbo petrol engine introduced

The four-cylinder engine produces peak power of 200PS at 5500 rpm and develops 280Nm of torque from 1650-4,500 rpm. The Insignia 1.6-litre Direct Injection Turbo can achieve a top speed of 146mph and... Read more

21 June 2018 Insignia now available with bespoke paint

Customers can choose a bespoke paint colour. As well as bespoke colours, Vauxhall Exclusive buyers can also choose their preferred paint finish: Metallic, containing aluminium particles in various... Read more

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2017): At A Glance

The Vauxhall Insignia is a favourite with company car drivers - but it also offers a great deal to private buyers looking for something that isn't a crossover SUV, offers excellent value for money and has lots of interior space.

Compared to similar family cars - such as the Skoda Superb and Ford Mondeo - it's very competitively priced. The entry-level model is around £20,000 and that gets you a very comfortable, spacious and reasonably well-equipped car. 

In fact even at that money you're getting air conditioning, cruise control, a seven-inch colour touchscreen, electric mirrors, DAB radio, Bluetooth and features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The other thing the Insignia Grand Sport majors in is space. It's not far off five metres long and bigger than the aforementioned Superb. This means it has acres of space in the back, a huge boot and is extremely comfortable too. If you're looking for a great value car to sit on the motorway with minimal fuss, this is it.

The entry-level 1.5-litre Turbo engine is a good one too - it has enough get up and go for everyday driving and is reasonably economical. There is a 200PS 1.6-litre petrol, but it's rather thirsty and not as quick as you'd expect.

Along with turbocharged petrols, there are of course diesel engines, with the 1.6 CDTi being a popular choice. Understandably so - it'll return up to 57.6mpg under real-world economy tests. 

No matter which engine you choose, it's not particularly engaging to drive, but it's an easy car to get on with thanks to excellent seats and a simple cabin layout. It might not feel as premium as the Skoda Superb or Mazda 6, but it still represents a lot of family car for the money.

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 TurboD 110PS 2017 Road Test

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport GSI 2018 Road Test

What does a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2017) cost?

List Price from £20,080
Buy new from £20,045
Contract hire from £233.45 per month

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4897 mm
Width 2093 mm
Height 1455 mm
Wheelbase 2829 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the Insignia Grand Sport is a big step forward from the previous Insignia. The design, layout and quality are all much improved.

That said, it's still not up to the standard of some of the competition. It doesn't feel as solid or as durable as a Skoda Superb with some of the trim revealed as flimsy if you start prodding around. For all Vauxhall's talk of 'premium feel', the finish is far from the class best. 

That said, it gets the basics right with a good driving position, simple to read instrument dials and clearly labelled buttons and switches. Visibility isn't great out of the back though and you don't get parking sensors as standard, they only come with the SRi and above - otherwise they're a £460 option.

The standard touchscreen infotainment system is simple enough to use - although it's awkwardly positioned a little too far away for comfortable inputs from the driver, and weirdly directed towards the sky as if little thought has been put into its location. It works well with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though, meaning you can use your phone for functions such as navigation and music.

What the Insignia is good at is space. The fact it is more than 4.8 metres long helps - as does the long wheelbase. And it means there's plenty of space for those sat in the back. It's not up to Superb standards, but it's not far short and is more generous than a Mazda 6 or Toyota Avensis. 

The boot is big too and as this is a hatchback, there's a wide opening so getting in bulky folded pushchairs (like the classic McLaren) is no problem. Only the odd design of the wheelarches spoils it - making the load area considerably narrower than it could be.

But with 490 litres of carrying space, it's nonetheless usefully large - although a Ford Mondeo still has more room. There's also an optional extra called FlexOrganizer which adds side rails, dividing nets and various fasteners to keep things safe in the boot.

As usual with most modern cars, there's no spare wheel. You'll have to pay an extra £110 for a steel emergency spare in place of the standard tyre inflation kit - but at least it's available as an option.

There are plenty of features we do like. Such as the two USB ports for passengers in the back (on SRi models and above) which are really handy if you have kids who need to charge their iPads or phones on a long journey. There are also air vents for those in the back, situated in the back of the centre console. 

The big central transmission tunnel makes it a squeeze for three in back but there are three Isofix mounting points across the back seats so it's ideal if you've got a growing family.

Another big plus for the Insignia Grand Sport are the ergonomic seats. They're incredibly comfortable and supportive, something you really appreciate after a long stint behind the wheel. They may not look anything special, but they clearly work. Other nice touches include a heated windscreen element, which saves you a lot of time on frosty winter mornings.

Standard equipment: 

Design features a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, air conditioning, steering wheel audio/phone/cruise controls, adjustable steering column (reach and rake), 17-inch steel wheels (1.6 diesel ecoTEC models) or 17-inch alloy wheels (every other engine), automatic headlights, electric front and rear windows, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, six airbags, keyless start.

Design Nav models add a touchscreen navigation system as part of the seven-inch infotainment display.

SRi comes with AGR active front seats, sports pedals, dual-zone electronic climate control, storage pockets on front seat backs, ambient LED lighting in front doors, twin rear USB sockets, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front fog lights, rear spoiler, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, front and rear parking sensors.

SRi Nav models add a touchscreen navigation system as part of the seven-inch infotainment display.

SRi VX-Line Nav adds navigation, a heated flat-bottom VX-Line steering wheel, dark fabric headlining, 17-inch alloy wheels (1.6 diesel manual models), 18-inch alloy wheels (excluding 1.6 diesel manual and 1.6 200PS Turbo petrol models), 20-inch alloy wheels (1.6-litre 200PS petrol), VX-Line styling pack including sports-style front and rear bumpers, side sills and dual visible exhaust pipes.

Tech Line Nav builds on the Design model with a seven-inch navigation system, dual-zone climate control, AGR active driver's seat, twin rear USB sockets, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, driver's seat tilt and lumbar adjustment, front passenger's seat height adjustment, 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, front and rear parking sensors.

Elite Nav adds a premium European navigation system with eight-inch colour touchscreen, Bose premium sound system (2.0 210PS BiTurbo D 4x4 models), AGR active front seats, leather seat facings, heated front seats, eight-inch colour information display, 17-inch alloy wheels (1.6 diesel manual models), 18-inch bi-colour alloy wheels (excluding 1.6-litre diesel manual, 1.6 200PS petrol and 2.0 210PS BiTurbo D 4x4 models), 20-inch alloy wheels (1.6 200PS petrol and 2.0 210PS BiTurbo D 4x4 models), LED matrix headlights, front fog lights, dark-tinted rear windows, torque vectoring (4x4 models).

GSi Nav builds on Tech Line Nav specification with a premium European navigation system with eight-inch colour touchscreen, Bose premium sound system, perforated leather seat facings, AGR active front sets, heated front and outer rear seats, heated flat-bottom steering wheel, head-up display, eight-inch colour information display, dark fabric headlining, sports pedals, 20-inch alloy wheels, GSi front and rear bumpers, GSi side sills, visible exhaust tailpipes, LED matrix headlights, sports chassis, dark-tinted rear windows, torque vectoring.

Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (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 Grand Sport (2017) like to drive?

The Insignia is an easy and relaxing car to drive, so while there's not much in the way of driver enjoyment, it's nonetheless a very comfortable car to live with day to day. The ride is perhaps its best quality. Go for a lower spec model on smaller wheels and it glides along wonderfully smoothly, soaking up imperfections in the road well.

Even with bigger alloy wheels fitted it's still comfortable but there are some criticisms. The noise for one. There's noticeable road and tyre noise in the Insignia and the suspension tends to be loud over potholes. 

On the plus side, the handling is neat enough for everyday driving, although push the Insignia into a bend too fast and you'll soon have the tyres protesting. But body roll is kept reasonably well in check despite the steering having very little natural feel. The Insignia is much more at home pounding motorways and dual-carriageways, where it settles into a relaxed cruise.

The six-speed manual gearbox has a nice action to it, with easy yet slick changes while there's now a new eight-speed automatic which delivers smooth shifts.

The diesel engines are by far the most popular, favoured by company car drivers. The 1.6 CDTi was first seen in the Astra - when it was dubbed the 'whisper diesel' - and it works just as well in the bigger Insignia. 

There's a lower powered 110PS version but the 136PS is the better of the two as you'd expect. It has stronger performance plus the gearbox doesn't need to be worked as hard to when you want to overtake. But it's the economy that shines through with an official 54.3mpg under WLTP fuel economy tests for the more powerful version and up to 57.6mpg for the 110PS. 

A more powerful 2.0-litre diesel is also available with 170 or 210PS and up to 480Nm of torque. It's an ideal choice if you're towing and gives the Insignia swift performance too.

But if you're not doing huge miles, it's certainly worth considering a petrol Insignia. Vauxhall's 1.5-litre Turbo may seem too small for a car this size but it actually works well. There's an entry-level 140PS version which is adequate along with a 165PS model.

The four-cylinder turbocharged engine is smooth, quiet and pleasant to drive, helped by a nice positive gear change action. It's responsive enough too, so although you do need to work it hard, it will zip along if you need to overtake slower traffic.

From mid-2018, the Insignia is offered with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 200PS. It's eager enough, although isn't as quick as its power suggests - and we think most buyers will be better catered for with the diesel engines or lower-powered petrols. It's just not as effortlessly quick as you might expect, yet fuel economy is hit hard. We struggled to get much more than 30.0mpg during our time with the car and this is reflected in Real MPG (officially it'll return up to 39.8mpg).

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.5 Turbo 165 47 mpg 8.4 s 136 g/km
1.5 Turbo 165 Automatic 46 mpg 8.4 s 138 g/km
1.5T 140 Ecotec 48 mpg 9.3 s 133 g/km
1.5T 165 47 mpg 8.4 s 136 g/km
1.6 Turbo 200 45 mpg 7.2 s 146 g/km
1.6 Turbo 200 Automatic - - 153 g/km
1.6 Turbo D 110 64 mpg 10.9 s 105 g/km
1.6 Turbo D 136 61–64 mpg 9.9–10.9 s 105–114 g/km
1.6 Turbo D 136 Automatic 54 mpg 10.2 s 134 g/km
2.0 Turbo 260 4x4 33 mpg 6.9 s 197 g/km
2.0 Turbo D 54 mpg 8.2 s 136 g/km
2.0 Turbo D 170 53 mpg 8.2 s 136 g/km
2.0 Turbo D 170 Automatic 51 mpg 8.4 s 141 g/km
2.0 Turbo D Automatic 40–51 mpg 7.4 s 145–186 g/km

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (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

78%

Real MPG

24–60 mpg

MPGs submitted

71

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 Grand Sport (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

Can you permanently turn off start/stop on a car?

I am considering buying a Vauxhall Insignia 1.4T but it has start/stop which puts me off. Is there a way to permanently turn off the function?
Probably not legally because the car depends on it for its emissions rating. But there will be a button to switch it off at the start of every journey. Actually, in this hot weather with a turbo engine it's better to leave the stop/start switched on and if the engine does not automatically shut off when you stop the car, leave it idling for a couple of minutes because the stop/start will have been signalled by a sensor that the turbo is too hot to switch off directly and needs the oil flow to continue.
Answered by Honest John
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