Review: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (2008 – 2017)


Practical load area. Family-friendly. Broad range of engines.

Engines can get noisy. Not as good to drive as other estates. Interior feels dated compared to recent rivals.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (2008 – 2017): At A Glance

Since the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer was launched in 2008 every rival manufacturer has come out with something new, so it’s a surprise it still stacks up at all. It’s a perfectly capable, practical estate car, but the sizeable load area and wide range of engines can’t hide a less-than impressive cabin and sometimes poor refinement.

Load capacity is 540 litres to the luggage cover with the rear seats up, which is on par with the Ford Mondeo Estate. The load deck is flat and fairly low, which makes loading large, bulky items reasonably easy. Folding the rear seats down is simple and expands capacity to 1530 litres, with a space under the load floor to keep the retractable load cover neatly out of the way.

Up front the Insignia is better now than it used to be. In 2013 the centre stack was revised, with new infotainment and a more rational, less cluttered arrangement, using fewer buttons. It’s much more user-friendly than the messy, confusing design in earlier Insignia models, but material quality still lags behind Volkswagen and Ford.

It’s the same story with the handling. The Insignia’s steering isn’t as pleasantly weighted or as precise as a Mondeo, while the Passat is leagues ahead when it comes to refinement and ride quality. That’s not to say the Insignia is bad – it’s relaxed on a long journey and the engines are subdued unless pushed hard – but it doesn’t stack up against recent competitors.

The engine range is confusingly broad, with dozens of combinations of capacity, output, transmission and trim levels. Power outputs range from 136PS in the entry-level diesel to 325PS in the mad, all-wheel drive VXR Supersports variant. Most people will be happiest with the 170PS 2.0 CDTi diesel, which has official economy of up to 62.8mpg and emissions of as low as 119g/km.

As a comfortable estate car the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer does its job perfectly well – but there is no escaping the fact it was introduced back in 2008. It’s practical and spacious enough for a family, but so are more recent, better made and more refined rivals like the Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo.

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

List Price from £20,085
Buy new from £17,658
Contract hire from £233.45 per month

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

Length 4908–4920 mm
Width 1856–2084 mm
Height 1492–1526 mm
Wheelbase 2737 mm

Full specifications

The Insignia Sports Tourer has a 540-litre boot, measured from the boot floor to the load cover with the rear seats in place. Folding the rear seats down is very easy, plus the load cover can be stored under the floor without much difficulty. In this configuration load space increases to 1530 litres.

Access to the load area isn’t too bad, but the rear bumper is large and can get in the way when sliding heavy items in or out. It’s a minor criticism, though – on the whole the Insignia Sports Tourer is a perfectly capable estate car that stacks up well against more recent rivals – at least when it comes to practicality.

The rear row is large enough for two adults to sit in comfort and there are Isofix mounting points for child seats. Up front the Insignia Sports Tourer is comfortable, but the layout and materials are outdated next to more recent rivals, with a less than user-friendly centre stack, cheap-looking instrument dials and some cheap-looking plastics in places.

Over the years, Vauxhall has offered the Insignia Sports Tourer in a ridiculous array of trim levels. That’s still the case – buyers can choose from Design, SRi, SRi VX-Line, SE, Tech Line and Elite. All cars come with digital radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, LED running lights, alloy wheels and cruise control.

Standard Equipment:

Design is the basic trim and includes DMB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX inputs, CD player, alloy wheels (16-/17-inch depending on engine), leather-covered steering wheel, cruise control, trip computer, electric lumbar adjustment, electric height adjustment for driver’s seat, climate control, electric parking brake and automatic lights.

SRi trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension, sports pedals, sports steering wheel, tinted rear windows.

SRi VX-Line adds: 19-inch alloy wheels, VXR styling.

SE trim adds (over design): rear centre head rest, automatic wipers, anti-dazzle rear-view mirror.

Tech-Line trim adds (over SE): Navigation and IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment

Elite trim adds (over SE): Dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, front foglights, ‘intelligent’ headlights, leather upholstery, eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, electrically foldable door mirrors and tinted rear glass.  

Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (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.

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

Over the years since its initial launch in 2008, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer has been sold with a bewildering array of engines, ranging from a mundane 1.8-litre petrol early on through to modern and efficient 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre CDTi diesels, with economy of up to 72.4mpg.

Of the later crop of engines the 170PS 2.0-litre CDTi diesel is probably the best. It produces an ample 400Nm of torque, so is quite capable of overtaking slow-moving traffic. It does get a little gruff when pushed hard, but at a motorway cruise it’s quiet and capable enough to make for relaxed progress.

Company car drivers are likely to go for the 1.6-litre 136PS diesel. This, too, is fairly capable thanks to a reasonable torque output of 320Nm, so it works well on the motorway. The big advantage over other engines is its low emissions – as little as 104g/km – meaning low BIK. Official economy for the cleanest EcoFlex variants is 72.4mpg.

The engine range also includes a 1.4-litre 140PS turbocharged petrol, which is surprisingly capable and economical, with an official figure of 50.4mpg. There is also a 250PS turbocharged petrol and, if you really want to go fast, a 325PS 2.8-litre V6 petrol is fitted to the high-performance VXR model, giving a 0-62mph sprint time of less than six seconds.

The Insignia Sports Tourer is an easy car to drive, with fairly well-weighted controls and a reasonable blend of road-holding and ride quality on A-roads and motorways. On rougher roads the suspension could do a better job of soaking up potholes and while the steering isn’t bad, it could be better on a country road.

All-in-all the Insignia Sports Tourer is fine, but it is showing its age now. It lacks the quiet comfort of a Passat on a long journey and it isn’t as enjoyable on a twisting route as the Mazda 6 or Ford Mondeo. On the plus side there are numerous optional safety technologies on offer, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist and speed limit recognition. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 Turbo 50 mpg 11.5 s 131 g/km
1.4i Turbo 49–50 mpg 11.5 s 131–136 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 61–69 mpg 11.4 s 109–114 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 Automatic 54–55 mpg 11.4 s 134 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 ecoFLEX 61–66 mpg 11.4 s 104–114 g/km
1.6 SIDI Turbo 44 mpg 9.8 s 152 g/km
1.6 SIDI Turbo Automatic 39 mpg 10.4 s 170 g/km
1.6i Turbo 36–39 mpg - 169–186 g/km
1.8i 36 mpg - 183–184 g/km
2.0 CDTi 47–60 mpg 11.6 s 124–159 g/km
2.0 CDTi 120 ecoFLEX 72 mpg 12.4 s 104 g/km
2.0 CDTi 130 60 mpg 11.6 s 124 g/km
2.0 CDTi 140 ecoFLEX 72 mpg 10.9 s 104 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 42–55 mpg - 134–179 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 4x4 50 mpg - 149 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 4x4 Automatic 43 mpg - 175 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 Automatic 48 mpg - 155 g/km
2.0 CDTi 160 ecoFLEX 55–63 mpg - 119–134 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 63 mpg 9.9 s 119 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 Automatic 52 mpg 10.1 s 143 g/km
2.0 CDTi 163 ecoFLEX 63 mpg 9.9 s 119 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 60–63 mpg 9.4–9.9 s 119–124 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 Automatic 50–51 mpg 9.9 s 145–149 g/km
2.0 CDTi 170 ecoFLEX 60–63 mpg 9.4–9.9 s 119–124 g/km
2.0 CDTi 195 49–58 mpg 8.9–9.0 s 129–154 g/km
2.0 CDTi 195 4x4 50 mpg - 149 g/km
2.0 CDTi Automatic 46 mpg - 162 g/km
2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX 53–63 mpg - 119–139 g/km
2.0 SIDI Turbo 38 mpg 7.8 s 174 g/km
2.0 SIDI Turbo Automatic 35 mpg 8.0 s 189 g/km
2.0i Turbo 29–38 mpg 7.8 s 174–228 g/km
2.0i Turbo (start/stop) 36 mpg - 184 g/km
2.0i Turbo 4x4 29–31 mpg - 213–233 g/km
2.0i Turbo 4x4 Automatic 30 mpg - 223 g/km
2.0i Turbo Automatic 31–32 mpg - 209–217 g/km
2.8i Turbo VXR 26 mpg 6.3 s 275 g/km
2.8i Turbo VXR Automatic 26 mpg 6.3 s 257 g/km
2.8i V6 Turbo 4x4 25 mpg - 265 g/km
2.8i V6 Turbo 4x4 Automatic 25 mpg - 265 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 163 50–63 mpg 9.9–10.9 s 119–147 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 163 Automatic 46–52 mpg 10.1–11.4 s 143–165 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 163 Automatic 4X4 46 mpg 11.4 s 169 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 170 60 mpg 9.4 s 124 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 195 4x4 43 mpg 9.9 s 174 g/km
Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi 195 Automatic 43 mpg 9.9 s 174 g/km
VXR 26–26 mpg 5.9–6.2 s 255–259 g/km

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (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

25–60 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 Sports Tourer (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

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer brake problems

I bought a used Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (2011 model) with 53k on clock in December 2015. For six months, I took the car back every month with brake concerns over a judder. That was until the summer when two new tyres seemed to fix the problem. Now we are being told that the brake discs are lipped and pads worn 90 per cent. I was previously told that the pads were replaced at 40,000 miles and we will have to foot the bill. Is the garage trying to fob us off?
By 53k miles the brake discs and pads could need replacing. These are both wearing components. The fact that the pads were replaced at 40k mile does not mean that both discs and pads would not need replacing at 53k.
Answered by Honest John
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