The sporty Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Hatch review

In Car Reviews, Vauxhall by Tom Scanlan

£6,578,434.64p. – That was the sale price stickered onto the windscreen of my road-test Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Hatch !

Tom Scanlan has a high performance drive in the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Hatch

OK, here’s the story: I was visiting the local secondary school and parked a bit apart from the other cars; when I came back to drive off, some kid had torn out a page from his workbook and blacked in that mega-price and stuck the page under the windscreen wiper. I loved that, even if, as a future car salesman, he was being somewhat optimistic.

This is a fast family touring car, with that new 2-litre bi-turbo diesel engine — a car that will be enjoyed by the relative handful of Insignia drivers who shell out the necessary extra. The test car was £36,965…fantastic value compared with £6,578, 439.64. (Of course, as all the kids had scarpered, I had no way of asking what the 64p was for.) Joking apart, this is good value for money, certainly competitive, given the car’s equipment and capabilities.

At the car’s UK launch some months back, we were told that Vauxhall, or Opel in Germany, had done a lot of engineering to create the latest edition of the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Hatch.

The new-generation Flexride chassis offers continuous damping control and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive. Vauxhall has also taken in its own seat-design, previously by Recaro, and developed it to include both heating and ventilation yet increasing weight by only two kilograms to twenty-eight. The car’s performance figures are crucial to its success or otherwise, and they are impressive, thanks to overall weight-saving and the 480Nm of torque and 210PS from the diesel engine.

The GSi proved to be more than just pleasant to drive. The nought-to-62 mph figure of 7.4 seconds is impressive enough, but, as with all diesel power, it’s the rather more important mid-range that really counts. A gentle push on the accelerator pedal surges the car forward for safe overtaking and (I confess) for sheer fun. The claimed maximum speed is 145 mph.

The 4-cylinder Brembo brakes were tested in a simulated emergency and gave a mighty powerful and safe stop with little fuss and no embarrassing noises.

Power is transmitted through an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox. The changes were super-quick and each acceleration produced a pleasantly-satisfying, not-too-loud exhaust note.

There is a choice of touring and sport modes for extra revs between changes. It may not be Jekyll and Hyde, but it’s headed in that direction…and that’s good — two cars in one, you could say.

The official combined consumption figure is 39.8 mpg; my week with this Insignia happened to be restricted mainly to shortish journeys and the trip computer reckoned my average consumption was 34.0 mpg.

The handling was secure and the seats hug driver and passenger in firmly, especially when you take twisty roads at speed.

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There is a very full list of standard features. For extra comfort, even the outer rear seats have heating, as does the steering wheel. Vauxhall’s Onstar support and rescue system is, of course, included, along with a full range of connectivity features, plus a head-up display that has a range of six types of information that can be selected via a switch on the lower dashboard.

The information and satnav colour screen is a generous 8-inches and fully-integrated European-mapped.

At night, the instrumentation follows the traditional route with red needles on black, with white numerals, and it looks smart and is clear to read.

For family practicalities, space is not at all bad in the back and the boot is also usefully accommodating. There is, however, no spare wheel.

I did note that the handbook was not entirely easy to follow when it can to understanding some of the information systems that can vary from model to model. You need to be absolutely clear with the dealer about these details.

Should you buy one? Yet again, the industry offers so many fine cars, that it becomes subjective. Looks, first; price negotiable? Local dealer OK? And so on. But the Insignia is definitely a strong challenger.


Car reviewed: Vauxhall Insignia Sportshatch GSi NAV 2.0 (210PS) BiTurbo D 4X4 auto – Price On the road £36,965 0-62mph 7.4 secs Top speed 145mph Fuel Economy combined 39.87mpg CO2 emissions 187g/km Engine 1956cc Diesel 4-cylinder EU6 Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual mode


  • Good Value for money

  • Comfortable seats and well equipped

  • Overall and mid-range performance

  • Slightly more thirsty than rivals

What the others say on YouTube, about the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Hatch

About the author
Tom Scanlan

Tom Scanlan

'Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars. He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0. In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.'

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Summary
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Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sportshatch
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