Vauxhall’s first generation Insignia was nicknamed, slightly cruelly, the Insomnia by some in the motoring press.
The second generation model has laid that monicker to rest. Sleeker looks and a sportier drive have closed the gap with its dynamic rival, the Mondeo.
Hatchback and estate models were launched and now we have the Country Tourer version tested here.
It comes with a ride height raised by 25mm, wheelarch protectors and the option of four-wheel drive.
It’s not really designed for heavy off roading (and my test car was the front-wheel drive version) but it has enough clearance to handle rutted tracks and the like.
Prices start at £26,500 and top out at £29,245 for top spec models. That’s a price hike of more than £1,300 over the estate version of the Insignia but when you consider its main rivals, such as the Audi A4 Allroad, Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Subaru Outback and Volvo V60 Cross Country all cost more than £30,000 it doesn’t seem bad value at all.
Standard equipment is excellent too. All versions come with Vauxhall’s Flexride adaptive suspension system, which lets you flick between standard, sport and tour settings depending on how soft or firm you like your ride.
Front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, electrically folding door mirrors and sat nav are all standard across the range.
You also get Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge feature which among other things can make hotel bookings and find parking spaces. Fancy.
Buyers can choose two diesel engines, with 170 or 210hp. On the transmission front you get either a six speed manual or the eight speed automatic set up my car came with.
The latter is well worth having: the changes are seamless and those extra two gears mean the engine’s barely ticking over at motorway speeds. The 2.0 litre diesel is quieter than some petrol engines I’ve driven.
In standard or tour modes ride quality is excellent. Sport is a little on the firm side and the car handles well enough in the other two modes in any case.
The new Insignia has a 92mm longer wheelbase than the old version, giving more passenger space and a bigger boot.
Seats folded, the boot is a massive 1,665 litres – 135 litres larger than the outgoing version.
The Insignia Country Tourer is practical, comfortable, good to drive and value for money.