Insignia boosts Vauxhall’s badge appeal

The slippery Vauxhall Insignia looks modern and sophisticated and is a marked departure from the ang

The slippery Vauxhall Insignia looks modern and sophisticated and is a marked departure from the angular Vectra it replaced. - Credit: Vauxhall

Vauxhall's Insignia moved the marque on and has proved popular with fleets and private buyers and that means there are some great used buys.

Used Car: Vauxhall Insignia (2009 onwards)

Engines – With its roots in the company car market, there's a predictable emphasis on diesel power. Buyers keen to save money will enjoy the oil-burners' frugal performance, while those seeking to travel only a few miles per year will benefit from a range of quiet, refined and willing petrol alternatives.

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Exterior – A marked departure from the angular Vectra of old, the Insignia's slippery shape ensures it looks modern and sophisticated in the company car park. It's also a little bigger than the car it replaced, which is all part of Vauxhall's plan to move its mid-size offering upmarket.

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Interior – Like its exterior, the Insignia's interior presents occupants with a range of easy-on-the-eye curves. The overall ambience is of the premium variety, which fits with Vauxhall's aspirations. Cabin space is reasonable for a car in the class, while refinement when on the move is good – as is the amount of oddment space available in the cabin.

Driving – Keen drivers will be pleasantly surprised by the Insignia. It's as much a motorway mile-muncher as it is B-road tearaway. And if you want to relax and take it easy you can do that too. For the discerning company car driver, the fleet-friendly diesels perform well and are punchy when you're pressing on.

Ownership – The Insignia isn't a car with any notable quirks or vices, and running costs should be modest – especially if you opt for a diesel variant. Spacious and versatile, it can double as a family car as well as a tool for business.

What to look for – Being a popular fleet choice, a full history is essential to tally mileage against servicing and repair activities. Parking dents on high-mileage cars might be acceptable but not so on a pampered, privately-owned example. Again, a quick check of the car's paperwork would determine its history. Also, don't skip the test drive as it could prove revealing if there's been any mistreatment.

Model history – 2009, Vauxhall launches its Vectra replacement, the Insignia. Five-door hatchback followed by saloon and Sport Tourer estate variants. Good choice of petrol and diesel engines. Generous levels of standard equipment offered along with manual and automatic gearboxes. Selected models also available with all-wheel drive.

Reasons to buy – Plenty of choice, solid performer, low running costs, practical.

Reasons to beware – Beware of used and abused examples, thirsty petrol variants, lack of a service history.

Pick of the range – Insignia 2.0 CDTi SRi hatchback.

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