First Drive

First Drive: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

The story:
Vauxhall has revamped its petrol Insignia offering, with this 200hp engine topping the range of three petrol models, alongside four diesel engine choices.
Category:upper medium
Key rival:Peugeot 508
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 200HP Elite Nav
Price:£28,410
MPG:44.8mpg
Emissions:145g/km
On sale:Now

 

Vauxhall has revamped its petrol Insignia offering, with this 200hp engine topping the range of three petrol models, alongside four diesel engine choices.

Post-WLTP, Vauxhall has needed to revise its petrol engine line-up, and with petrol engines becoming ever-more important, the company sees a growing popularity within the corporate sector for the likes of its most powerful green-pump advocate.

It’s a 200hp 1.6-litre petrol engine, which puts out 145g/km of CO2 in manual Grand Sport five-door form, rising to 154g/km for the hatch or Sports Tourer automatic. The engine is the second more powerful in the Insignia range, with the 210hp diesel topping the line-up.First Drive-March19-Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport-Image 3

The turbocharged 1.6 doesn’t give huge quantities of instant punch, but instead pulls well from across the rev range to make for a rapid cruiser rather than sporty mid-sized five-door.

The 200hp petrol engine only comes with the high VX Line Nav or Elite Nav trim levels, which means they come well equipped, but the cheapest way into the most powerful engine doesn’t start until over £26,000. The 165hp 1.5-litre turbo is available in all trim levels, so comes in at just over £20,000 in Design spec. That engine also scrapes a single gramme under the 130g/km boundary, so well below the newer unit.

Still, the 200hp turbo is more efficient than all its rivals bar a certain important one. The 180hp 508 from Vauxhall sister company Peugeot gets down to just 125g/km thanks in part to its efficient automatic gearbox.

The Insignia is more efficient than the equivalent Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb, though all are covered by 8g/km. However, the Vauxhall is also aggressively priced against top-spec higher-powered petrols from its rivals, costing at least £1500 less than most, while RVs and running costs are in the right area versus its rivals.

 

Paul Barker

The verdict

If a powerful petrol engine is on the list then the Insignia’s is a good bet, although the 165hp version makes much more sense in terms of running costs.