MOTORS FEATURE: Changes worth getting excited about

Vauxhall Insignia
Vauxhall Insignia

Highlighting just how competitive the medium-size car market has become, Vauxhall has done a lot more than just change the headlights on its popular and updated Insignia.

Along with said headlights, the refreshed Insignia benefits from useful price reductions, an increase in equipment levels, cleaner engines and a new fascia complete with the option of a revamped infotainment system.

If you look closely you’ll see the Insignia does indeed boast new headlights and a mildly tweaked nose. It’s a similar deal around the back with a new taillight array. Another visual clue to this being a “new” car are the bold alloy wheel designs available.

For the average Insignia driver sensible running costs and a comfortable driving experience are the priorities, though. In this context the Insignia has always done a good job. However Vauxhall has raised the bar by delivering a choice of two 2.0-litre diesel engines (118 and 138bhp) complete with 99g/km CO2 emissions ratings and a wallet-friendly 76.3mpg figure.

Smaller capacity petrol and more power diesel choices remain, which should please private buyers and keen drivers who rack up the miles respectively.

On the road this new iteration of Vauxhall’s 2.0-litre diesel unit is a significant and welcome step forward in terms of refinement and overall performance. Although clearly set up to deliver economy savings, performance can be brisk if you’re prepared to use the car’s six-speed manual gearbox often. Factor in the high class cabin ambience and modest noise levels and the driving experience is a pleasingly upmarket one.

With hatchbacks forming the bulk of the Insignia’s sales, it’s a car that performs a number of roles well.

That it also looks stylish and the overall design has stood the test of time is a welcome plus.

It’s clear that Vauxhall has covered all the important bases with its heavily revised Insignia. Externally the changes might be modest but, inside and under the skin, the improvements are noteworthy. There’s enough here for every prospective Insignia customer to get excited about.