Whether or not Vauxhall’s design language, with its ‘blade’ theme running throughout, appeals on the Insignia is mostly subjective, but we would comment that the tightly pinched lines, particularly around the bonnet and headlamps, help to disguise the Insignia’s considerable footprint. That's particularly true of the estate - or Sports Tourer in Vauxhall-speak.
The blade design is a reoccurring theme through the Vauxhall Insignia, the most obvious being in the front doors. It helps make the Insignia look thinner and breaks up the large surface area in profile; emphasising power to the back, making the Insignia look like it might be rear drive.
The gently sloping rear window line, broad C-pillar and prominent chrome window edge form the Insignia’s most successful design element, giving the car elegant proportions and drawing parallels with the Lexus GS and Jaguar XF executive saloons.
For the most recent facelift, Vauxhall's designers concentrated their efforts on freshening up the car's front and rear bumper styling; there were no sheet metal changes. The Insignia got new, more powerful headlamps, a new radiator grille with a broader chrome bar, and a redesigned lower valance that draws the eye outwards and downwards. At the rear the changes were mirrored for the same effect.
Several changes to the exterior design combine with better underbody panelling to lower the car's drag co-efficient to just 0.25 for the hatchback, and 0.28 for the Sports Tourer.
That, in turn, contributes to some very impressive CO2 and economy figures. There are several new powertrain options, among them a detuned 247bhp version of the Astra VXR's 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, but by far the most significant is the ‘Ecoflex’ version of Vauxhall’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel which returns better than 75mpg on the NEDC combined cycle and emits from just 99g/km of CO2. That's very good economy and emissions performance for a car this size and with 134bhp.
Private buyers may be more interested in the richer end of the Insignia's engine spectrum, which is populated by a 168bhp four-cylinder diesel, and 138bhp normally aspirated and 138bhp or 247bhp turbocharged petrols.
For the new Insignia, buyers will have the choice of six engines to choose from for the Grand Sport. Fleet users will be interested by the 1.6-litre turbocharged diesels which is available with 108bhp and 134bhp, while those looking for a bit more oomph from their turbodiesel can opt for the 168bhp 2.0-litre unit. As for the petrol options, a new turbocharged 1.5-litre engine makes up the bulk of the range and is available in two power outputs - 138bhp and 162bhp, while a four-wheel-drive 257bhp 2.0-litre version tops the range.