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Naturally, as with the Astra, the kerb weight advantage is of significant benefit to the car’s dynamics.

In the smaller hatch, Vauxhall used the reduction in mass to make a much more engaging and agile car than before; in the larger Insignia, the pay-off is inevitably smaller, but much that the model now does better has its roots in the virtue of weight loss.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
It turns in well enough and with decent steering load but will understeer if you’re too aggressive mid-corner

Most of this is manifested in the way the car feels a mite more limber than its stolid predecessor and therefore easier to navigate at low speeds.

But it is present, too, in a moderately heightened sense of composure, where the longer wheelbase has not overly stifled a modest deftness in the car’s very orthodox front-drive handling.

Entertaining or incisive it most certainly isn’t, yet with thickly accurate steering and no shortfall of directional stability, the Insignia is a broadly easy car in which to push on.

Its real strength, though, made plain enough by the long-legged way in which the model is sprung, is an affable ability to hoover up monotonous motorway miles.

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The benchmark here is the Mondeo’s muffled isolation of its occupants, and although Vauxhall’s flagship doesn’t quite replicate the same degree of benevolent wheel control, it summons up something of the same impassive attitude when it comes to dealing with long-wave intrusions.

Away from the comparative smoothness of three lanes, the Insignia doesn’t always settle so consistently. It has a habit, on 18in wheels, of occasionally bristling at minor surface infractions, even with the FlexRide set to its floaty Touring mode.

But it doesn’t significantly detract from the benign way the Insignia goes about its business, which, as ever, revolves around turning mind-numbing journeys into a tolerable part of the working day.

The Insignia’s outright size and bias towards comfort both make their presence felt when you drive the car to the limit of grip.

The handling precision, body control and cornering balance are all creditable, and although none is convincing enough to make the car feel like much of a sporting option, the Insignia remains stable, controllable and secure with its electronic stability and traction controls disabled.

Body roll gathers progressively with your cornering commitment, to the point where the front wheels begin to scrabble for grip and gently push on through tighter turns.

Other family saloons grip harder, remain more composed for longer, feel lighter and involve more. The stability control begins to feel a bit rudimentary with lots of speed and lateral load in the mix, but it works well enough.

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