Although there are aspects to the Insignia VXR cabin we would like to see improved (mainly the finish on some of the switchgear), Vauxhall should be commended for its overall design and ergonomics.
To this, the VXR adds a suitably more sporting steering wheel (thicker and flat-bottomed) and gear lever (thankfully more comfortable than that fitted to the Astra VXR). The dials feature VXR logos, as do the entry side plates, and a black headlining reiterates that this is the most serious Insignia.
One aspect of the regular Insignia we particularly like is the range of seat adjustment, specifically that the driver can get nice and low. The VXR goes further still, its Recaro front seats sitting up to 15mm lower. And providing comfort and support in equal measure, the seats are suitable for both lapping a circuit and long-distance cruising.
Exterior colour and wheel size apart, the only options available for the Insignia VXR are sat-nav and a leather pack, both fitted to our test car. The navigation system is good (if a little slow to zoom). The leather is more a matter of personal taste.
The VXR’s all-wheel drive system does nothing to reduce the impressive interior space. The Sports Tourer has a vast boot. With a minimum of 540 litres, it matches that of the Ford Mondeo estate and offers more than the BMW 340i Touring, Audi S4 Avant and Volkswagen Passat estate.
This rises to 1530 litres with the rear seats folded – still more than the BMW and Audi, if not as much as the Ford and Volkswagen. As with all Insignia Sports Tourers above Exclusiv trim, the VXR gets a powered tailgate.
The saloon and hatchback aren't exactly lacking for boot space either. The saloon offers up 500 litres, while the hatchback provides an additional 30 litres alongside improved access.
As for standard equipment, there is only one trim with an aggressive bodykit, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a sports exhaust and automatic wipers on the outside, while inside there is Recaro sports seats, climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and Vauxhall's IntelliLink infotainment system complete with DAB radio and sat nav.