The stiff suspension should in theory cause alarm – but in the real world, it doesn’t present any problems. Ride quality is good, and body lean in bends is minimal. Even on stupendously broken surfaces, the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will absorb lumps and bumps like a sponge.
In terms of its engines, a turbocharged 1.5-litre 138bhp petrol is the cheapest. It’s both quiet and smooth, but will feel underpowered for some. A bigger 2.0-litre turbo petrol that develops 256bhp is more commanding, but it does demand a hefty £10,000 premium.
The diesels are worth a look. A small 1.6-litre engine kicks things off with 108bhp, but we prefer the 134bhp variant, which costs just £500 more. However, both models are slower than the entry-level petrol – considerably slow.
A 2.0-litre 168bhp engine is a better bet if a diesel is a must for you. It’s ideal for high mileage drivers who’ll be spending a lot of time on the motorway, and can return 55.4mpg. That’s not bad, but the 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel returns a spectacular 70.6mpg at best, and emits only 105g/km of CO2.
The petrols are naturally more expensive to run, with the entry-level 1.5-litre 138bhp unit averaging 47.6mpg. From there, things get progressively worse.
Inside, there are a few things you’ll immediately notice: How spacious the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is, and how restrained the styling is. If you don’t mind a degree of conservatism, there is a lot to love about this cabin.
It works, feels and looks just fine, the ergonomics are on-point, and comfort is excellent. Build quality is good, and you’d have to look forever to find evidence of cheaper plastics.
If the aesthetics were a bit more imaginative, this interior would be a 5/5 all day long.
That’s because it’s so practical, too. It’s not the biggest in this class, but it uses its dimensions well. Four adults can sit in comfort without hassle, legroom is excellent in the back, there are numerous cubbies and storage spaces here and there, and the boot measures a respectable 490-litres.
Skoda – £20,080 – £36,445
Vauxhall – £17,185 – £28,410