Who said Estate cars had to be ugly? The new Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is one of the most handsome, aggressively designed Estate cars that’s ever been on the market. It’s also practical, rewards you with comfort and won’t let you down regardless of the conditions.
Offered as an alternative to an SUV, the car has its work cut out if it’s to revive the much-maligned and rapidly dwindling Estate sector. However, there is so much going for it, including an elevated ride height, loads of standard kit and four-wheel-drive.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer review.
On The Road
There is just the one engine available at the moment, although a second, twin-turbocharged diesel is expected in 2018. You can either wait until then, or give the current 2.0-litre, single turbocharged diesel engine a shot.
It’s a solid enough engine that develops 168bhp, and can get you from rest to 62mph in 9.3 seconds if you opt for four-wheel drive. Without it, the car does 0-62 in just 8.6 seconds. Pair the Vauxhall up with the automatic transmission, however, and that figure changes again to 8.8 seconds, while the car maxes out at 135mph.
There is lots of power available low down in the rev range, and the engine is remarkably quiet and refined. It has a sharp turn of pace, but as we’ll find out it is fairly expensive to run.
In terms of the actual driving experience, there is a lot to enjoy here. It’s not as sporty as its sibling the Insignia Sports Tourer, but what it lacks in agility it makes up for in comfort and a softer suspension setup.
It’s also not as composed as its sibling, and there is noticeable body lean in bends. Adaptive suspension is standard, but even if you flick it to Sport mode it won’t become especially sporty. That said, it feels more composed than its SUV rivals, thanks largely to its lower centre of gravity.
As we mentioned, the car looks fantastic. But its assertive design isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. Rather, it’s complemented by an optional grippy four-wheel-drive system that turns the car into a respectable off-roader. It’s no Land Rover, but if you need it to tackle muddy country lanes, it won’t let you down.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer Interior, Design & Build
The best way to describe the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer’s interior is comfy and snug, two warm words if ever we’ve heard them! The steering wheel and driver’s seat are fully adjustable, which makes it easy enough to get into the perfect driving position as you prepare for a long journey.
The driver’s information screen is flanked by clear instruments, the infotainment touchscreen is nicely positioned above the instrument panel, while the various knobs and buttons are all of a high quality. The best thing about the cabin is that it’s so fuss-free, while the quality of the materials gives it a real upmarket feel.
Sure, it isn’t the most eye-catching of designs, but buyers will appreciate how easy it is to live with.
It’s practical too. The back seats are more spacious than most of its competitors, and head and legroom is good. The boot, meanwhile, measures a respectable 560-litres, and can be extended to 1,665 by folding down the rear seats. Folding them flat is easy, while a powered tailgate makes the boot more usable.
There are numerous other storage spaces here and there, including a reasonably-sized glovebox, a pair of smaller storage spaces in your centre console, central cup holders and some decent door bins.
The car can double up as a tower, but you’ll need to specify the £700 Towing Pack.
Equipment & Safety Of The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
Standard kit is generous, with all models getting a sat-nav, a digital radio, an 8” infotainment screen, the brand’s OnStar concierge service, comfort front seats, keyless entry and start, cruise control and climate control.
Leather seats are optional, as are LED headlights (£1,000), heated front seats and a heated windscreen (£410) and a head-up display (£300).
Is the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer safe? It’s pretty much brand new and hasn’t yet been put through its paces by Euro NCAP. We expect it to match its smaller hatchback sibling and land all five stars, while its safety kit includes lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert.
Costs Of The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
Prices for the new car start out from £25,635 and rise to £27,535. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from £418 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the sole turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine develops 168bhp and returns 51.4mpg if you stick to two-wheel-drive and the manual transmission. Opt for the automatic ‘box, and that figure drops to 47.1mpg. It drops even more if you add four-wheel-drive, with the Insignia returning 43.5mpg at best while emitting as much as 172g/km of CO2.
Meanwhile, models demand £140 in road tax per year.
Pros and Cons Of The Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
Head and legroom are good, the boot is spacious, and the car makes for a good tower.
Ride quality is aided by a soft suspension setup, while seats provide comfort and support.
Grippy Four Wheel Drive
The optional four-wheel-drive system gives the car all-weather ability.
It won’t bleed you dry at the pumps, but there will be days when you struggle to return 40mpg.
Just One Engine
Another is in the works, but at the moment the choice is limited to a single diesel.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer vs Audi A4 Allroad vs Volvo V90 Cross Country
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer review.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer vs Audi A4 Allroad
The new Audi A4 Allroad is a strong rival to the Vauxhall. It comes with a smart four-wheel-drive system, a classy interior, and it rides well.
In terms of how it drives, it’s more relaxed and comfortable than it is sporty. This is not a bad thing of course, and it handles better than the standard A4. The raised right height means the suspension is softer, and although it isn’t much fun, it’s mostly composed.
There is noticeable body lean in bends, but switching the Drive Select System to dynamic goes some way to reduce this. Meanwhile, lots of grip provided by the four-wheel-drive system.
Just the one petrol engine is available. It’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit that develops 248bhp. That’s enough to rocket the car from rest to 62mpg in 6.1 seconds, when paired up with the smooth 7-speed dual-clutch auto ‘box. Buyers who fancy the idea of a part-time four-wheel-drive system will be attracted to this engine, as the three diesels all get full-time 4WD.
Speaking of the diesels, there is a 2.0-litre 187bhp variant, as well as a pair of 3.0-litre V6 engines that develop 215 and 268bhp. All of them are quick, with the 2.0-litre engine dispatching 0-62 in 7.8 seconds, the 215bhp V6 doing it in 6.5 seconds, and the 268bhp variant completing the same dash in 5.5 seconds.
All are smooth, quiet and brisk, and they don’t vary all that much where fuel economy is concerned. The 2.0-litre 187bhp diesel returns 57.6mpg, the 215bhp V6 returns 55.4mpg, and the 268bhp V6 returns 53mpg.
The sole petrol offering averages 44.1mpg and emits 147g/km of CO2.
Inside, the Audi A4 Allroad is a cornerstone of excellence. Design flair is a bit lacking, but the high-quality materials are presentable and give the cabin its upmarket image. The seats are super comfortable, visibility is just fine, and fit and finish is excellent.
A rotary knob controls the MMI infotainment system, a 7” screen is standard, and the dash is free from clutter.
Despite all the sophisticated airs, the car is also practical. There is just as much interior space as there is in the Vauxhall, the raised ride height makes access a piece of cake, and two adults or three children will have plenty of room in the rear.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 505-litres, which is some 50-litres and more smaller than the Vauxhall. However, you can fold the rear seats to extend it to 1,510-litres, the square shape makes it easy to use and there is barely a loading lip.
Vauxhall – £25,635 – £27,535
Audi – £37,820 – £43,850
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer vs Volvo V90 Cross Country
Vauxhall and Volvo share a number of brand values, including reliability and safety. As such, the new Volvo V90 Cross Country is in many aspects a similar car to the Insignia. However, the Volvo gets a bit more engine choice.
Not much, mind, but there is a pair of diesels and an engine on offer. The smallest of the two diesels are a 190bhp D4 model that can get you from rest to 62mph in 8.8 seconds. It’s our pick of the range, and while a punchy 235bhp D5 diesel offers more power and can do the 0-62 dash over a whole second quicker, it doesn’t feel necessary.
The sole petrol engine is a T6 model that develops an enormous 316bhp. That’s enough to haul the car from a standstill to 62mph in 6.3 seconds. But while those numbers are impressive, what’s less impressive is the way the engine delivers its power. There’s a noticeable delay between hitting the accelerator and getting the power, and it will frustrate enthusiastic drivers.
In terms of how the Volvo V90 Cross Country drives, it’s fair to say that it isn’t the most driver-focused car of this type. Instead, it’s comfortable and relaxed, while its four-wheel-drive system offers a reassuring amount of grip.
Its handling is neat and tidy, there is a bit of body lean in bends but not too much, but the steering will be too light for some buyers.
In terms of its running costs, the D4 model is the most frugal, and can return 54.3mpg while emitting 138g/km of CO2. The D5 diesel emits almost the same CO2 and returns a smidgen less economy. The racy petrol engine, meanwhile, returns 36.7mpg at best, but this is a wildly optimistic figure.
Inside, the Volvo’s cabin impresses mightily. It’s super comfortable, insulation is excellent, and the improved suspension setup means that ride quality is superb. Air suspension is optional if you want to be treated like royalty.
Without it, this is still a lofty car. The design is fresh and modern, we love the portrait-mounted touchscreen, while dual-zone climate control and sat-nav are standard on all models.
Is the Volvo V90 Cross Country practical? Of course. The boot measures 560-litres and can be extended to 1,526, and four adults can sit in comfort even on longer journeys. But it’s really a car for families, with two adults and three children getting a huge amount of interior space to enjoy.
Volvo – £40,905 – £50,855
Verdict Of Our 2017 Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer Review
Vauxhall still hasn’t got round to building a large SUV, and this is the closest they’ve come. It’s not quite the real deal, but it’s an aggressive estate that’s got plenty of space and usability, high levels of comfort and a well-appointed cabin. Moreover, the new Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is also good off-road and represents a solid choice.
- How Reliable are DS Cars? An Honest Assessment of the DS Brand - 10th August 2018
- Ford Focus Electric vs Nissan Leaf vs Volkswagen e-Golf: Review & Comparisons - 17th April 2018
- Review of the BMW i3 Rex - 16th April 2018