The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2019 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
Vauxhall’s large family car, the Insignia Grand Sport, offers incredible value for money. Some versions are so affordable that they match cars in the class below, yet the Insignia has a huge amount of space on offer.
The back seats are where this incredible level of room is most apparent. The legroom is so good that only the tallest passengers’ legs will touch the seat in front, and headroom is excellent, thanks to the low-set seats.
Headroom is similarly plentiful in the front and the driving position is also pretty good. For a big car, visibility isn’t too bad, either, so the Vauxhall is easy to drive. Then there’s the generous and versatile 490-litre boot, while the huge hatchback opening means that getting suitcases or any other big items in and out of the load bay is easy.
The cabin has an unfussy design and is solidly put together. There’s plenty of equipment regardless of trim level; even the entry-level Design model gets a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included, which means you can use your smartphone for satellite navigation if necessary. In fact, the infotainment is great, working with the level of simplicity you want in a family car, and you don’t have to pay extra for this functionality.
The Insignia Grand Sport’s smooth ride, comfortable seats and strong refinement mean that it makes a great motorway cruiser, but once you get the hatchback onto some twistier roads, there’s fun to be had as well.
Its steering is light but also direct so it makes the most of the grippy, balanced chassis, while the engine line-up proves that diesel power isn’t dead, with punchy motors that mean you can hustle the Vauxhall along.
There are 4×4 and automatic versions of the Insignia available, but stay with the front-wheel-drive manual models to get the best value for money. We’d also stick to diesel power because it suits the car’s relaxed character; you don’t need to use lots of revs to make progress, which improves the refinement.
Our choice Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 Turbo D BlueInjection 136PS Design Nav (£21,645)
Keep to the lower reaches of the trim range to get the best value for money, because the Insignia Grand Sport is all about space and comfort for less cash. The 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel in this model emits 121g/km of CO2, so it’s a decent company car choice, and more than 50mpg should be easily achievable.
Commended Skoda Superb
The Skoda Superb is just as spacious as the Insignia; we have no complaints about how much room it offers, while the boot is huge, too. It features clever storage spaces in the cabin, as well as a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines. The Superb’s infotainment system is also particularly slick.
If you’re concerned about the running costs of your next car, consider a Prius, even with an update set to arrive soon. Hybrid power means real-world fuel economy is sky-high, and the Toyota is practical and comfy, too. No wonder it’s a popular choice for minicab drivers who spend all day behind the wheel.
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