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Driven: Vauxhall Insignia 1.6 200hp. Image by Vauxhall UK.

Driven: Vauxhall Insignia 1.6 200hp
The most powerful petrol engine available in the Vauxhall Insignia is this 200hp 1.6 turbo. How does it fare?

   



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Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 200hp Elite Nav

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Good points: new petrol engine is punchy and reasonably smooth...

Not so good: ...but it's not the best engine for the lovely Insignia, especially at the price as tested

Key Facts

Model tested: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport Elite Nav 1.6 200hp Turbo Automatic
Price: Insignia range from 20,045; GS Elite Nav 1.6 200hp from 30,845, car as tested 32,340
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 153g/km (VED Band 151-170: 530 in year one, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 39.2mpg
Top speed: 144mph
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Power: 200hp at 4,700-5,500rpm
Torque: 300Nm at 1,650-4,500rpm
Boot space: 490-1,450 litres

Our view:

There's no point doing a huge, lengthy review on the Vauxhall Insignia here, as we've driven it enough times for you to peruse any of our other articles to see what we think of the Griffin's flagship. Go to our pieces on the handsome Sports Tourer, the decently quick and thoroughly charming GSi or the rugged Country Tourer (now, sadly, discontinued) and you'll see we're big fans of this car in many guises. It's a really excellent big D-segment machine, one that showed - along with the Astra - that Vauxhall/Opel was on the right track, long before PSA got involved and snapped the conjoined carmaking group up.

So all we're testing here is a new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, equipped with a gasoline particulate filter (GPF) to make sure it meets the most stringent Euro 6d-Temp emissions standards that are due to come into force in September this year. This direct-injection unit is available in both the Grand Sport hatch, as tested here, and Sports Tourer body styles, where it doles out a useful 200hp at 4,700-5,500rpm with 300Nm of torque smeared across a 1,650-4,500rpm band. This promises pace and parsimony in equal measure: the former dealt with by a top speed of 146mph and a 0-62mph time of around 7.5 seconds; the latter courtesy of the claimed capability to do up to 44.8mpg combined with CO2 emissions of just 146g/km. Prices start at around 25,610 for a Grand Sport SRi VX-Line Nav with this new DI turbo motor.

So is this the engine to pick? Well... no. It's not bad; in fact, it's very good, with a clean, linear delivery of its resources and just about enough low-revs punch to make you forget that it's a mere 1.6 litres in capacity, but it doesn't sound particularly nice when it's extended around the rev counter, while the six-speed automatic feels dated in an age of eight-speed torque-converter transmissions and dual-clutch gearboxes. Its responses are a touch sluggardly, while the actual shifts aren't as imperceptible and silky as those experienced in key rivals. Add in an overall economy of 33.2mpg, recorded over 214 miles of mainly motorway driving (the best return was 37mpg on a longer motorway run), and we'd still come down on the side of a diesel Insignia: either the 150hp motor for those looking for the best economy, or the 210hp motor in the sparkling GSi. Especially as the last GSi we drove was only two grand more than this.

Alternatives:

Ford Mondeo 1.5 EcoBoost ST-Line: from 25,200 and only has 165hp, to the Insignia's 200hp. Mondy was once streets ahead of its comparable Vauxhall, but we'd have the Insignia now without question.

Peugeot 508 180 PureTech EAT8 GT-Line: costs from 32,430, so about analogous to the Vauxhall, but the Peugeot looks more dramatic outside and in. Smooth 1.6-litre THP petrol delivers slightly less power but EAT8 is slicker than Insignia's auto.

Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI 190 DSG Sportline: pricier at 34,295 than the Vauxhall but the Superb is about the only thing in this class that'll make the Insignia feel a bit small. Drives beautifully and is incredibly refined, so probably edges ahead of the Vauxhall.


Matt Robinson - 17 Apr 2019



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2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.

2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.2019 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 200hp 1.6 UK test. Image by Vauxhall UK.








 

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