Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (2017 -) Driving & Performance

Review by Adam Binnie on
Last Updated: 20 Mar 2017
Showcasing sharper, edgier styling is the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, a swanky new name for the replacement of the company's large hatchback range. This time around there’ll be no traditional four-door saloon, but this chiselled new look will also appear later in 2017 on the replacement for the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer estate, as well as the new Insignia Country Tourer, complete with a raised ride height and SUV-inspired styling.

3.5 out of 5


  • Power ranges from 110hp to 260hp
  • New 1.5-litre petrol, plus carried-over diesels
  • Six turbocharged choices in total

There are six engines to choose from – three petrol and three diesels – all of which are turbocharged. Only the 1.5-litre petrol is a new unit, the rest are carried over from the previous Insignia.

Petrol engines

First up is the 1.5-litre Turbo – expected to be one of the big sellers in the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport line-up – with two different power outputs, 140hp and 165hp.

Top of the petrol range is a 2.0-litre, 260hp unit with a muscular 400Nm of torque, which comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and torque vectoring all-wheel drive system, which we’ll explain further in the Handling section.

Diesel Engines

Expected to account for the majority of sales here is the 1.6-litre Turbo D with either 110hp or 136hp. While the 110hp unit offers the best fuel economy and CO2 emissions, it doesn’t look particularly inspiring in terms of performance.

We’ve driven the top-of-the-line diesel - a 2.0-litre unit with 170hp carried over from the last car – and were impressed by its punchy mid-range performance. There’s a bit of a delay at low revs and little value in stretching it beyond 4,500rpm, so you need to work the gearbox to keep the engine in this fairly narrow operating range.

Matched to a six-speed manual, we found all of third gear was needed to accelerate quickly to motorway speed. Still, it accelerates smoothly and is nice and quiet on a cruise.


There’s a choice here between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic. The former is standard with most engines and the latter is an option on all but the 260hp petrol, where it is standard.

We’ve not driven the auto ‘box but found the manual to be easy to use, with a light and springy action that slots positively into each gear.

3.1 out of 5


  • Adequate rather than inspiring handling
  • Lots of grip and planted, safe feel
  • Torque vectoring and FlexRide options

This is one area where the old Insignia fell behind its rivals slightly, and the new car has caught up – but doesn’t exactly move the game on. And despite the fact the Mazda 6 and Ford Mondeo are still better to drive, the Insignia Grand Sport’s handling is more than up to the job, it's just not particularly entertaining.

The steering is quite light and doesn’t offer much in the way of feedback, but the car feels planted on the whole and there’s plenty of grip from the front and rear wheels.

Bearing in mind the size of the car and the quality of the ride, body control is impressive. You can induce quite a bit of lean in a fast corner but it doesn’t lurch around or dive badly under braking.

Torque vectoring all-wheel drive and FlexRide

Pick a car with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring and Vauxhall reckons the Insignia will handle even more precisely. That’s because it can send power to the wheel that needs it most, reacting quickly to changing surfaces and conditions.

We’ve yet to sample this system, or the adjustable FlexRide suspension, the latter offering a more comfortable or sporty ride depending on what sort of driving you’re doing.