New Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer 2018

The GSi badge makes another special appearance.

After 25 years of the first GSi badge appearing on a Vauxhall, the letters which symbolise the manufacturer’s high-performance models are back and this time it’s on the range-topping version of the new Insignia. It faces rivals like the Ford Mondeo Estate and the Skoda Superb – but will Vauxhall’s latest GSi prove its worth on the market?

The Insignia GSi is available in two body styles: The Grand Sport hatch and the Sports Tourer estate, also a choice of two engines: a 207 bhp bi-turbodiesel or a 256bhp single-turbo petrol four.
Due to it including sports suspension, the GSi sits 10mm lower than a regular model and its 20-inch alloys, bespoke bumpers and sills, LED headlights and pristine exhaust pipes all make it stand out from lesser Insignias.
Inside, the model includes excellent leather sports front seats and the flat-bottomed steering wheel are also unique to the GSi, as is the head-up display.
The overall cabin is very spacious, with there being miles of space in the back. It’s roomy in the boot too, with 560 litres of capacity available. That’s more than in a Ford Mondeo estate (500 litres), although a Skoda Superb estate’s boot offers an additional 100 litres.
The engine is a 2.0-litre Bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel that develops 207bhp and 354lb ft of torque sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission (this is the first to ever be fitted to a Vauxhall). There’s also a twin-clutch differential at the rear axle – this allows more torque to be sent to the outside rear wheel during cornering.
When you first drive off in this ‘sports model’, you might think what is all this fuss about. The eight-speed automatic transmission is quite slow to get the car moving, so it’s not that neat in stop-start traffic.
However, if you’re a motorway driver, this may be a car option for you. As things start to improve, but the GSi never feels particularly fast, this is due to how the auto box responds – however, Sport mode speeds things up or you change the gears manually.
The sports chassis, on the other hand, is much more impressive. The GSi certainly has a slightly firmer feel, but it’s far from uncomfortable. Thanks to the FlexRide adaptive damping system, drivers have various modes to choose from (these being, Standard, Sport and Tour), but we found Normal to be the best balance for everyday use. The settings also affect the response of the steering, gearbox and throttle.
When steering the vehicle, it is overly light and floaty around the centre and doesn’t provide anything at all in the way of feel, meaning you’re never confident that the front end will turn in as much as you need it to when you throw it into a corner. It’s also quite a slow rack, so the need for large inputs further detracts from the big estate’s sportier claims. Selecting Sport mode does remedy this somewhat by adding a bit more steering weight, but there’s not really anything more in the way of communication to be found by doing so.
Should you buy one?
This is a brisk, stylish, massively practical and generously equipped family estate for a reasonable £34,475 asking price.
Interesting Facts:
Price - £34,475
Engine – 2.0-litre 4-cylinder twin-turbodiesel
Power/Torque – 207bhp/480Nm
Transmission – Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-60mph – 7.4 seconds
Top speed – 144 mph
Economy/CO2 – 39.8mpg/187g/km
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