Vauxhall Insignia Inverness

The rivalry between Vauxhall and Ford goes back decades, and this year the Insignia chalks up a victory for the Luton-based firm over its age-old rival. So what makes its new estate good enough to beat our two-time class champion?

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Vauxhall Insignia

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Why it won...

The rivalry between Vauxhall and Ford goes back decades, and this year the Insignia chalks up a victory for the Luton-based firm over its age-old rival. So what makes its new estate good enough to beat our two-time class champion?

Space is a key requirement here, and the Insignia’s 540-litre boot speaks for itself. Meanwhile, the Sports Tourer’s extended roofline cures one of the few complaints we have about its saloon and hatchback stablemates – a lack of rear headroom. The Vauxhall also features a clever wraparound tailgate. This houses the rear light clusters, and lifts to reveal low and unobstructed access to the spacious luggage area. There’s no lip to lift objects over, and all SE and Elite models come with a powered tailgate, which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button. Anyone who’s sat inside an estate while the tailgate is slammed shut will appreciate how much the smooth set-up improves interior comfort.

Fold the rear seats, and the maximum luggage capacity extends to 1,530 litres. But what impresses even more than this is the generous standard equipment tally and classy interior, balanced with the Vauxhall’s hugely competitive prices. The Sports Tourer also shares the incredible refinement that we have come to expect from the Insignia. It rivals compact executive models for motorway calm, and proves entertaining to drive on twisty roads.


Commended


Ford Mondeo Estate

Last year’s champion is still a great estate, and looks even better in this bodystyle than it does either as a saloon or a hatchback. In fact, our only complaint surrounds the cost of the car – because three increases from Ford in the past 12 months mean that the Mondeo simply cannot compete with the more attractively priced Insignia.

Vauxhall Insignia