Vauxhall Insignia GSI | Spotted

And just like that, it was gone. “The Insignia is stopping for Vauxhall,” UK managing director Paul Willcox told Autocar this week. “We will fulfill orders, but there is no plan in the short-term to replace it straightaway.” While the model might not have carried quite the same weight as its arch rival in the national consciousness – a byproduct, of course, of the ‘Mondeo man’ stereotype – the Insignia bloodline is no less significant, running as it does back through Vectra to Cavalier to Victor. All told, a 65-year family car presence on British roads. It’ll continue to be sold in Europe, and possibly return as an EV in time – but, for now, over here, it’s done with.

It goes without saying that the model was another victim of time and a fast-changing landscape. Truthfully, much as did for the Mondeo, the rot began before crossovers and SUVs turned up, when BMW and Audi used a cheap-money bonanza to artfully encroach on Vauxhall’s territory, snaffling buyers (mostly business users) with an aspirational cocktail of styling superiority and outright badge snobbery. The brand eventually rallied furiously with ever sleeker solutions – the outgoing Insignia makes earlier models look like agricultural equipment – but by then it was all for naught. The D segment was already a husk.

While it’s hard to get overly misty about the ceaseless shift of market forces (indeed, the removal of what was often viewed as a so-so product might strike some as just reward for a very large company’s failure to meet its myriad challenges head-on ), the Insignia and its forbears have easily been around for long enough to earn some retrospective affection from the British public. The anecdotes alone must number in the millions.

Not for nothing, but PH recalls driving a just-launched second generation Insignia Grand Sport from Kristiansand to Kristiansund back in 2017 for a magazine feature, and the car was almost beyond reproach. Sure, even in range-topping 260hp format it wasn’t deeply thrilling – it didn’t even have paddle shifters to suggest it might harbor the faintest intention of edging much beyond the functional – but you don’t need thrilling for four days of Norway in March; you want ease-of-use and sure-footedness and an unfailing sort of comfort. The Insignia had all this in spades. It’s genuinely hard to recall it putting a foot wrong.

There’s one very much like it here. It’s done 40k, is said to have a full main dealer service history and will set you back £ 15,981 – or little more than half what it likely cost when new. No, it won’t make the neighbors jealous – in fact, short of crashing it into a ditch, it’s unlikely to turn heads for any reason. But experience suggests it’ll quietly and confidently get on with the job of being a fairly brisk, appreciably spacious and generally okayish modern family car for many years to come. And while it isn’t necessarily the car you’d choose to drive up to and across Norway’s impossibly majestic Atlantic Road, it’ll get you there just fine.

Specification | Vauxhall Insignia GSI

Engine: 1.998cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
Transmission: 9-speed auto, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 230
Torque (lb ft): 258
MPG: 35.3
CO2: 179g / km
First registered: 2021
Recorded mileage: 6,000
Price new: £ 38,680
Yours for: £ 34,099

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.