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Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi vs VW Passat Estate

Vauxhall has delivered a blast from a past, powdering off a GSi badge 25 years after it initial seemed on a Corsa and requesting it to a Insignia Grand Sport family induce and Insignia Sports Tourer estate. It’s a latter indication we’re contrast here in 2.0-litre turbodiesel form, nonetheless a 2.0-litre turbo petrol will be accessible after this year.

In customary guise a Insignia has won regard for a affordability, space and practicality, yet in a mutation to this hotter GSi version, a cost has been hiked significantly to a indicate where it’s some-more costly than a opposition in this test. So does a Vauxhall make clarity with some-more power, or is a cheaper Volkswagen Passat a improved bet? 


Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi - front


For: Strong engine, lots of connectivity and reserve kit, four-wheel-drive traction.
Against: Firm ride, pricey, not as many luggage space as in a Passat 

This new GSi isn’t accurately a like-for-like deputy for a aged Insignia VXR, yet it’s now a many manly chronicle of Vauxhall’s versatile family vehicle, and a code has left to good lengths in compliance a indication to broach some-more enchanting handling.

That means a automobile gets a ‘Sports chassis’ set-up with a 10mm reduce float height, as good as FlexRide adaptive dampers with a Competition mode as standard. However, even in a some-more gentle Tour setting, roving on vast 20-inch alloys, a GSi is firm. It crashes into bumps and is some-more unsettled on feeble flush roads, and we feel that sitting in a sports bucket seats as you’re changed adult and down some-more abruptly than in a Passat. Competition mode means these traits are even some-more obvious, so Tour is a improved change many of a time.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi - rear

While a Vauxhall’s additional concentration erodes some long-distance cruising comfort, it during slightest means a Insignia handles sincerely well. The GSi-specific steering change has a good weight, yet isn’t utterly as approach as a VW’s. There’s a good turn of hold to call on, and a firmer set-up means there’s fortitude to compare in corners. But this is cracked by a mid-corner bump, since a Insignia spasmodic feels frail when contending with imperfections in a road.

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The engine is punchy enough, and 0-62mph takes 7.4 seconds. Yet a automobile is 226kg heavier than a Passat, during 1,807kg, so nonetheless a 480Nm of torque constructed from low down during only 1,500rpm is clever and gives copiousness of flexibility, it’s not utterly as discerning as you’d expect.

This is hampered serve by a some-more indolent eight-speed involuntary gearbox when compared with a VW’s crook DSG unit. While it shifts uniformly adequate many of a time, holding primer control regulating a steering circle paddles doesn’t outcome in a same frail shifts or clarity of compensation as in a VW.

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi - dash

The gearbox sends energy to all 4 wheels, distinct in a Passat (if we wish four-wheel expostulate on a VW we have to step adult to a 2.0 BiTDI 240 engine), so traction off a line and in sleazy conditions is good. It means we can also gaunt on a automobile harder and make swifter, safer swell in a wet.

With so many pack as standard, a GSi creates bland pushing easy. Nav, Bluetooth, DAB and Vauxhall’s OnStar complement are standard, as are leather bucket seats, meridian and journey control, lots of reserve apparatus and a Bose stereo.

Testers’ notes

  • • Infotainment: Eight-inch touchscreen offers nav and Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge system, and a accessible WiFi hotspot. But graphics aren’t as pointy as VW’s.
  • • Transmission: Eight-speed involuntary box is indolent and hampers your pushing delight in a GSi.
  • • Interior: Quality of cabin materials can’t compare those in a Passat. The Vauxhall gets lots of kit, though. 

Volkswagen Passat Estate 

Volkswagen Passat Estate - front

For: Material and build quality, technology, adequate opening churned with good comfort, outrageous practicality.
Against: Engine can be loud when revved, DSG jerky during low speeds, lower-powered diesel creates some-more sense.

Despite a outcry surrounding a turbodiesel engines, Volkswagen’s TDIs are a famous quantity. The 187bhp 2.0-litre chronicle in this Passat Estate is no different, but, as with many diesels, a opening here comes some-more from a 400Nm of torque.

Even yet a Volkswagen delivers 20bhp reduction power, a 0-62mph scurry time of 7.9 seconds isn’t distant behind a Insignia GSi’s, helped by a reduce kerbweight, and a Passat’s punch in a mid-range is strong, too. Combined with a dual-clutch gearbox, it means a VW has genuine under-the-radar overtaking potential.

Smooth and poignant gearshifts assistance here. Although a delivery is a small jerky when manoeuvring during low speed, like some other VW DSGs are, when you’re on some-more open roads a gearbox switches ratios with hardly any bitch and unequivocally considerable promptness for a diesel family estate.

Volkswagen Passat Estate - rear

This excellence is reflected during speed, since a Passat rides good and is a still cruiser. However, when we rev a engine tough it does evacuate a counterfeit sound, so nonetheless there’s copiousness of opening on offer, drumming into it means you’ll hear a diesel drone.

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Our cinema uncover a GT indication rather than a R-Line we’re testing. It was propitious with Volkswagen’s £735 Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers, that enlarge a car’s ability even further. This choice gives a preference of non-static cessation modes, permitting we to select from Comfort, Normal or Sport settings.

In Comfort mode a extensive wheelbase means it rides rolling surfaces sweetly, with a good loose gait. You apparently feel incomparable bumps and ridges a small more, yet a damping is still plush adequate that it doesn’t interrupt comfort as many as in a firmer Insignia.

Volkswagen Passat Estate - dash

Sport mode tautens adult a physique control, yet unless you’re aggressive nation roads there’s not unequivocally many indicate in selecting it, since a Passat feels a some-more finish automobile in Comfort.

That’s helped by a prolonged list of apparatus in R-Line trim. You get LED lights, a sportier bodykit to compare a GSi’s extended looks, 18-inch alloys, bespoke R-Line trim inside, adaptive journey and meridian control.

Lots of reserve tech is fitted, while a eight-inch touchscreen infotainment complement comes with copiousness of smartphone connectivity, sat-nav and Volkswagen’s modernized Active Info Display digital dials.

Testers’ notes:

  • • Instruments: VW’s 12.3-inch Active Info Display offers digital dials that can uncover nav functions, pardon adult a infotainment touchscreen for other duties.
  • • Transmission: Dual-clutch seven-speed involuntary box is a Passat’s tip arms and helps boost a car’s performance.
  • • Cabin: Build peculiarity is adult to a common VW standards, and a automobile provides a extended operation of tech and reserve kit. 


First place: Volkswagen Passat Estate

Volkswagen Passat Estate - front action

The Passat competence not be as quick as a Insignia GSi, yet a opening isn’t distant away. That it’s cheaper to buy and run, some-more gentle and even some-more unsentimental outweighs a slight shortfall in speed as these cars need to cover many bases. The VW does so some-more effectively. 

Second place: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi - front action

The GSi has clever gait and handles well, yet it doesn’t change this with comfort utterly as effectively as a VW. It’ll also be pricier to buy and run, and it won’t be as practical. The Insignia creates many clarity as lower-powered, reduction focused and cheaper family transport.

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