The second generation version of Vauxhall's Insignia got a last stay of execution in this final facelifted version, which sold between 2020 and 2022. In this form, the car lost its ‘Grand Sport’ moniker and the single five-door hatch body style remaining in the range was usefully updated, featuring a heavily revised engine range, plus smarter looks, a classier cabin and some hi-tech features. Value was the keynote here – or at least it was in the beginning at this facelifted model’s 2020 launch, when it undercut its class competitors on price by a considerable amount. Yet it still broadly matched many of them in areas like ride, refinement and standard equipment. Which, if you’re browsing in the medium range D-segment for a car of this kind from the 2020-2022 era, makes this a contender you still can't afford to overlook.

The History

Earlier on this century, the Insignia would have numbered amongst Vauxhall’s most important models. By 2020 though, this medium range hatch was merely a sideshow to the brand’s SUV line-up, yet still had a small market, mainly in fleet sales. This second generation ‘Z18’-series model got a final round of updates in late 2020, creating the car we’re going to look at here. Which didn’t have a particularly long production life. The Griffin brand’s then owners Stellantis were then talking about reinventing the Insignia as an SUV, but in 2020, it continued as a Mondeo-class hatch.

This second generation Insignia was first launched back in 2017, at which time this hatch derivative was known as the ‘Grand Sport’. Vauxhall rarely bothered with that title afterwards and it wasn’t needed with this facelifted model for body shape differentiation because by 2020, the previous alternative ‘Sports Tourer’ estate body style had been dropped. That’s one thing which hobbled this car in its fleet appeal. Another was the fact that the kind of large discounts previous customers were used to weren’t so easy to get by 2020 from Vauxhall. That was because this Insignia was a General Motors-era design without the Peugeot/Citroen-derived engineering that had characterised more recent Vauxhall models and as such, Stellantis still had to factor in a payment to GM for every Insignia it sold.

Even so, at the launch of this facelifted MK2 model in 2020, it was in its mainstream guises still easily the most affordable model in its segment. And the mid-term update that brought us this particular car delivered us slightly smarter looks and a more efficient engine line-up. It wasn’t enough though, to see this Insignia through its final years and the car left the price lists in mid-2020.

What You Get

In 2020, this facelifted car got a few tweaks aimed at making it stand out a little more in the office car park, most of the changes concentrated at the front. The LED headlamps were new and gained little outer tick-shaped elements, while their daytime running light strips were relocated to the bottom, rather than the top, of the headlight unit so that they visually flow into the chromed central grille strip.

There wasn’t the budget to make sweeping changes inside, so apart from a few extra bits of chrome trimming, there weren’t very many. Which means that in this Insignia, you’re transported back in time to that not so-distant era when car designers didn’t mind filling fascias, dashboards and steering wheels with proper buttons. Still, there are compensations. The brilliantly supportive ‘Ergonomic active’ driver’s seat might on its own really sell this car to us if we regularly commuted over long distances. The central infotainment screen will be either 7 or 8 inches in size, depending on spec and offers the usual features, including ‘Apple CarPlay’ and ‘Android Auto’ ‘phone connectivity. On plusher variants, there’s a further 8-inch screen in the centre of the instrument cluster, the centre of which you can customise with a digital speedo, trip computer info, safety stuff or efficiency read-outs. White-stitched touches and double-stitching along the central part of the dash attempt to add a premium feel. And there’s a reasonable amount of cabin storage. Out back, there’s a 490-litre boot.

What To Look For

The Insignia seems to have a reasonable quality record in this MK2 form, but we did come across complaints of cabin rattles in the interior. One owner found that the door locks failed – and he experienced an ECU wiring loom fault that caused his car to go into limp home mode. It also had a diesel particulate filter fault. As is always the case with mainstream brand ‘D’-segment models, you'll want to keep a look out for thrashed company hacks or ex-hire fleet vehicles. Ensure that the car has been serviced on the button and that the mileage on the service record stamp tallies with what the odometer says. It's also worth checking the car for accident damage, as many cars will be de-fleeted early if they've had a prang and have been repaired.

On The Road

You might be surprised, given the current environmental zeitgeist, to learn that in this model’s 2020-2022 era, nearly all Insignias were still sold with diesel power, though as much as anything, that was down to Vauxhall’s refusal to offer this model with sensibly priced petrol units. The usual Insignia driver’s choice was the 122PS 1.5-litre three cylinder diesel unit, borrowed from the Astra line-up and available with the option of 8-speed auto transmission. For this facelifted model, there was also a 174PS 2.0-litre Turbo D unit for those wanting a bit more performance, also with that same auto option. For the few who wanted petrol power in this car, Vauxhall offered a couple of freshly developed 2.0-litre turbo powertrains, both wedded to a redesigned 9-speed auto gearbox. One develops 200PS, the other (in the top GSi) puts out 230PS, that flagship model featuring an intelligent all-wheel drive system with a sophisticated built-in rear torque vectoring set-up.


Add everything up and you could even see this last-of-the-line Insignia as a rather clever choice in its segment from its era. But in the 2020-2022 period, its time had passed as the industry moved on into an SUV-dominated era of increasing electrification. This is how middle management executives used to drive – and perhaps, for just a little while longer, maybe still should.