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Our Fleet Test Drive: Vauxhall Insignia - final report

Date: 25 September 2014   |   Author: Tony Rock

After six months in our care, it's the end of the BusinessCar road for the Vauxhall Insignia, a vehicle with bags of undoubted fleet appeal

In the opening report for our long-term Vauxhall Insignia I said that the facelifted car was as fleety a vehicle as any BusinessCar long-term test writer could wish for.

Class-leading, sub-100g/km emissions and official economy of 76.3mpg put it to the top of its sector, while the fleet-friendly Tech Line trim offers the latest technology, so there's no need for corporate drivers and businesses to add options and therefore fork out extra in P11D price or lease rates and BIK.

It is also practical. The boot space, which measures 530 litres with the seats up and 1470 litres with the seats down, coped with a family week away at grandma's over Christmas as well as sprucing up the garden in spring, without breaking into a sweat, although this practicality didn't extend to the cabin, which was lacking in all-round storage. What storage there was included an armrest with a USB port, but unfortunately on more than one occasion I managed to get my iPod lead stuck in the catch, and was only able to open the armrest again with great difficultly to free the lead.

Other glitches included a couple of yellow warning symbols indicating problems with the electric parking brake, and electronic stability control, which after flashing up on two separate occasions, never appeared again.

Another problem I encountered wasn't an electronic fault but was a fault of design. The IntelliLink system enables you to control the in-car infotainment in a variety of ways, including voice recognition (more miss than hit), a haptic mousepad (groan), steering wheel-mounted controls (hooray) and touch-screen (impressive). All preferences are catered for, but my feeling is that this choice should be rationalised and that the car would be better for it.

Vauxhall said of this Insignia that it was addressing "the rational elements that underpin decision-making", and claims whole-life cost reductions running into the thousands, which led me to wonder whether the company was sacrificing some emotional appeal for hard-headed fleet pragmatism.

While efforts have been made to take care of the former (I like the swoopy profile, and one member of the team commented that the back end of our facelifted car was much better than the predecessor's, while BusinessCar has previously written that the suspension and steering tweaks have improved on-road performance), it's not quite exciting enough to drive or desirable enough to look at both inside and out to make me yearn its departure - although if I was a fleet manager, I might now be shedding a tear. And that's kind of the point.