2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Review

Estate cars are, or used to be until SUVs became the norm, an Irish love affair. My father still longs for an estate whenever he is in the market for a new car. Sure, we all love a fast estate too right? Well, let me introduce you to the 2018 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer. Although it’s far from fast, it’s handsome, practical and affordable. Should you make it a priority buy for 2018?

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Ugly Saloon but Pretty Estate? 

I drove the 2018 Opel Insignia Grand Sport last year. I thought Opel had done a good job but I was still unsure of the styling, mainly the front overhang. This is sorted out in the estate version though with the rear end being much fuller, naturally. The car still has sleek, sweeping lines given its estate boxiness. The rear doors are long and extended, this translates to great legroom in the rear for passengers. The face is in line with the rest of Opel’s 17-long car family. The wide grille sits comfortably between the optional Intellilux LED Matrix headlights.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Is It BIG Enough?

Inside, I’m immediately cocooned by the low seating position and the raised centre console. The leather seats are comfortable and supportive. Although I didn’t do any long journeys, I could tell that the seats would be a pleasant place to spend some miles. However, the road noise might be a problem. The space to the rear is very good, not on par with the Skoda Superb but it would be a close second. The infotainment up front is typical Opel but this is no bad thing. Standard across the range is Opel OnStar. This safety feature-cum-concierge service allows you to call Opel’s call centre if you are experiencing problems with the car or if you simply need to find the closest petrol station.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Interior

An estate is all about practicality, especially when it comes to the boot. The Insignia Sports Tourer has 560 litres on tap which can be extended to 1,665l with the rear seats collapsed. Compare this to the Skoda Superb Combi and it will give you 100l more for the former and almost 300l more for the latter. Up front, the centre console has two spacious cup holders, a choice between a centre console cubby and a large glove box for your phone and not to mention decent sized door bins.

No More Dreadful Notchy Gearshifts

As for the drive, I was pleasantly surprised. I had gone from driving the 2018 Opel Crossland X the week prior to the Insignia and couldn’t get over that the two cars came from the same company. The Crossland’s notchy and characterless gearshift was replaced with a smooth 6-speed manual mated to the 1.5 petrol in the Insignia estate. The new petrol unit produces the same 140hp as the old 1.4 unit but has upped the torque to 250Nm. Having a petrol in this size car was very refreshing and I didn’t notice the lack of a diesel.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Boot

I mainly spent the week doing suburban and urban driving. The large size of the car didn’t put me off driving in the city. In the test car, there were safety features such as front and rear parking sensors and pedestrian recognition. This helped while negotiating the tight Dublin streets.

€9,000 Worth of Options…

The test car I had was priced at €39,585 including more than €9,000 worth of options, quite excessive. The 2018 Opel Insignia range starts at €27,350 for the Grand Sport and €28,550 for the Sports Tourer. Would I have the Insignia over the Skoda Superb? For the refreshing interior over the Superb, yes. The Skoda uses a lot of Volkswagen parts so it doesn’t feel as special or as unique. But if it’s all about space, then the extra 100l shouldn’t be overlooked.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Ireland

Would I Buy One?

Overall, the 2018 Insignia is a very good attempt for Opel. They are moving in the right direction, especially shying away from the diesel. Only time will tell for what the PSA buy over will have in store for the German brand. But, I would put the Insignia Sports Tourer high up on my list of cars to consider for 2018.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer sunroof

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