The story of my Dad's Vauxhall Insignia estate...

Back when I was younger, my dad used to have a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, and in my opinion, I thought it was one of the best cars my family had ever owned. This is my story about it on Car Throttle. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin…

I remember when my dad used to have a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer CDTi. He owned it from 8th March 2012 until 30th May 2014. It was a 2009 model on an 09 plate, and I remember the very day when my dad came home with it on the 8th March 2012 and I remember being very impressed by it. For starters, I thought it was quite good looking for an estate, especially in the dark pearlescent red colour our car was finished in, which was called ‘Pomegranate Red’ by Vauxhall themselves. I even remember our first drive in it - shortly after we got it, we went to McDonald’s in it to get something to eat.

Dad was very happy with it, and being the Elite Nav specification, it was also fully loaded with all the bells & whistles - dual zone climate control, leather seats (the ones in the front were also electrically adjustable and heated!), HID headlights, colour sat-nav, powered tailgate, the lot! It even had the most powerful diesel engine available in the Insignia at the time - a 2.0-litre CDTi turbodiesel inline-4, with 157 bhp and 350 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox.

I also thought it was very refined and hushed and it rode very nicely on the motorway when we went to visit my grandmother in it when she was still living in Sheffield. And on long journeys I found it to be quite comfortable - in fact, I specifically remember when my dad took me to the Cadwell Park racetrack in it on a couple of occasions, and it rode beautifully.

Plus, before my dad got his Transit work van in May 2014, he used the Insignia for going to work too (some photographic evidence of this can be found below), and during the time he used it to go to work before he got the van, it proved to be rather reliable - in fact, by September 2013, the car had already had 100,000 miles on the clock in just over 4 years since the car was first registered in May 2009, and in just 17 months after Dad picked it up, he had already put over 25,000 miles on it from using it for going to work before he got his Transit! So yeah, like I said earlier, it actually proved to be rather reliable during the time he owned it!

Unfortunately, there was one bit about it that would make me very anxious: its alarm system made use of volumetric interior sensors to protect the vehicle interior, by looking for anything that stirs the air inside the car. But then, seeing as this was the Elite Nav trim - which was pretty much the range-topping trim level before the hot, fire-breathing VXR model - that was something to be expected in such a highly specced trim level.

Not only that, but those volumetric sensors also meant that whenever we needed to stop somewhere while we were taking in the Insignia, my anxiety levels would go through the roof because of them. Also, while waiting in the car would normally be an option for me if we were taking my mum’s Hyundai Santa Fe (for example, the shops, the ASDA store at Celtic Point retail park in Worksop is a good example of this), with the Insignia, I had no choice but to come in with them.

Why? Well, because of these volumetric sensors, I was scared that if I were to wait in the car for them to come back - not that I would have wanted to if we were taking the Insignia - if the doors were locked, the alarm would go off while I was waiting for them to come back due to the sensors tracking every little movement I made inside the car. As a matter of fact, I specifically remember when I was 13 years old, when we had just parked up at ASDA Supermarket at Celtic Point and we were getting out the car, I overheard my mum telling my sister that I didn’t like staying in my dad’s car because of this.

(Yes, believe it or not, I was actually scared of waiting in the car if my family were taking my dad’s car, even at age 13, as my dad had owned numerous cars in the past that had burglar alarms on them…)

However, despite the fact that I was completely terrified of being locked inside it for fear of its burglar alarm going off unexpectedly while I was trapped inside, it was still a brilliant car. So you can imagine my slight disappointment when, on 30th May 2014, my dad decided to sell it to We Buy Any Car 3 weeks and 1 day after getting his Ford Transit work van for his new job at Robson in Sheffield. So when the time came to sell it at the We Buy Any Car branch at the Lakeside Village shopping centre in Doncaster, I went with my dad for one last drive there in the Insignia before it was sold…

And that marked the end of two years of trouble-free ownership of our Insignia. I thought - and still do think to this day - that it was one of the best cars my family had ever owned, as it was reliable, spacious, comfortable, and as I mentioned earlier, rather good looking for an estate…


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