Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (2009): first pictures

Published: 14 August 2008

These are the first pictures of Vauxhall’s third Insignia model, the estate. But estates are boring and dull, so Vauxhall has dubbed this the Sports Tourer, not to be confused with Renault’s Sport Tourer. The Sports Tourer will debut at this autumn’s Paris motor show and come with a choice of seven engines and the option of front- or four-wheel drive.

Sports Tourer? More PR nonsense me thinks…

Certainly, but thankfully Vauxhall isn’t make silly claims about the active lifestyles its customers might lead. But Vauxhall has compromised the new car. The old (whisper its name) Vectra estate sat on a longer wheelbase than the saloon and hatch. It meant its initial launch was delayed but it also meant more space inside. This time around the Insignia Sports Tourer uses the same 2737mm wheelbase and Vauxhall isn’t claiming class-leading load space. But it does mean the new car will be available next summer, just a few months after the saloon and hatch

But if the space inside has taken a hit things look better on the outside. The Insigina Sports Tourer is 80mm longer than the saloon or hatch. ‘This is a stand-alone model and not simply an estate version of the saloon,’ says Mark Adams, vice-president of GM Europe Design. ‘In fact, all the bodywork aft of the B-pillars is unique to the Sports Tourer.’ These includes an Audi Q7-esque wraparound tailgate and Ford Focus CC-style tailights but the overall look is very smart.

What about these new engines?

Vauxhall isn’t releasing any details but alongside the existing five-unit line-up in the saloon and hatch we know the Sports Tourer will come with a more powerful diesel engine and a smaller capacity turbocharged petrol engine. An EcoFlex variant will also be available, as will the same tech found on the saloon and hatch, including adaptive lights and the Front Camera System that reads road signs.

Excited by the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer or more and more drawn towards a compact 4×4? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy