Vauxhall's idea of a crossover for those who don't like SUVs.

The first-generation Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer made its belated debut years after the launch of the Sports Tourer upon which it was based. Things are going to be different with the new one. Vauxhall won’t wait that long to launch the rugged derivative as the light amount of camouflage on this prototype suggests an official reveal will occur soon – maybe even with an online reveal as early as August, ahead of a potential debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Compared to the regular Sports Tourer, the beefed-up variant will be visually distinguished by extra plastic body cladding. You already can see its shape on both front and rear wheel arches, and there’s going to be more of it on the bumpers. All the camouflage in the world can’t mask the prototype’s increased ground clearance, which will actually represent the most significant upgrade over the standard wagon.

Set to go up against the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, the midsize estate will again offer an all-wheel-drive layout, potentially with a cheaper entry-level front-wheel-drive version to keep CO2-conscious fleet drivers happy.

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To follow car manufacturer logic, if you need that raised ride height and don’t want to hop on the very crowded crossover/SUV bandwagon, models like the Country Tourer are the perfect solution. Not only do you get the extra grip that comes with AWD (fitted with torque vectoring), but it's also spacious inside the cabin and can carry 520 litres even with the rear seats in place. Fold them down and the cargo capacity jumps to 1,638 litres.

Plus, it helps ensure Vauxhall is at least vaguely represented in the midsize crossover sector, while we wait and wait for the brand to ready its own rival to the Skoda Kodiaq, Ford Edge and Volkswagen Tiguan...

Photos: Automedia

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