But it still beats the Ford Mondeo.

The new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport remains an important car for the British manufacturer – even though the model is now significantly outsold by premium alternatives from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Vauxhall sold 25,000 outgoing Insignia in 2016, significantly more than the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo. Mercedes-Benz, however, sold 44,000 C-Class…

Vauxhall still remains relatively pleased with the large family car’s performance. Although the influx of premium brands into the traditional volume D-sector has taken the Insignia’s overall sales crown, it still leads the volume brand sales chart – and has topped models such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat every year since the replacement to the Vectra was launched.

2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva
2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva

Indeed, even in the final year for the current-shape Insignia, it led the volume D-sector. The Insignia was third, behind the C-Class and BMW 3 Series, but ahead of the Audi A4, the BMW 4 Series, Passat and Mondeo. This is why Britain remains the single largest market for the Insignia, selling twice as many as the next-largest nation, Germany.

The desire to continue this strong sales performance is why Vauxhall has revised pricing for the new Insignia Grand Sport: list prices significantly undercut the outgoing car, by a range average of £1,500: the entry-level petrol car costs £17,115 and the diesel range opens at £18,485. By way of contrast, the cheapest Ford Focus petrol model is £19,635…

Vauxhall’s done this to cut the amount of Benefit In Kind tax company car drivers will pay. Once other savings are factored in, Vauxhall reckons whole life costs could be reduced by as much as £5,691. For a model that sells 9 in 10 UK cars to fleets, this is a significant saving that is expected to significantly boost the car’s appeal within its core market.

“We are not a premium brand,” admits a Vauxhall spokesman, “and we’re not trying to be. Instead, we’re focused on offering upmarket features, design and technology in order to attract premium buyers.” We’ll soon find out how successful this strategy is: the Insignia already has its premium rivals well beaten, but can it reclaim its overall top spot from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

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