The Vauxhall Insignia has always been a smooth-running, pleasurable car in the upper medium sector. Now it’s got a whole lot quieter writes Ian Strachan.

I have been test-driving the Insignia fitted with Vauxhall’s 170 bhp 2.0 litre CDTi diesel engine. It’s the latest unit in the firm’s “whisper” diesel range. While it’s probably exaggerating to describe it as whispering, it’s certainly very quiet. Modern diesels are much quieter than their chattering predecessors, and this unit moves that process onto a new level.

The design of the Insignia is strong, well-balanced and pleasing. Its eye-catching, smoothly-rounded profile and assertive road stance set it apart from many of its competitors.

Inside too, the Insignia design is attractive as well as practical, with more-than-adequate leg and headroom. The award-winning leather-trimmed heated seats are comfortable in the extreme. .

I test drove the diesel powered CDTi Insignia in Tech Line spec, with satellite navigation and engine start/stop as standard which comes in at £22,984. Standard equipment includes smart alloy wheels, satellite navigation with touchscreen controls, steering wheel mounted audio controls for the DAB digital radio and MP3 player, automatic headlights, cruise control, all-round electric windows, electronic climate control and electrically adjustable heated door mirrors.

The 2.0 litre diesel unit is refined and doesn’t feel raucous when worked hard. It manages an impressive 65.7 mpg for mixed driving, and pulls well throughout the range of its slick six-speed manual gearbox.

Ride and handling is comfortable and confident, with no suggestion you are driving a big car. Instruments are clear and come to hand easily.

Safety levels are high, and so is carrying capacity, and there are lots of useful storage spaces around the cabin.

The Insignia is firmly placed in the best sellers list and the signs are it’s going to stay there.

Motoring Reviews are bought to you courtesy of Midlands Business News and its Motoring Editor Ian Strachan of Ian Strachan Communications