Vauxhall's latest Insignia Tourer is in showrooms now and it’s a cracker.

If you have been driving the old Insignia for a while and think you know the model you’ll be in for a shock when you slip behind the wheel of its successor.

Not only is it lighter in weight, has more interior space and is quieter but it also features a host of excellent creature comforts – some of them optional extras – that make it a very easy car to live with.

Despite no real change to the overall length of the car – although the wheelbase has been extended – the new model looks sleeker and more sporting thanks in part to a reduction in height of 29mm, the fitting of silver roof rails and twin chrome strips which run from front to back.

The use of lightweight materials means the car is now up to 200kg lighter, helping to improve handling and performance.

And a re-designed luggage area has been increased by 135 litres giving the car a massive 1,640-litre capacity - enough to suit even the most demanding of estate car drivers.

Inside the new Tourer is impressive, with an up-market dashboard with eight-inch touch screen, leather sports seats, more head and leg room for rear seat passengers and a host of nice touches.

My 1.6-litre SRi, for example, had heated seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel and heated front screen.

It also came with a head-up display so you could read everything in the windscreen from your speed to what radio channel you were playing without having to take your eyes off the road.

By any standards the Tourer is a long car but parking sensors front and back and best of all a rear-view camera made light work of parking in tight spots.

On the road the 136 ps diesel is beautifully torquey and remarkably quiet. It’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox which is one of the smoothest I have come across in a long time.

The gearing makes it a very relaxed car for long distance touring with 70 miles per hour coming up at just 2,000 revs in sixth.

Conversely when you need the acceleration just drop a couple of gears and this car is only too happy to deliver.

And if you want a bit of peace and quiet from youngsters in the rear seats on long journeys Vauxhall’s OnStar provides Wi-Fi for up to seven devices on the move so there‘s no more “are we nearly there yet?”

My test car also came with the new IntelliLux matrix headlights, a £1,010 optional extra but well worth it for superb night driving vision thanks to 32 LEDs which light the road ahead brilliantly without dazzling oncoming drivers.

The new Insignia Tourer is a great all-round package which offers refined comfort, good performance, plenty of space and sensibly priced motoring with the promise of more than 62 miles per gallon.

And while that’s the official figure I managed to achieve some 58mpg without even trying.

Fast Facts

  • Model: Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer SRi Nav
  • Price: £23,240
  • Mechanical: 1598cc, 136 bhp 4 cylinder diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed gearbox.
  • Max speed: 131 mph
  • 0-62mph: 9.9 secs
  • Combined mpg: 62.8
  • CO2 emissions: 119 g/km
  • Insurance: 16E
  • BiK: 22%
  • Warranty: 3 years / 60,000 miles