MANY will already be familiar with the practical Vauxhall Insignia family car, but the range has now been boosted by a punchy new petrol engine - and the results are impressive.

The Insignia Grand Sport hatch, tested here, and the Sports Tourer estate are both now available with a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol unit, producing 197bhp.

This four-cylinder engine adds a new dimension to the already wide range of petrol and diesel engines.

Indeed, the new 1.6-litre petrol engine, with its direct injection turbo, provides a decent turn of pace and strikes a nice balance between performance and economy.

Although you wouldn’t regard this particular Insignia as an especially sporty vehicle, a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds and top speed of 146mph is more than respectable.

It emits 145g/km and returns an official figure of 44.8mpg on the combined cycle, with real world fuel economy coming within a whisker of the quoted figure.

Helped by a slick six-speed manual box, the climb through the rev range feels really smooth.

And the power is available throughout the range of gears so long as you’re above 2000rpm, really coming to life at about 2750rpm.

As for handling and ride quality, the Insignia is designed with one eye on comfort.

The suspension smooths out all but the worst road imperfections and the car always feels stable on the road.

When cornering with more speed, the car feels planted, with body roll well contained and bags of front end grip available.

The steering isn’t especially quick and you wouldn’t go so far as to say the Insignia feels athletic, but its handling is undoubtedly trustworthy and fairly engaging.

In terms of looks, the Insignia has the appearance of a very elegant fastback, now boasting a neater and more classy grille than its predecessor.

Stylised daytime running lights and sculpted doors lend the vehicle further character.

And the car's flowing lines add to the aura of what is, essentially, a handsome car.

Inside, the Insignia has an air of refinement thanks to a simplified, unfussy and businesslike cabin.

There are plenty of higher quality soft-touch materials, hugely comfortable seats and an infotainment system that’s both easy to use and well integrated into the dash.

Crisp and crystal clear sounds comes courtesy of the BOSE sound system.

Interior technology has been upgraded to bring the Insignia to the same level as some of the big German rivals.

There's an eight-inch Intellilink touchscreen with sat-nav available, a DAB digital radio, Bluetooth phone connection, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

With its segment-busting size, it’s no surprise that the interior feels cavernous.

There's ample legroom and headroom in the front, with an ultra comfortable driving position, while a six footer could comfortably sit in the back behind a tall driver.

Headroom in the back is slightly restricted by the sloping roofline, but there should still be no trouble stretching out and getting comfy on long journeys.

Meanwhile, the boot is sizeable and swallowed a large cricket bag with ease, as the picture shows.

The rear seats will also split fold when you need to transport larger loads.

It all adds up to a very versatile and practical car for everyday use.

A couple of years ago, the change of name to Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport indicated a significant change for Vauxhall's family hatchback. Not only was it a replacement for the original Insignia, it was also a bigger, more roomy and more upmarket family car. Indeed, the current Insignia is nearly three inches longer than the previous model.

With its practicality, stylish appearance and tempting price, it's a car that's likely to appeal.

The lowdown

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport Elite Nav

ENGINE: 1.6-litre petrol 200PS turbo

PRICE: £28,075 on the road

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and top speed of 146mph

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual, front wheel drive

ECONOMY: 44.8mpg combined and 145g/km emissions