Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Mondeo has got a new rugged look. The Insignia Country Tourer is a sportier version of the popular saloon and features a variety of new features that make it more appropriate for the road less travelled.

 

So, what exactly makes the Country Tourer different to its brother? Well, firstly, it’s all-wheel drive and has more ground clearance, which is a big advantage on those seldom-driven country roads. It’s also a lot lighter than the regular Insignia which improves its fuel economy, makes it easier to rescue from a tough spot, and gives it an exciting burst of speed.

 

The body has seen a few upgrades as well. With comprehensive protective cladding, as well as front and rear skid plates, it’s definitely up to taking a bit of punishment. It makes the idea of taking the Country Tourer off-road a lot easier to stomach.

 

The car is capable of adjusting torque to each wheel separately. This helps prevent understeer on tight corners and doesn’t require any driver intervention. As well as adjusting torque, the Country Tourer can proactively adapt the dampers, throttle response, and steering, based on the road conditions ahead. It does this by analysing information provided by sensors, which are located around the body of the car, and changing its approach depending on the data it receives. The idea of a ‘smarter’ car certainly isn’t a new one, though, so it’s expected that Vauxhall would begin to move further in this direction.

 

The look of the Country Tourer is certainly in-line with the Insignia model as a whole, but Vauxhall have made it clear that they want it to complement their other Grand Sport and Sports Tourer models.

 

Vauxhall have clearly got families and farmers in mind with the increased boot space, as well as being able to open the tailgate without touching the car, using keyless technology. With 1,665 litres of storage space in the boot, you’ll be hard-pressed to run out anytime soon! Along the same lines, they’ve increased the overall space in the cabin as well by increasing the wheelbase.

 

It also comes with a lot of handy gadgets, depending on the package you buy, including USB connection, parking assistance, and even wireless smartphone charging.

 

The Insignia Country Tourer will be debuting this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. All that remains to be seen is whether or not it can compete with other rugged, all-wheel drive, family cars such as the Subaru Outback or the BMW 3 series. Only time will tell…