The Vauxhall Insignia is the bestselling large car on the market, beating the upmarket BMW 3 Series in the sales stakes. With sharp styling on its side and a spacious interior, the Insignia makes a sound family car. However, the car loses value more quickly than some rivals, meaning that it’s the more affordable versions that make the most sense, as top-of-the-range models lose a large proportion of their value when it comes to selling on.

While this means that the Insignia isn’t the best option for new car buyers planning to own the car for a short period of time, it does mean that nearly new models can be very cheap to buy. We’ve trawled through the Insignia range to find the models that make the most sense for those after value, low running costs and strong performance.

The smart choice for value

Though prices for the Insignia rise to more than £31,000, barely half that figure can bag you a well-equipped model with punchy performance and reasonable fuel economy. We’d opt for the Insignia 1.4 140 Design, which weighs in at £17,449. Despite the reasonable price tag, this petrol model returns good claimed fuel economy of 53.3mpg and can accelerate to 62mph in an acceptable 10.9 seconds.

Annual car tax for this model will set you back just £110 per year, while all the key equipment you could want comes as standard. Even in entry-level trim the Insignia includes a digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB input for your phone or MP3 player, cruise control, climate control and 16-inch alloy wheels. Electric rear windows are notable by their absence, however. Though this model will still lose a large proportion of its value as it ages, its low purchase price makes it a wiser buy than most other Insignias.

The smart choice for low running costs

If low running costs are top of your list of priorities, you’ll want to consider the Insignia 2.0 CDTi 140 Design. Thanks to CO2 emissions of just 98g/km car tax is free under current rules, while official fuel economy stands at an impressive 76.3mpg, meaning that those who cover more miles than average should be able to recoup the £1,885 premium over the petrol model above.

Acceleration is similar to the petrol version above, too, with the Insignia sprinting to 62mph in a reasonable 10.5 seconds. The level of equipment is identical to the model above, as well, with useful kit like cruise control, climate control and a digital radio all included in the price.

The smart choice for performance

If you’re after more punch from your next car, the 2.0 CDTi 170 SRi provides a good balance of power and economy, with this model hitting the 62mph mark in a nippy 9.0 seconds. The car should prove capable around corners too, thanks to its lowered sports suspension, while fuel bills should be low thanks to official combined fuel consumption of 65.7mpg.

A more powerful 2.0 CDTI 195 BiTurbo is also available, and beats the CDTI 170 to 62mph, taking 8.7 seconds. However, a premium of £2,820 for the BiTurbo makes it a very poor value option for a minimal performance gain – especially as economy drops to 60.1mpg.