• Jul 31, 2006
The next-generation Opel Vectra Wagon will be imported and rebadged as a Saturn, according to a published report. It'll join the Astra (the next Saturn Ion) as the second Opel to be sold in North America as a Saturn. Sources from GM Europe have stated that the annual sales goal for the new wagon will be 50,000 units, and that it should appear in Saturn showrooms in '08 or '09.

The car will be built on the next-generation global Epsilon platform and is expected to feature V6 power and all-wheel-drive. Everyone's mum on naming, but it's not outlandish to guess that it'll be called the Aura Wagon or something similar. According to AutoWeek, Saturn marketers are still deciding how to present the car to its new audience. It'll be positioned as either an upscale wagon or a soft-roader a la the Audi Allroad.

If we had things our way, we'd position it as a premium wagon and bolster that image with a hot Red Line variant later on. Let the next Vue (likely another Opel import, the Antara) assume the mantle as Saturn's off-roader.

No matter how GM decides to market it, the new Saturn wagon will give them a stylish, practical hauler that should have some appeal in a marketplace that has seen fuel-cost-fatigued drivers move away from SUVs.

Note: Current Vectra Wagon pictued

[Source: AutoWeek]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yay! Finally a good looking GM wagon. The old L-series was a piece of crap. The Malibu Maxx isn't a true wagon, either.

      This looks good, as long as the quality is solid, and they don't price it out of sight, it should be a popular alternative to SUVs and to the import wagons, that can be expensive to operate over time. Swedish car parts are only less expensive than German car parts, which isn't saying a lot. I like the Legacy wagon, I just don't need AWD and don't like frameless windows, either. The Mazda 6 is nice but a little too small. Not a bad car at all though.

      GM needs to get the Aura and Aura wagon launched pronto!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, in a couple years Saturn won't be making a vehicle I don't love. What an awesome addition to an awesome new lineup.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Yeah, Opels are seen as boring cars. It just goes to show how tasteless Americans are when it comes to cars".
      by Proud Japanese

      I agree 100%. Thats why Toyota does so well here in the States. One ulgy Camry!
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13

      True, all of the Japanese and Korean makes started out as scrappy manufacturers of relatively poor quality cars, but what I was saying is that it would be better in the short term (and really no worse in the long term) to import a foreign brand instead of waiting for 2-3+ generations of cars before Saturn gets the same level of respect as Toyota or VW. Kind of like Saab, I guess - Better to have Saabs in the US or better to have the 9^3 sold as... say... an Oldsmobile? Such a shift represents a significant departure for the brand and it'll take some time to get used to it and for sales to pick up based on the name.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry to go against the enthusiasm felt for this range but here in Europe we think these things are dull, being only bought as company cars, virtually no-one buys one of these, new at least, and if they do its with at least 25-30% off list price. Basically they're terrible to drive, if you saw the recent Top Gear episode they pitched this with the 2.8 V6 turbo against the Mondeo ST220, whilst the Vectra was quicker in a straight line it just understeered & understeered, and this is the performance version! The Mondeo was considered vastly better and is perceived as quite an underrated car.

      Personally I'll stick to BMW's with a real suspension design, buyers here already vote that way with the 3 series being the best selling vehicle in this class.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "An export version would not require any additional expenditure," he said, because "for the first time (the Vectra) is based on a global component architecture."

      I find it quite amazing that in all these years GM (and Ford) have yet to implement so-called "global component architecture" throughout the wide range of products offered both here in the states and overseas, particularly in the small and mid-sized car lines.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good news for all Aura fans. I just dropped off my Vue at the Saturn dealer in Troy MI for service and they had at least 8 fully loaded Auras for sale.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to disagree with JB, I had an LW300, and loved it. The room was great and it handled well. The v6 was from Saab if I am not mistaken. This one looks pretty good as well, but I would think they'll tinker and goof it up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Saturn's known for making plastic small cars - I don't think there's too much brand value there."

      Toyota used to be known for the same thing - small, cheap, plastic-y cars - but they evolved, just like Saturn is trying to do.

      GM would be very smart to turn Saturn into the American badge for Opel automobiles.

      Speaking of which, Ford should market its international cars under the Mercury badge as well.

      naif
      • 8 Years Ago
      bowser, gm is making all the new saturns out of opals.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good. They don't even need to change the names. Saturn Vectra, Saturn Astra. Sounds fine. The less they change, the better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We are on Saturn #4 after seven VWs with an 07 VUE hybrid and am looking to replace our LW2 before too long. An Aura wagon would be just right diesel, gas or hybrid.
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