• Nov 17, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia

Looks like there won't be much of a fiesta for Ford this year, as the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia has captured the 2009 European Car of the Year award by just one point over the hot little hatch with the big blue oval on its snout. Scoring 321 points to the Fiesta's 320, the Insignia claimed the victory with the bronze going to the Volkswagen Golf (223 points). It's the first win for Opel in 22 years, although the European branch of GM has scored four runner-up spots in the past. You might even say this is payback for Ford, which snatched the top prize from Opel in 2007 when the Ford S-Max nipped the Corsa by two points in the balloting. According to the jurors, the Insignia won this year based on its "artistry with German precision" good looks, active and passive safety features, comfort and a wide array of efficient engines including that 280-hp turbo V6. Options such as the Opel Eye that reads road signals, FlexRide suspension and nine-mode Adaptive Forward Lighting were also cited. Hopefully this car will eventually show up Stateside as the next Saturn Aura. Thanks for the tip, everyone!


[Source: Car of the Year]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yay! I got my prediction right! Serously though, why wouldn't Americans buy this car? I think if it were competitively priced it could compete well with similar cars and really help GM.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The lede photo looks like a new Maxima with a nose-job for the better.

      WHY can't we get this here now?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @jv2k
        Seriously? weve been hearing that bogus arguement for years; no one is buying the cars GM already has and now look where they are.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because no one buys them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Zoran...

        The current Aura is the Americanized Vectra. Aura sales (54,033 so far in 2008) are not that bad considering it has two similar American GM stablemates built on the same platform. The Malibu with lots of press and more dealerships(151,429) and Pontiac G-6 which also has more dealerships and lower prices(126,494). That is 331,956 Epsilon cars sold in the US by GM.

        Aura numbers are better in 2008 than :
        Mazda 6 (46,277)
        VW Passat (26,565)
        Subaru Legacy (19,243)
        Kia Optima (42,450)
        Mercury Milan (27,535)
        Nissan Maxima (40,955)

        Entire Mini brand (45,966)
        Entire Hummer brand (23,861)
        Smart Car brand (20,392)
        Entire Saab brand (19,337)
        Entire Porsche brand (22,503)

        2/3 of all Nissan models
        Every Scion model
        Every Acura model
        Four Honda models
        Eight Kia models
        Six Lexus models
        Five Toyota models

        Aura numbers are similar to:
        Entire Volvo brand (63,745)
        Entire Suzuki brand (77,999)

        There are definitely numerous car models out there with much less significance than the Saturn Aura.

        As for the Astra... yeah it is imported and sales are horrible for 2008. I think some of this is due to the high currency exchange rates earlier in the year and the fact that Astra fuel mileage numbers are not significantly better that the Aura.
        • 6 Years Ago
        We will get it here, as Saturn Aura.

        I've been hearing the same story about Astra and Vectra "why can't we get it here." And when we finally did - nobody is buying them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These Opel cars don't sell over here because they are sold under the Saturn brand. When I was stationed in the UK the Vauxhall Antara caught the attention of my wife but when we moved back to the US she didn't considered the almost identical Vue because of the few dealerships, iffy brand perception and possible low residual value compared to Honda or Nissan. So, maybe GM should market these cars under the Chevy brand and start eliminating brands with poor public perception.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I need this car. One of the best sedan designs this decade. No lie.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yet GM and Ford don't want to bring over their European models because, "they're not profitable enough". What a joke, GM, Ford and Chrysler deserve to fall apart, they make terrible cars and try to offload them onto blindly patriotic Americans. What a Fing joke.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So, your saying the new Malibu, CTS, MKS, Fusion, etc. etc. are terrible? Even the worst from GM and Ford are far from terrible. Maybe lackluster, but never terrible.

        Okay, maybe there has been a couple exceptions in past years, but name me ONE car that GM or Ford make right now that can be considered terrible.

        I'm with you on Chrysler though, quite a few of their cars offend me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you really saying that GM and Ford are taking the same strategy with their European portfolio? That Ford *isn't* bringing their models here in the next year or so? That they all make terrible cars? Really?

        Your first post here was on October 16 so maybe it's just because you're new here, but please, know something about what you're saying before you post it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pokey, you certainly have a point, but there are a few dregs left. With Ford for example, you have the Crown Victoria and Town Car. Granted, they are fleet only now, but these cars haven't been competitive since the 1990s. Same can be said for the Ford Ranger too. And what about the Sport Trac. Even given its lackluster makeover a couple of years ago, it is not competitive in 2008. That said, the rest of the Ford line is at least lackluster to very good.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Opel won the E-CotY at least twice before, in '85 with the Kadett E and '87 with the Omega A, a year after Ford won it with the Scorpio.

      Here's the official list of previous winners: http://www.caroftheyear.org/pages/Previous.htm

      I must say that I rather like the Insignia, although I'd prefer they brought back the Omega instead, which was actually about the same size. The same goes for Ford too, why super-size the Mondeo when the Scorpio was exactly what they need: a larger, more up-market and luxurious car made to compete with corresponding models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Plus, both of those cars had the proper RWD layout.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The solution is simple, if we want cars from Europe brought to the U.S. the Federal Government should write a new law to ditch cafe and change our safety and emissions standards in the U.S. to match Europe. If it's good enough for Europe, whey isn't it good enough for us, why do we need stricter standards than our counterparts across the ocean? How expensive is it to write new laws versus a bailout?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like a good future Saturn if it's not too far in the future and if there is a Saturn. One of the best designs of the decade, Torrent? Not sure you can go that far. (http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2008/10/2009-vauxhall-insignia-and-all-its.html)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I said one of the best 'sedan' designs. Especially for the masses, it looks real classy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry My vote goes to the Ford Fiesta... It's design and expectation goes a lot further then the Opel/Vauxhal/Saturn Insignia.....

      My Pick:
      1. Ford Fiesta
      2. Alfa Romeo MiTo
      3. Opel/Vauxhal/Saturn Insignia
      4. Volkswagen Golf
      • 6 Years Ago

      The Saturn brand might not be the right one to sell the Insignia. Maybe it would sell better a a Buick.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It would be just like the Astra, bring it here bring it here, then when it gets here nobody would buy it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        God forbid GM will do something intelligent, it might hurt their chances to get a bailout.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i would drive this car bring it to the states NOW
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