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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