2010 Saturn Aura Previewed

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Times of London has a test of the new Vauhall/Opel Insignia, possibly destined for the US as the 2010 Saturn Aura, and the Mondeo-fighter apparently isn’t living up to the hype. What is the Times’ biggest beef? The beef, apparently, as the Insignia weighs a hefty 3,300 pounds, some ten percent more than the Vectra it replaces. Times scribe Andrew Frenkel is not amused, noting that the Insignia “also uses more fuel, pumps out more CO2, has slower acceleration and a lower top speed. They call this progress.” Much of the review gripes about the Insignia’s placement in the Euro-market, but it does note that the Vectra replacement does look terrific. Too bad that will likely change when if it comes Stateside, since the program to bring it as a Saturn is on hold. Handling and ride quality receive high marks, though engine performance and economy are blunted by the weight gain. One of the biggest letdowns noted by the Times is the poor interior build quality, with its “preponderance of cheap, hard plastic” and several functionality issues ranging from wiggly handbrake to disappearing (!) mirror control assemblies. Frenkel fears that beyond attractive looks and “keen pricing.” the Insignia doesn’t offer anything the Mondeo doesn’t, particularly in the crucial categories of dynamic abilities and efficiency/running costs. If its sleek looks are lost in translation to the Aura, it might not be too early to call Saturn’s last best hope DOA. If they bring it here it all.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Oct 06, 2008

    Nice looking car that could lose 400 lbs just by building the subframe and frame with aluminium. More fun to drive and help with some extra money for the car payments. Why doesn't GM get this: less money spent in maintenance, running costs more money can be spent on the original price of the car. Good for GM, Good for customer and sooo bad for the mean people selling us the oil

  • Dr Lemming Dr Lemming on Oct 06, 2008

    Compare that hind end to the new Acura sedans; much, much nicer. What's with that weird side sweep, though?

  • DeanMTL DeanMTL on Oct 07, 2008

    On this side of the pond 3300 lbs is practically anorexic for a sedan...

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 07, 2008
    On this side of the pond 3300 lbs is practically anorexic for a sedan… On either side of the pond it's not bad. The Jetta (never mind the Passat) weighs not a lot less than that, the (very large) North American Accord only a whisker more in four-cylinder trim. Most of the others fall around the same mass. European cars are, by and large, not really that light and haven't been for a while. If you want lightness, you really have to look to Japan. Case in point: the aforementioned Jetta.