Vectra wins US Car of the Year | CAR Magazine

Vectra wins US Car of the Year

Published: 08 January 2007 Updated: 26 January 2015

It’s enough to make Jeremy Clarkson’s hair curl – even more. A US version of the Vauxhall Vectra – the Saturn Aura – has won North American Car of the Year.

The car derided by TV presenter Clarkson won the award, following a vote by 49 enlightened motoring hacks. The gong is equivalent to the European Car of the Year, won by Ford’s S-Max in November. The Saturn Aura is a blinged up version of the Vectra, the dull but worthy family car unveiled for Europe in 2001. Opel-Vauxhalls are being sold in the States rebaged as Saturns, with the Astra hatch, Vectra saloon, forthcoming Antara mid-size SUV and the Sky – the production version of the VX Lightning concept car – all available under the Saturn banner. ‘This is a great day for General Motors,’ said Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak.

Sister brand Chevrolet won the Truck of the Year award, for the Silverado pick-up. Whatever next – a Chrysler winning the European Car of the Year? It’s not unprecedented, although the crown was clinched by its French subsidiary Simca for the Horizon in 1979.

By Phil McNamara

Group editor, CAR magazine