Just like the 1990s, the times of the wildly-successful Opel Frontera (aka Isuzu Amigo and Isuzu Rodeo) are long gone. Instead, Opel’s only SUV is the Antara — which itself was rebadged as the Saturn Vue in North America and almost became a Buick before Mark Reuss cancelled the project. And while the Antara is a solid crossover, it’s nowhere near as competitive as some of its foremost rivals from Toyota, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and VW.
According to sources, Opel plans to rectify the situation by replacing the Antara with two separate crossovers: one will be smaller than the current Antara, while the other will be larger.
The GM Authority Take
This is very welcome news. We’ve been long-time proponents of the theory that General Motors’ mainstream brands are at a fairly large disadvantage when it comes to compact and midsize CUVs because neither offers a third row (except for the Chevy Captiva in Europe). As such, finding out that Opel plans on offering two differently-sized utes to replace the Antara has us hoping that they’ve finally understood that, when it comes to CUVs, one size doesn’t fit all.
Let’s hope that the smaller crossover will truly be a compact unit (perhaps based on the Delta platform) while the other a real midsizer with a 3rd row option (underpinned by the Epsilon or Theta architectures). This kind of approach would put Opel in line with Chevrolet’s European offerings, where a smaller Captiva offers seating for five while a larger Captiva offers seating for seven. In fact, Holden offers the same crossover lineup in Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. Now that’s a strategy we at GM Authority can fully support. Given the continuous alignment of Opel and Buick, perhaps the Tri-Shield brand will come to offer the same vehicles in North America?