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Opel’s Insignia Sports Tourer proves a wagon doesn’t have to look like a shoebox

Why it matters to you

A new station wagon across the pond could signal Buick's return to the segment.

General Motors’ Germany-based Opel division is filling every gap in its lineup with a crossover, but it’s not giving up on the station wagon. The brand has introduced the long-roof variant of the new Insignia a few weeks ahead of its public debut at the Geneva Auto Show.

The Opel Insignia Sports Tourer is part of a new breed of wagons that puts an equal focus on form and on function. Its stylish design is accented by an elegant strip of chrome trim that gets wider as it runs from the base of the A-pillar to the top of the tail light on both sides of the car, a roof-mounted spoiler, and horizontal tail lamps. The Sports Tourer looks sleeker and more mature than the outgoing model. It’s also up to 440 pounds lighter.

The dashboard is clean and uncluttered, with a horizontal line that emphasizes the cabin’s width. A new version of Opel’s IntelliLink infotainment system headlines the Insignia’s tech features, and the wagon is among the few models in Europe compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. An available panoramic sunroof, an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and heated rear seats make long trips more pleasant for all passengers.

Engine options remain unconfirmed. At this point, all Opel is telling us is that the Insignia will be offered with a wide range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines. Buyers will be asked to choose between a manual and an automatic transmissions, and either front- or all-wheel drive.

The 2017 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer will go on sale in the coming weeks across Europe, though deliveries won’t begin for another few months. The wagon will wear a Vauxhall emblem in the United Kingdom, and it will join the Holden lineup in Australia. U.S. sales aren’t officially planned at this point, but there’s a catch.

The new Insignia is closely related to the next-generation Buick Regal that hasn’t been unveiled yet. Last year, enthusiast forum GM Inside News learned that a Buick-badged version of the Sports Tourer was secretly shown during an annual dealer meeting. Earlier reports indicate Buick’s first wagon in decades could adopt the Regal TourX nameplate. The company is keeping its lips sealed for the time being, however.