Despite having a year marked by upheavals, Opel’s new compact SUV, the Crossland X is set to make waves in the hotly contested crossover B-segment, writes Melinda Ferguson
Opel has had a year filled with challenges. Some might call it a string of shocks. Earlier this year, the sale of the General Motors owned German brand after more than eight decades to Peugeot PSA made headlines in motoring media across the globe. But an even bigger shock waited in the wings when in May, General Motors announced plans to pull out of South Africa all together.
Panic set in for local Chevrolet owners, a brand which has been synonymous for decades with “braaivleis, rugby and sunny skies”. While Chevrolet has been put out to pasture locally, there’s been a collective sigh of relief at the news that Williams Hunt, who’d represented Opel at a dealer level has stepped up to the plate as the brand’s local importer and distributor.
To end the year on a high note, Opel’s just released the Crossland X, an impressive and very competitively priced compact SUV in the highly populated crossover B-segment which has up to now been dominated by the likes of the Ford Ecosport and Renault Captur.
The Crossland X is not just a looker with its curves, edges and two tone vibes, its real value comes by way of impressive space. If yours are family needs the Crossland X will surprise with plenty of leg and headroom space for both passengers and driver. Even with rear seats up, 400 litres of generous boot space is available. Inside there are fabulous streaks of French-influenced flair – the Crossland X is Peugeot 2008-inspired – with chrome and soft touch finishes, creating a definite upmarket feel.
On the road the Crossland X feels strong and capable, and even a little sporty at times. It’s got good suspension, and handles surprisingly well on different road surfaces.
Engine-wise, there are two 1.2 little three cylinder petrol engines available in SA. The entry level option – not available to test drive at launch – has no turbo, and only emits 60kW of power and 118Nm Torque. I would imagine this ride is adequate for drivers who aren’t intent on winning at Le Mans. The turbo version of the Crossland X, which I did get to drive around Muldersdrift and surrounds, has 205Nm – almost double the torque of its little sibling and a reasonable 81kW of power which delivers an impressive performance. I got to drive the six-speed auto version, but there’s also a five-speed manual gearbox to consider.
On top of my “favourite feature list” is the all new infotainment system – Opel’s Navi 5.0 Intellilink, with a large 20.3cm touchscreen, 3D map navigation with bird’s eye view and Siri voice control.
Rating: 3 Stars
Opel Crossland X: R265 000
Opel Crossland X Enjoy: R305 000
Opel Crossland X Cosmo: R 345 000
Opel Crossland X Cosmo (auto): R360 000
With three basic trim lines – the 1.2 Crossland X, the 1.2 Crossland X Enjoy and then my personal favourite – the 1.2 Crossland X Cosmo, there’s plenty on offer. The Cosmo is brilliantly specced out with upmarket finishes in the interior, 17-inch alloy wheels and extremely comfortable ergonomic front seats, as well as loads of safety including Advanced Park Assist, Head-up Display, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Driver Drowsiness System and LED headlights.
If you’ve been wondering why Opel’s launched the Crossland X in the same segment as its impressive and more sporty Mokka, I was wondering the same. But after chatting to Kevin Denicker, one of Opel’s dealer boys at launch, it actually makes perfect sense. Create two choices in the same segment to increase customer base and market share. It’s a strategy that I’ll be intrigued to follow when it comes to sales.
All Crossland X models are sold with a five-year/120 000km warranty, as well as a three-year/60 000km service plan, with service intervals at 15 000kms.