Opel hits the refresh button on Crossland
You can just tell by entering an Opel compound these days that the future looks brighter for them.
There’s a renewed sense of purpose and a sparkle in their eyes among the Opel people I have met since the Gowan Group took over the distribution of the brand in this country.
While the PSA takeover of Opel is one thing and an assurance in its own right of greater investment to come, I believe the real reason for the staff’s confidence in the future rests with some the latest Opel vehicles just launched.
Although many more new models have yet to arrive, the newly minted Corsa and Mokka models demonstrate the huge improvements made in a short time.
While the Corsa and Mokka sit on the PSA Common Modular Platform, the new facelifted Crossland retains the original Opel platform but it is nevertheless steeped in the latest improved DNA abundantly evident in the aforementioned models.
I remember times gone by when a facelift meant a new set of wheel trims and a stripe along the side of the car. Opel has succeeded in giving the Crossland a genuine makeover along with revised suspension and steering, new tech and paint finishes.
With the B SUV segment growing and accounting for 17% of Irish sales, Opel is in a great position insofar as the carmaker has two models, the Crossland and Mokka, competing in the same segment. Now there will be people who will typecast both SUVs - I have already heard some say the Crossland is for the older generation and the Mokka is for the younger audience.
Whether you’ve just finished college or are two decades into the pension, don’t fall for that rubbish. Go look at both cars - only €500 divides them – and make up your own mind as each have attractions that will appeal to all generations.
Featuring the new and distinctive Opel ‘Vizor’ face, which extends in one single sweep across the front of the vehicle, integrating both the grille and headlights, the Opel lightning-flash emblem takes up a central position on the Crossland.
A hallmark on all new Opel models to come, the new Vizor look is married to an equally strong rear visual identity that sees a new, high-gloss black tailgate panel housing the Opel logo and stylish rear lights.
Available in seven different colours, my mid-trim SRI version (other trims are SC and Elite) sported a beautiful two-tone paint job. A white bottom with door and wheel arch protection was matched with a black roof.
A stunning narrow red band, which runs from the front of the A-pillar to the rear of the C-pillar, divided both colours. For me, this really helps the Crossland to stand out from the crowd.
Crisp-looking and compact on the outside, the interior is amazingly spacious while the flexible boot space (410, 520 and 1,255 litres), that has an emergency spare wheel in its footwell and full tool kit positioned behind a flap in the side wall, will satisfy most households.
I liked the red-coloured dash, half-leather effect comfortable seating and easy controls.
The SRI version is available with either diesel or petrol engines (there is an additional electric choice in the Mokka). My test version had a 1.2 litre 83bhp stop-start petrol engine married to a 5-speed gearbox.
While this may not sound like a lot of power, the three cylinders proved more than capable of propelling this crossover at a decent clip. However, I found the car’s five-speed gearbox allowed the Crossland to rev higher than most six-speed gearboxes would.
While it’s not noticeably more vocal, I would have liked to have seen its rev counter resting around 2,000 revs rather than near 3,000 in the 100km/h speed range.
Returning on average 6.8 l/100km (41mpg), I cannot be overly critical of the fuel returns, despite the higher revs.
Graceful and predicable on the road, the SRI version comes very well kitted-out. Just some of the vast list of equipment includes a 7” touchscreen with rear view camera, ambient lighting in the cabin, auto headlights and wipers, 16” black alloys, traffic sign recognition, cruise control and lane departure warning.
Its trump card, however, is the price - €24,295 for the SRI.