Tag: Opel

Opel Crossland X – Launch Drive.

Opel Crossland X

We drive the Opel Crossland X

The Mokka X having proved itself to be a worthy contender to the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Suzuki Vitara, and Renault Captur, will now be joined by the all-new family focused Crossland X. The recent accusation of the Opel brand by the French through the PSA group has resulted in a culmination of minds and the two have promised an onslaught of a total of nine PSA based models in the pipeline before 2020. The first of these collaborative efforts is the Opel Crossland X, based on the same  PF1 platform that underpins the Peugeot 2008. The Crossland X joins the ever popular B-SUV segment and thus aims to be a serious contender in this very competitive game.

Opel Crossland X

Interior

The inside of the Crossland will be rather familiar to the owners of modern Opel products. Much like that of the Corsa, the interior is simple and comprehensive with standard equipment like the Intellilink 4.0 system, which offers a 7-inch touchscreen screen, Apple CarPlay and the usual Bluetooth and USB connectivity options to supplement the radio. The list of standard features on the Crossland also include Hill start assist, attractive LED driving lights, Auto headlights and traffic sign recognition. The Enjoy model adds auto wipers, rear-view camera, front and rear PDC and front fog lamps.  

Opel Crossland X

The top spec Cosmo completes the package with a list of driver aids and safety assistance systems that Opel calls a Safety Pack. This encompasses Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Breaking, Blind Spot Assist and Driver Drowsiness systems. Finally, the upgraded 8-inch Intellilink 5.0 system with navigation replaces the smaller unit.

Engines

The base Crossland will be the only atmospheric engine in the line-up. Offering 60kW and 118N.m at 2 750 rpm, from a 3 cylinder 1.2-litre engine. The higher spec models will gain some turbo induction and boasts  81kW and 205N.m. The naturally aspirated motor is said to return 5.2l/100km and 4.8l/100km with the turbo engine. All models are linked to a 5-speed manual baring the 6 speed automatic Cosmo. All models drive the front wheels exclusively and highlight the family orientated market it aims to occupy

Opel Crossland X

Driving Impressions:

On launch journos were ushered into the Crossland experience with the full range of models on display, and ready for testing. TheMotorist was presented with a rather handsome machine in the form of the Enjoy variant of the Crossland X. The overall dimensions suggest it to be a bit of an elevated SUV like drive, yet it doesn’t make the car feel large or cumbersome. The Enjoy will likely be the most popular model given it falls above the lower spec base Crossland X and in between the Cosmo and Automatic Cosmo, whilst not feeling sparse in equipment and spec.

The launch route was a good combination of the typical traffic and city driving that the Crossland X will mostly be subjected to. Longer, faster single lane country roads that are a part and parcel of any road trip were also included. The Crossland X offers a very well dampened suspension that offers a rather comfortable ride and well-weighted controls that are light and ideal for this class of vehicle. The transmission action is smooth and the clutch is light and easy to modulate in traffic. Shove from the engine proved to be ample, with the turbo model pulling nicely all the way up to the national limit, whilst also doing a good job of providing enough torque to overtake slower moving traffic. Space in the rear is impressive, given I can sit comfortably behind my 183cm self, and have enough head and shin room even in this position.

Summary

Overall the drive, build and feel is impressive from the not so little Opel and the package it offers will prove to be highly competitive if consumers give it the attention it deserves.

Opel Crossland X Pricing In South Africa

The based model Crossland X starts off pricing at R265 000, with the Enjoy raising this to R305 000. The top Spec Cosmo comes in at R345 000 and R365 000 for the auto. All models are sold with a 120000km/5 year warranty and a 3 year/60 000km service plan.  

Opel Astra Sport – The Safe Man’s Car.

 

I have been driving the Opel Astra for around a week now and have no significant problems with it, its comfortable, somewhat stylish and has lots of features and tech; It even won car of the year.

The Opel Astra Sport features a 1.4 Turbo motor producing 110kw, and once again, it’s a good engine, pretty nippy and 3rd gear especially pulls nicely.  The rear of this vehicle has heated seats for passengers and the cabin is spacious, likewise the boot. The exterior styling has received mixed reviews from the people I have spoken to; it looks better in some colors than others. But once again, it boasts a modern design with sharp edges and lines which seem like the going look nowadays.

A feature I liked on the Astra is the entertainment system,it’s easy to use and even when I’m listening to music from my iPhone, I can change to a radio station by hitting the pre-stored stations which show at the bottom of the screen. Easy and straightforward.

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So, in reality, it’s an excellent vehicle. But, my conclusion is that this is a safe man’s car. A car for people who don’t have any interest in cars, What do I mean? Well, I’m sure you have heard the term “play it safe” and that is exactly what this car feels like. It doesn’t inspire me, it doesn’t have a spark, I wouldn’t say its boring, but its pretty close.

For me, a vehicle needs to have a personality; there must be something about a car which makes you enjoy driving it. It might not be the comfiest car to drive or the car with the most tech, but it has something that you enjoy or connect with, then it doesn’t matter. For me, the Astra lacks that vital feeling, that character.

For others, a car is just a tool to get from A to B, and if you’re a person who looks at it from that perspective, then the Astra is a proven family hatch, it’s one of the best cars you can buy in its class, if not on the road. Your journey will be easier, safer and much more connected in an Astra, and that is a fact, It just depends if you are a car person or not.

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Blind date with the new Opel Astra.

Blind dates aren’t always a bad thing: Driving the new Opel Astra

We’ve all been here before; “She’s great!”, “He’s wonderful”, “You’ll love her” are all the cliché phrases used when you’re being set up with the “perfect” person. Only this time for us, it wasn’t a person we were being set up with, but rather a car. The phrase used to get our attention was “European Car of the Year 2016”, a phrase that almost forced us to like the new Opel Astra. Well before we declared our undying love for the car based on a title, we needed to consider a few things. First of all, we’re not in Europe, we’re in South Africa, a country that has the a different motoring outlook to other parts of the world. We don’t have great public transport here, which means that for us, cars aren’t just about features and options. The way a car makes us feel and the way it makes us appeal to others is a big factor for our consumers. Hence why in the segment that the Astra operates in, Volkswagen has dominated for a very long time.

South Africa’s love affair with VW stems from the early days of the Citi Golf and it has grown stronger over the years, so much so that for many people, driving a Golf is an accomplishment, especially for a young buyer. So the new Astra is up against a car that is more than a car, but rather an item of aspiration. Okay, enough about Volkswagen, let’s talk about the reason why this article has being written, the new Opel Astra.

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Is it really that good?

The long and short of it is yes, the car is not only good, it’s great.  It does more than any other car in its segment from a technology point of view. For instance, where have you heard of a large hatchback that has lane keeping assist? The new Astra has it. Where have you seen a car in this segment that features Matrix headlights that can switch off specific sections of the lights, so as to not blind oncoming cars? The Astra has it. The car is even able to tell you your following distance in seconds between you and the car in front of you. It’s sheer brilliance. The rest of the stuff is pretty cool too but not completely new. Nowadays you can expect a touch screen infotainment system and Bluetooth in cars like these, fortunately the Intellilink system in the Astra has that too. What the new Astra does also have is the very cool Apple CarPlay system, which allows you to operate your cell phone apps via the infotainment system.

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What makes the new Astra good is that it’s new, completely new. As a result, the car is years ahead of its competitors in terms of technology and safety. This is an exciting car because it has birthed a new generation of smarter and more efficient hatchbacks. Speaking of efficiency, the new Astra uses a 1.0litre three-cylinder engine as its entry level model. This engine produces 77kW/170Nm but provides enough poke for city drivers who will spend most of their time stopping and starting again. Next up is a 1.4 turbocharged engine which produces 110kW/230Nm. We’ve sampled the same engine in the Adam S and Corsa Sport. In the Astra, it makes for a balanced power-train for a car of its size. The daddy for now is a new 1.6 turbocharged engine that makes 147kW/300Nm. This engine is great but we honestly think in the real world, the 1.4 is the one to go for as you get good poke at a good price, whereas the R407 000 price tag for the 1.6 turbo may be a bit rich for some.

Well, is it a keeper?

Driving the new Astra is what would determine if the hype is really true and we’re happy to report that the car really is good behind the wheel. A shaving of weight from the old car has helped  create a balanced car that can easily be driven eagerly by anyone whilst still maintaining a comfortable ride. A 400km trek from East London to Port Elizabeth was enjoyable and at times even exciting. Following a fleet of Astra’s for a long period of time was even a pleasing visual experience since the car has some fine lines on it.

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The question is do you take the new Astra to meet your parents? Well, as mentioned, if your folks wanted you to marry a smart, good looking person with a good family history, then the new Opel Astra would make for a good fit. Now it’s a matter of seeing how the competition will respond to this car, especially since consumers now expect more and more from smaller cars. All the best to the manufacturers, for us as consumers though, it’s a good time to be alive.

 

Model Price
1.0T Essentia R 254 000
1.0T Enjoy R 284 300
1.4T Enjoy MT R 328 000
1.4T Enjoy AT R 338 000
1.4T Sport MT R 354 000
1.4T Sport AT R 374 000
1.6T Sport MT R 387 000
1.6T Sport PLUS MT R 407 000

 

 

Opel Corsa Sport: Baby boy racer.

We wish Opel’s reasoning as to why the Corsa Sport has wind-up windows in the rear was because of weight saving. That’s the only logical explanation we can think of, even if we know it’s not true. At least with that explanation, boy racers can use it as a bragging tool at meet-ups when the topic comes up.

It was a very annoying thing to realise, mainly because by the time we realised it, we had talked up the Corsa Sport so much to our peers. How great it drives, how economical it is and how well built it is are but a few of the praises we gave it until someone piped up and said “why doesn’t it have electric windows in the back?”. Then silence occurred, “your face has no electric windows in the back!” we wanted to say, but that wouldn’t have worked, so we had no come back.

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That’s the thing about the new Corsa’s, they’re very good so you end up growing too attached to them. Maybe it’s the looks, maybe it’s the comfortable hugging seats or maybe it’s because as a normal day to day car, it does such a fine job even when you’re driving like a civilised person. The Corsa Sport is not the fastest thing to come out of the brand and competitors like the Suzuki Swift Sport provide a better cheap thrill. But, thrills only last so long, as long as you have an empty road which isn’t often nowadays.

So it’s when you’re doing everyday things that you come to really appreciate the Corsa Sport. It’s when you need to overtake, or when that more luxurious German brand tries to move you off the right lane, but you decide to show him/her that you too can keep up. It’s also when you look at it, and those Bi-Xenon light’s give you a wink and that front end smiles at you. It’s then that you appreciate that this is a good all round package, the same feeling we had with Sunny, the Sport’s 1.0-litre sibling.

Maybe that’s why Opel didn’t bother with the rear electric windows and instead gave us PDC, reverse camera, City Steering and touch screen infotainment as standard. They knew that as irritating as it will be, it won’t be a make or break factor. Maybe it will be for non-boy-racers who knows? But for those that enjoy some fun behind the wheel, they can just say it’s for “weight saving”. So if you’re into a little excitement but at the same time want a good looking, quality car, then perhaps the 110 kW from the Sport’s 1.4-litre turbo is for you. At just under R260 000, it’s well priced for a junior hot(ish) hatch.

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