Opel Crossland has a dual existence as a small van and a compact crossover. For those who aren’t really looking for adventure-ready family carts, the Crossland offers a good-looking and reasonably spacious vehicle with several useful premium features as standard.
UPSIDE: Impressive looks and cabin material, helpful camera, 6 airbags, decent fuel economy
FLIPSIDE: Lean left armrest, some stations’ erratic reception, sometimes feels underpowered
4212 x 1825 x 1605 mm, 410 L boot space, 16” alloy wheels, 8” touch screen
1.2L turbo petrol engine, 110 hp @ 5500 and 205 Nm @ 1500, Fuel economy: 17.6 claimed, 12 – 14.4 km per litre test economy
Flashback to almost ninety years ago. That is probably a good place to start telling an Opel story. That was when Opel was the country’s largest automobile exporter and had a 37.5% market share in the Fatherland. That was in 1928. Seven years later, Opel became the first German carmaker to produce over 100,000 vehicles a year.
In the global market, Opel has carved a place reserved for what is often known as value premium. Affordable with a push and yet making value sense with some bits of luxury – similar to Volkswagen and GMC. Today, Opel is one of the fourteen brands under the Stellantis umbrella that brought together the PSA group and the Fiat Chrysler Group.
Opel resembles a small van more than an SUV – a good looking van that has a place in the family like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Floating roof, scooped design lines on the side, layered but smart looking front with a glossy smile between two large LED lights, besides the silver roof rails, the black skirting and silver skid plates lend some sportiness to the overgrown hatchback.
The Crossland is 4212 x 1825 x 1605 mm. In comparison, Nissan Kicks is 4295 mm long and 1960 mm wide with a wheel base of 2620 mm.
Opel Crossland could feel a little lost among the massive powerhouses that dominate the UAE automotive marketplace. But less so these days, when even an oil-slick expat thinks twice before scoffing at petrol prices. The 1.2 L turbo petrol engine seems to be a good fit for the crossover that pleases by design and isn’t really meant to inspire by its sound or muscle. While the handling and the uptake of power aren’t always seamless, one would expect the 6-speed transmission to deliver more than the 14 and a half km economy to make up.
In comparison, Nissan Kicks has a 1.6 L engine making 122 hp and 156 Nm.
Cabin and Tech
Good quality materials and underplayed elegance mark the cabin. The controls are all straightforward and the main topics like telephone, music, navigation and settings are accessed by an array of buttons beneath the 8” touch screen. The radio station can be conveniently chosen by sliding your finger along a… slider (what else!) to the appropriate spot. Opel could lost an opportunity to show its premium edge in the music system and the consistency of station signals.
Voice command is available on the steering for change of radio station or cabin temperature but not for navigation settings.
A LONG LIST OF STANDARD FEATURES
Leather steering, Power windows, Cruise control with speed limiter, Manual driver seat 6-way adjustment, Steering wheel controls, 8-inch screen, USB and Bluetooth, 6-speakers, Navigation system, LED headlamps and daytime running lamps, auto dimming mirrors, Front and rear fog lamps and wipers
Top trim only: Dual Zone air-conditioning, keyless entry and push button start apart from roof rails and skid plates
Safety: ABS, EBD, ESC, TPMS, 6 airbags (Front and side), Lane Departure Warning, Parking sensor front and back, Panoramic Reversing Camera
Space and storage
Opel Crossland has decent legroom for all passengers but for the middle seat perhaps, who won’t have a knee hindrance from the AC vent console but rear AC vents would have been an advantage anyway. The slightly vaulted roof makes for good headroom.
Storage in front is mostly distributed among cubbyholes in the door, dash and console. The door side pockets are sort of lean. The console storage with a sliding lid is positioned slightly south of the driver’s reach, below the armrest with the benefit of being accessible to the backseat passengers. The seatback has pouches. Crossland boot has 410 L space which grows to 1255 L with the seat down. In comparison, the T-Roc is slightly bigger with 445 L.
What I found as striking was the thoughtfulness that pushed down the dash-expanse to make vision better for shorter drivers and pushed in the glovebox to add some legroom for the front passenger.
Two trim levels available are Enjoy and Innovation – odd names if you ask me. The former costs a hundred short of AED 89,000 and the latter AED 92,000. The difference is a surprisingly low AED 3,000 and that translates to roof rails, skid plates, dual zone AC, passive entry and electronic start!
In comparison, Nissan Kicks ranges from 68,000 to 88,000 and the top trim has an extra bundle of electronics but not as much of class in the cabin . Volkswagen T Roc starts at 90,000.
WARRANTY: 5 years or 100,000 km | Maintenance: 5 years or 50,000 km
The essential Opel Crossland
A regular family crossover that doesn’t claim inspiring handling but impresses with a benchmark array of driver-friendly features. Good for a second car for urban use that you won’t have to spend anything on, thanks to the 5 year warranty and maintenance.