Starting Price: €23,250
Price as tested: €28,050
- Honest-to-goodness compact family Crossover. Good value, well-equipped and nice quality.
- Overshadowed by its much prettier Mokka sibling.
WHAT IS IT?
The new generation Crossland is Opel’s compact Crossover and this time around, the model has gained some of Opel’s more flamboyant styling, at least at the front, where there are touches of the brand’s new Vizor styling, although it looks much tamer than the striking new Mokka. It is a little bit of a puzzle as to why the brand offers both the Crossland and the Mokka, two cars that do quite similar roles in effect. The Mokka even has a similar starting price, at just €45 more than the Crossland but with a more powerful 100hp version of the 1.2-litre petrol engine (the Crossland gets 83hp at entry-level). Both are offered with 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engines ranging from 83- to 130hp, but only the Mokka is offered as an EV – the eMokka starting from €33,038. So the Crossland is a slightly tougher sell, on paper than the newer and stunning Mokka – so is there a point to it?
HOW ABOUT THE LOOKS?
The Crossland was a slightly awkward looking thing in its previous guise, but this one is much, much better. The car gets the new Opel Vizor in one single sweep across the front of the vehicle. At the rear, the new dark-tinted taillights look good, with our test car fitted with LEDs. There are new front and rear skid plates, and alloy wheels go up to 16” in the Elite, with the car looking a little under-wheeled for me, but you can upgrade your wheels as an accessory. Overall the model looks a little too tall and narrow to be ever described as handsome, but it certainly functional, with generous interior space.
WHAT IS THE INSIDE LIKE?
The model we were driving was a slight Unicorn in that it was an early example and not really reflective of the current Crossland Elite spec, so there was no black leather upholstery, and no sliding rear seat bench – which would be standard fit if you buy one. It feels like quite a traditional Opel interior – quite dark and simple, but for 2021 there is of course the ubiquitous touchscreen dominating the centre, with a 7” screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, as well as a DAB radio. There are a plethora of normal buttons mixed in for things like the Dual Zone Climate Control (standard in Elite) and while the Cruise Control buttons are a tad fiddly, it all works perfectly well. Space is generous up front for sure, with the Elite model getting 8-way adjustable seats and so-called AGR ergonomic seats. In the rear, legroom is fine unless you are sitting behind a very tall driver, but no such issues with headroom, which is very good. The luggage space at the rear is decent too. Without sinking the boot floor you get 410-litres of space, but you can add another 110-litres but adjusting the floor level. Fold the seats down and you get 810-litres, or 1255-litres if you truly pack it to the roof.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The diesel version we were in offers 110hp from the 1.5-litre engine and when you have driven so many EVs and PHEVs as we have of late, it does sound rather vocal to say the least. But it is a torque-full engine, with 250Nm from this little 1.5 and on a couple of round-trips to Cork it returned 5.1 l/100km (46 mpg) and that was without trying too hard. Sure, the diesel feels now like it’s from another era but some people simply want to buy diesel until the day they are told they cannot and this one does the job perfectly. The six-speed manual gearbox is good, the steering is predictable and while it’s not a car you would ever say is entertaining it is super easy to park, great around town and more than capable of crossing the country and leaving you feeling pretty refreshed afterwards.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
Hmm, this is a good question because we’d imagine that anyone going into an Opel showroom that isn’t choosing the prettier Mokka is a more traditional buyer and they aren’t fussed about plugs, EVs or the like just yet, so really it comes down to price, and need. If this car will do school runs and trips to Dunnes and the usual Saturday morning sports runs, then the standard 1.2-litre 83hp petrol model will do just dandy. Obviously if you need the pull or longevity of a diesel then there is only one choice, but you can get 10hp more if you go for the top-spec Elite 120hp model. Our choice, however, would be the 130hp 1.2-litre SRi Turbo model instead – which for just €700 more than the model we were testing looks better and has a more entertaining and versatile engine.
IS IT SAFE?
There are items such as Forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection available – an infuriatingly annoying Lane Departure Warning system that I wanted to take a hammer to, a Driver Drowsiness Alert, Side Blind Spot Alert and the availability of things such as a Panoramic Rear View Camera and Automatic Park Assist. There is also Cruise Control with a Speed Limiter, which, together with Speed Sign Recognition, enables quick and easy adherence to the speed limit.
This would be an easy car to dismiss, but that would ultimately be a foolish judgement because plenty of buyers will find the Mokka a bit too flash for their needs and the Crossland offers a great value crossover that is well-equipped, very easy to live with and while the marketing people will never say it, would make the IDEAL car for an older buyer (easy to get in and out of, easy to park etc) – so smart Opel retailers should recognise this and sell accordingly. This does function and form well and leaves the glamour to the Mokka.
Opel Crossland Elite 1.5 110hp
Engine: 4-cylinder diesel
Power: 110hp @ 3,500rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1,750rpm
0-100km/h: 11.8 seconds
Fuel Economy: 4.5 l/100km
Top Speed: 185 km/h
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Annual Motor Tax: €120
Luggage Capacity: 410-litres
Price as tested: €28,050
For more information log-on to www.opel.ie