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Review: Opel Crossland X 1.2-litre turbo Cosmo driven

2018-03-13 06:01

Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - The Opel Crossland X was launched in South Africa towards the end of 2017... General Motors however left the market on December 31st 2017, shutting the doors on Chevrolet and Isuzu.

Opel, which was bought by the Peugeot Group, reassured customers that aftermarket support would now be handled by Williams Hunt and Reeds dealerships. The automaker tried to reinforce its 'here-to-stay' promise by announcing several new models headed for SA shores.

The Crossland X is one of those cars.

We had the opportunity to drive the 1.2-litre Crossland X Cosmo automatic earlier in February.

It's a stylish compact SUV and ridiculously spacious inside the vehicle. Boot space is more than adequate too. 

There's loads to like about the Crossland X other than its looks. One of the biggest safety and driver assistant highlight is intelligent emergency braking system which operates via a tiny camera in front of the vehicle which detects other vehicles and also pedestrians. It's important to remember this feature on your vehicle, as it could come as a nasty, but very useful surprise, especially when pedestrians run across the road.

Unlike other manufacturers that use warning symbols or a slight vibration on the steering wheel when the driver gets too close to the vehicle ahead, Opel has a simple flashing warning on the screen. For some reason, I respond to this more than I would with other warnings used in similar systems.

The cabin features high-quality materials with chrome finishes that are not too obtrusive. The Crossland X has 30% brighter headlights than its siblings in the Opel stable; it features auto-levelling lights, high-beam assist and also cornering lights. It's also loaded with storage compartments and bottle holders. 

There's also a panoramic glass roof which makes the car appear larger than what it is. However, the roof shade comes in an almost transparent white colour and I'd much rather prefer it to be a darker shade, especially during hot weather when you're looking for some shade in the car.

What's it like to drive?

The Crossland 1.2-litre has enough gusto to feel like its powered by a 1.4- or even a 1.6-litre engine. It delivers 81kW and 205Nm, mated to a 6-speed auto gearbox. It has a feisty attitude and even gives you the confidence to overtake cars on the long road. Driving is easy, the car is comfortable and relatively spacious.

It also has stop/start functionality which is great for traffic but could take some getting used to and definitely needs some practice before heading out in standstill traffic.

With other vehicles, fitted with similar technology, the car will usually start when the driver lifts his/her foot off the brake peddle after it has cut the engine; once lifted the engine re-starts and you move forward. In the Crossland X however, as soon as your foot releases from the brake, it instantly moves forward without having to reach for the accelerator peddle. It could pose a problem if you're too close to the car ahead - hence following distance is so important.

It takes quite getting used to, and I was still not too comfortable by the end of the week's test. Hopefully, it's something that can be mastered by its owner and will make the drive even more pleasant.

You can play your music via BlueTooth, USB or Apple CarPlay, but sadly Android Auto is not available in SA. There's also a picture viewer via USB which can be displayed on a 7" screen.

Would I buy it?

It's quite understandable that South Africans might be apprehensive to buy this vehicle, but if Reeds and Williams Hunt dealerships are determined to take care of Opel customers and maintain aftercare service, there's no reason not to go for this mini SUV. 

The model range starts at R269 900 but the top-of-the-range version I drove has a pricetag of R366 900. While it comes packed with features and technology, and even navigation worth the price, you can't help but consider opting for the larger Mokka X which starts at R330 684.


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