Written by: Charles Molefe
It has been a while since we have tested a vehicle from the Opel stable, well, not since their untimely departure from our shores.
The Opel brand has and will always be a formidable part of South Africa’s history, I mean, who can ever forget the likes of the Superboss, 200ts and the highly capable OPC.
In the late 2000’s I was fortunate enough to be the owner of the Astra 200ts, a legendary car of sorts, plagued with “faults” and so-called shortcomings, this abuse being hurled at owners mostly from their foes. Well, let me explain why we go the Opel way.
I recently got my hands on the Opel Grandland X, this is an SUV that competes with the likes of the Peugeot 3008, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, and the Renault Kadjar.
It was very difficult for me to fault this vehicle, the exterior is eye-catching and it doesn’t take much to recognise it at all. With its bold Opel badge on the front grill and subtle model naming at the rear, one can easily tell what they are staring at.
I will admit that it took me a while to get accustomed to some of the features of the car, I don’t know if I was too excited or if it was generally difficult to set it up, I quickly figured out that my excitement got the better of me. Android Auto, Apple car play and Bluetooth integration are just some of the features one has access to. I’ve never been a fan of Android auto, my experience with the software is at best, lackluster, it just doesn’t do it for me, no fault of the car of course, however, I’m certain my lack of patience had a lot to do with me not using the feature as often as I should have.
The greatest feature has to be the award-winning seats, for the past couple weeks we have had a terrible period of extremely hot weather, even with this challenge, their ability to warm or cool you is just phenomenal, it’s not that this technology is new, it’s just how efficiently they function that impresses me, you are guaranteed to arrive at your destination refreshed, relaxed and on the ball.
I am never one to rant on about how good a particular feature on a vehicle is, but, I really need to emphasise how great the intelligent lights are on the Grandland X. They have the ability to automatically dip the high beams to prevent you from dazzling opposing traffic they also have the capability to automatically increase light intensity. One gimmick is the little dance the lights perform upon startup, this is to signify their operation, a very entertaining show.
To give you an illustration of how this system works, the Grandland X scans the road ahead and is able to measure how much illumination is required.
On high beams, you can literally light up the entire pitch at the FNB stadium, it may seem as though this is an exaggeration but trust me, it’s not, this is how great the illumination of the road can be. I could go on and on about the comfort and features one is exposed to in this vehicle, can’t park? Why not use the 360° camera linked to the autonomous parallel and alley docking parking feature?
Out of data to navigate to your newest hotspot? Why not use the integrated GPS system with speed limit detection?
I guess my only gripe with the interior is perhaps the audio quality from the 6 speakers, it could do with an upgrade, I, as do many others enjoy blasting our tunes and we would prefer it to be accompanied by a crystal-clear sound. For your average listening, it does compete well with others and will provide you with sufficient audio whilst you trot along.
Performance and economy.
The Grandland X will scrabble at the tar with no effort at all, 121 kW and 240 Nm is plenty for this vehicle, many a time I tried to unsettle it, with no success, this quickly changed when I turned the traction control off, however, it wasn’t dramatic either, as soon as it found its footing, off it went. As standard, the Grandland X is mated to a six-speed auto gearbox with the option of engaging manual mode.
Leave the transmission to do its own thing, it does the job so well that wanting to engage manual mode is a little silly.
Yes, maybe you want a more engaging drive, trust me, you’ll have more fun with the Grandland X in automatic as it offers you the right gear at the right time all the time. Opel claims a combined fuel cycle of 7.0l/100km, unfortunately, I could not get close to that figure. Our stint in the Grandland X covered about 700km’s and we achieved an average of 9.8l/100km.
This is still pretty decent, bear in mind that this figure includes some very spirited driving and many attempts at trying to achieve optimal 0-100 km/h sprint times.
I do however wish that the fuel tank was slightly larger, it wouldn’t hurt, especially for those extra-long trips.
To summarise my experience of the Grandland X, I’d have to say that I find it very difficult to believe that there is an SUV out there that can compete with the Grandland X, pound for pound it is going to be difficult.
Be aware that the Peugeot 3008 and the Grandland X are cousins, a lot has been shared amongst the two manufacturers.
A number of colleagues have even hinted that the Peugeot 3008 is perfect in every way, I, however, find that very hard to believe.
The Grandland X has that special thing about It, I can’t exactly put my finger on it, it somehow has managed to ooze wealth in its own subtle way.
Maybe my claim is a little premature, but if the opposition is better, I highly doubt it will be by much.
From R 441 870 to R 565 000
• Power Windows.
• Cruise Control.
• Lane assist.
• Headlamp High-Beam Assist.
• 360° View Reverse Camera.
• Park Assistance
Warranty and roadside assistance
5 years 120 000 km
5 Years unlimited km
12 months 15 000 km
5 years 90 000 km
Gottagged rating: 8.0 / 10