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First Drive: Opel Crossland X, a car of its time

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Opel/Vauxhall has just become the latest manufacturer to add a model in the burgeoning  ‘B-Crossover’ segment. The Crossland X is a surprising newcomer with a sporty touch and some unexpected power.

The Crossland X comes in just underneath the hugely successful Mokka X, and will see a third, larger member of the ‘X’ family – Grandland X –join later this year. The Crossland X is indeed 7 cm shorter than the Mokka, and is also more fuel friendly. In Opel/Vauxhall’s eyes, it is the ‘family’ counterpart to the more SUV-like Mokka.

The Crossland X is effectively completely new. Designed, as the engineers explain, from the inside out, rather than the other way around, it is intended to maximise interior space. It has a much more individual look than may have been expected, however, largely due to the mix of a rugged lower body and a sporty upper body clearly inspired by the Adam.

Under the bonnet come a range of 4 petrol engines and two diesels. The petrol units are all 1.2 litre 3-cylinder units, developing from 81 to an impressive 130hp. The diesel blocks are both 1.6, developing 99 hp. Manual five or six speed gearboxes are allied to these powertrains, along with a six speed automatic, depending on the block selected. CO2 emissions are in a fairly tight (and low) range of 93 to 123 grams per km. This comes from fuel consumption (combined cycle) in the 3.6 to 5.4 litres per 100 km range.

All of this provides a driving experience which feels solid, safe and reassuring, and the effort put into soundproofing can clearly be appreciated. The 130 hp from the 1.2 block in particular, is all there to be felt.

Where practicality is concerned (the basic philosophy behind the segment after all), the rear seats are  split 60/40, and are able to be moved 150 mm forwards or backwards, for extra leg-room or boot space. There is also a ski-pass-through. Boot space, from seats fully back to seats folded, ranges from 410 to 1,255 litres. The front seats have been ergonomically designed and feature a mix of manual and electrical adjustment. Lumbar adjustment is of particular interest.

Full range of equipment
Moving on to safety, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a 180° rear view camera, lane departure warning, hill start assist… and non-use of rear seatbelts warning, are among equipment, standard or optional. The head-up display on a small Perspex screen in front of the driver, shows not only current speed, but the speed limit in force and the next manoeuvre to be indicated by the navigation system.

In terms of connectivity, Opel OnStar and Intellink are standard, and the in-built wifi hotspot can accept up to seven different devices connected.  OnStar, it is worth mentioning, can be used to book hotel room and find parking spaces, among others. The car is on Android Auto. Voice recognition is also available.

The package
Cars which sit high on the road, whether they call themselves SUV’s, Crossovers or anything else, are taking market share from traditional estate cars and large hatchbacks. This is what people want. The Crossland X, therefore, with its impressive figures and its overall characteristics, is likely to prove very popular with young fleet drivers (family or not), and fleet managers are set to appreciate not just the ability to attract the right talent, but a competitive pricing strategy too.

Opel considers the most obvious competitors to the Crossland X (at the moment) to be the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. A new Hyundai expected later in the year, however, may also prove to be in the ring. With the demonisation of diesel still ongoing, the relatively frugal and powerful 1.2 litre petrol engine seems to be an engine in tune with its time. Twin colour option is also likely to appeal.

In terms of dimensions, the Crossland X measures 4.21 x 1.98 x 1.60 m.

In price terms, Opel state that a well-specified Crossland X will be the price equivalent of a mid-range Mokka X (depending on market).

Particularly appreciated:  Looks, performance figures, practicality, price

Could do better: ‘Standard’ boot size, interior stowage space, cost of paint options

The Crossland X will be available in all main European markets by the end of June.

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 10:30Tim HarrupCar ManufacturersEurope
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