When Opel announced a partnership with Groupe PSA back in 2017, I could hear enthusiast hearts breaking all over S.A. The thought of their favourite brand joining forces with a French company was akin to treason, but that's just because the Peugeot and Citroen footprint in SA is but a smidgen of what Europe has had over the years. The French conglomerate has a long history of great cars, and the merger promised the best of both worlds wrapped up into one. Well not all the time. I have reviewed the Grandland X, and I did like it. It's a good SUV that ticks all the SUV boxes, but what I failed to mention was that there's a lot of Peugeot 3008 in the Grandland X, including the powerplant and transmission and while SUVs aren't meant to be exciting, the Grandland X was missing some of the coolness that comes with Opels. With this here smaller sibling, the Opel Crossland X, that's just not the same, well to me anyway. This Opel / Peugeot amalgamation uses the right amount of each brand to create a funky little SUV /MPV with a great engine and transmission combination from the Peugeot GT Line 208 and the smaller chassis from the 2008.
There's admittedly more French than German in this setup, but that's not a bad thing as you can see from the pics. The Grandland X was sort of plain in the looks department, but the Crossland X looks and feels a lot more like the more recent Opel offerings, think the styling of the latest Corsa and the ADAM. I think it's a damn good-looking MPV with all the right curves and lines in the right places, and that now popular floating roof design just works. It's clearly related to the Grandland X, it's more like a Grandland X that's a crossfit fanatic so it's a little more trim, a little skinnier and a little lighter. Inside the cabin things just work, the driving position, the seats, the steering and dash layout, all of it. Sitting inside the Crossland X feels the same as in the Corsa, like you're in a small hatchback, which is great if you like small cars like I do.
Inside the well-optioned, range-topping Cosmo 1.2T AT model I had on test things were great, the adjustable driver's AGR-Certified ergonomic front seat is quite high, and that's a bonus for someone of my immense stature because it's one of the few cars I've driven where the sun visor actually blocks the sun. All the controls for everything are easily in reach, and of course most of everything can also be adjusted via the multifunction steering wheel. As with all new Opels, the infotainment is that easy-to-use 5.0 Intellilink system that can be had with navigation and a pretty damn decent 6-speaker audio system (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible) that covered all the stuff on my phone's playlist. All the usual acronyms are in play with regards to features, which are par for the course these days, it's the extras in the Crossland X that make me happy. The Opel Eye front camera relays driving information and sign boards to the driver via the driver information screen, and added to that there are things like wireless charging for compatible smartphones, Driver Drowsiness Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection, full LED headlights, head up display, Panoramic Rear View Camera and Side Blind Spot Alert. being an SUV / MPV, you expect better space than what you'll find in a car, and that's what you get. Even though you feel like you're in a small car, there's still 520-litres of space in the boot, and that's with the read seats still not folded down. A bit of folding sees that increase to 1225-litres.
There's just three cylinders in play in the Opel Crossland X, and it's a great little motor. I first came across one in the Citroen Cactus, and then again in the Peugeot 208 GT Line. I like it, a lot. Even though it's small with just 1.2-litres of capacity, the small turbocharger fitted affords it 81kW and 205Nm, which in turn gives some pretty decent performance, especially when you consider the size of the Crossland X. The 6-speed auto (or manual if you like) has great ratios and this does help things feel more powerful than they are, but boost does that to the butt-dyno. It's not meant to be a performance car, but that nippy feeling is always good. Pulling away from traffic lights, I was always leading the pack, and while that sounds like a fast drive, the thing really was just sipping petrol, it stayed in the low 7-litres/100km range. With more mindful driving that will drop even further though, guaranteed. While the X looks taller, it still has the road manners of a normal-height streetcar and doesn't lean when chucked around bends. All in all, the drive offered up is good, no faults anywhere. It's comfortable, visibility is good and the infotainment and climate control keep you in a happy Opel bubble.
Things are pricey these days, no matter what it is that you're Googling values of. Luckily even though this new Opel Crossland X is put together with the good bits from two serious automakers, the price is still rather palatable. The test unit was the range-topping Crossland X Cosmo 1.2T AT that, as said, is packed with intelligent tech and features. This one starts at R400 537, and if you prefer manual, the number drops to R381 993. One rung lower we find the Crossland X Enjoy 1.2T starting at R338 355. The base Crossland X 1.2 starts at R294 638, which I haven't driven but would still skip because it's missing a turbocharger.
This new Opel offering tick plenty boxes for many out there, and that will hopefully reflect in the sales here in SA. I thought this car was damn good, and was expecting it to be announced as a finalist in the current Car of the Year competition, which it sadly wasn't. I'm a fan, I think it's even replaced the Mokka as my favourite in this category. Check out every spec and detail of the Opel Crossland X over on the Opel SA website.