Opel fans rejoice – the Stellantis-owned German automaker now has an all-new flagship crossover model in its local line-up. And surprisingly, it isn’t electric.
Which is an oddity, considering many automakers seem to only be releasing mainstream cars as pure EVs only. But going against the grain has been something that Opel has always done. And they have always done so in a successful manner.
It seems that the Grandland continues this trend, with Opel’s designers and engineers building upon an already-competent package to create a crossover that has well and truly earned its place in the crossover class of 2023.
Getting Into the Nitty-Gritty
Though there’s one thing I need to clear up before starting this review proper. Yes, calling the Grandland an all-new car is perhaps a little misleading. This relaunched car is a heavily reworked (or to be more accurate, facelifted) variant of the Grandland X that was originally launched back in 2018.
As part of its refresh, the car has lost a letter in its nomenclature, whilst also gaining some luster that it sorely needed to remain competitive in 2023. Changes on the outside include an all-new fascia that adopts the ‘Vizor’ design language, first seen on the facelifted Crossland and the all-new Mokka models.
This new front end ditches fussiness, choosing instead to be clean and simple, and is very much reminiscent of many present-day electric car offerings. The rest of the design carries over unchanged, with only the badging round the back that differs from its predecessor.
There Are Changes Inside Too
Much of the cabin remains unchanged from the original car. I’d hesitate to call the generally-hard-plastic dashboard premium, but it thankfully does have some nice touches to really liven up the space.
One of the biggest changes that customer cars will have, is the dual-screen “Pure Panel” set up that originally debuted with the Mokka. This means you’d get a 10 inch screen that’d do driving duties, and a 12 inch unit that takes care of your infotainment needs. Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is available, and you’d want to use it, over the frankly dated native UI that bugs all modern Stellantis vehicles.
And whilst physical space inside is good for all, passengers have remarked that the cabin could do with a little more light. Rather puzzlingly, the front chairs are almost fully manual, with Opel opting to motorise only the seat base adjuster. The seats are also very generously-sized, which is good if you have a larger frame.
On The Go
A 1.2-litre PSA-sourced turbocharged three banger resides underneath the bonnet of the Grandland. It develops 130 bhp, which is surprisingly sufficient despite this SUV’s 1.4 ton kerb weight. There are areas in its rev range where the car struggles for acceleration, but keep the turbocharger spooled and the car has little trouble keeping pace with traffic.
You do not get a lot of information about grip levels through the steering rack, as the frankly OP power steering system robs the car of any feedback from the road. But not all cars have to be great driving machines. In fact, many car buyers are just interested in sensible, economical daily runabouts that are practical and easy-on-the-wallet.
And this car fits that bill to a tee. With good all-round visibility and ultra-light steering, it is extremely manoeuvrable in tight city streets. It rides well too, soaking up all but the worst imperfections on our roads. I returned an average of about 14 km/l over my three day press drive, which is impressive considering it isn’t a hybrid (less maintenance woes down the road) and is a proper family-sized crossover.
The Grandeur Has Landed
Opel now has a legitimate flagship in the Grandland. But alas, it’s a flagship that only sits at the very top of the Opel food chain. It sure has the space to serve as the top dog in their local line-up, offering an alternative product for the Opel diehard should the Mokka not be large enough for their needs.
Let’s make something clear - the Grandland is a decent product overall. However, I’m not fully convinced that it can be a compelling buy for those seeking a car with more performance and perhaps a plusher cabin.
Then again, where else can you find a German vehicle of its size for the money?
|Opel Grandland Specifications|
|Price: $194,500||VES Band: B|
129 bhp, 230 Nm
Fuel Tank Capacity:
4,477 mm x 1,856 mm x 1,630 mm
514 - 1,652 L
Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)
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