Having recently reported on the launch of the Opel Grandland, Crossland and Mokka, I am excited to do a preview on the fantastic offering from German manufacturer Opel in terms of the stunning new SUV crossover the Grandland, which is currently on show at Williams Hunt Edenvale. Located in the heart of Edenvale, the dealership has become well known to locals in the area. Established more than thirty years ago under a different name, the dealership now focusses on the Opel brand exclusively and is enthusiastic about the growth in sales of late.
As the Dealer Principal for Williams Hunt Edenvale, Brett van den Brink shared his optimism relating to the future of the Opel brand in South Africa with me recently. Having been extremely popular in the 80’s and 90’s, the brand is now making a comeback and the general perception of the brand is being changed in the process. Due to innovative new designs concepts and cutting-edge technology, the Williams Hunt dealership is making a concerted team effort to highlight the brilliance of Opel vehicles to the public. By creating a reputation of excellence in service to the community, Brett believes the dealership is growing from strength to strength.
Clint Fortune, New Vehicle Sales Manager, notes that with the exit of General Motors from South Africa last year, Opel (in its entirety) has recommitted their products and services to the South African market under the competent distribution and servicing of the Williams Hunt Group, and have upped their game in terms of the quality and affordability of the vehicles on offer. With almost a decade of experience in the motoring industry across various brands, Clint believes that people have trust in German brands for a good reason: consistently high-quality products (as underscored by repeated award nominations and wins), Opel vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in the South African market. With 2017 showing a growth of 40% in Opel sales at this dealership alone, Clint is excited about what lies ahead for the brand, sharing with me that the investment the OEM has made in South Africa by partnering with WesBank to create Opel Financing, gives it further clout.
As such, I chat to Sales Representative Kwena Sepahane, who is fresh to the field of motoring. With only six months of experience thus far, Kwena is not only enjoying what he does, but also fine tuning and honing his service excellence skills – which he notes to be his philosophy in dealing with clients. The sales and client care teams at Williams Hunt Edenvale is comprised of experienced individuals who have been with the dealership since its Isuzu and Chevrolet days, meaning they are familiar with both passenger vehicles and fleet-oriented automobiles, and the Grandland is the newest offering to take note of.
Also marked as a crossover SUV, the Grandland is a beautiful addition to the Opel fleet and tipped to be the flagship vehicle at that. With a chiselled look and lovely angular lines, the Grandland appears to be modern, athletic and robust. It has sculpted accents and LED daytime running lights, making the Grandland certainly appear grand on the outside. The interior is much of the same. The one-of-a-kind i-Cockpit resembles the modern and tech-infused Astra dashboard, and hints at the vehicle’s ability to produce power and comfort at the same time. The dashboard layout is set in sweeping lines and clean, aesthetically pleasing detailing gives a sense of order which I particularly like.
As with the Mokka, the driving position of the Grandland is set to be ideal for minimising fatigue, maximising circulation and keeping the driver comfortable at all times. The steering wheel adjusts to your perfect reach and height, and leg room all around the cabin is ample, even generous. Loads of storage spaces and cupholders are on hand, and a sizeable boot (one of the biggest in the segment) provides 514 litres of cargo space. This can also be increased to 1 652 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Part of Opel’s new plan is to provide highly-specced vehicles to everyone at affordable prices – meaning the innovation and technology usually reserved for the upper-class vehicles and more pricey counterparts can be shared with you and me. I love this idea, and as such, appreciate that the touchscreen infotainment systems are a standard part of the Opel Grandland, as is climate control, cruise control, parking assist and really sexy daytime running LED lights. Whilst leather interior is standard on the top-of-the-range variants, it can also be added as an extra (together with seating ventilation).
Released in three derivatives, the 1.6 Auto Grandland has a turbo petrol engine that produces 121 kW of power and 240 Nm of torque combined with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The resulting fuel consumption for this variant is noted at 7 litres per 100 kilometres. The 1.6 Enjoy variant boasts the same engine under the hood but comes equipped with lovely 17-inch alloy wheels, lane departure warning and rain sensing wipers. The top-of-the-range derivative, the 1.6 Cosmo is released with 18-inch alloys as standard, beautiful leather upholstery, blind-spot alert, Sat Nav, adaptive headlamps, heated seats (an absolute luxury in this wintery weather) and a hands-free electric tailgate, to name but a few. The Grandland is a vehicle I need to drive to do an in-depth review about, and I am excited by what Opel has achieved through the design and launch of this specific car.
Back at the dealership, I note that Clint often has repeat customers who come back due to the level of service and care provided by Williams Hunt Edenvale to each individual client.
Hinting at even more excitement for the Opel brand (and possibly the award-winning Astra) on the horizon for the rest of 2018, Clint is anticipating a successful year ahead. For more information on this dealership, follow the link: Williams Hunt Edenvale
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson