The new Opel Crossland X Cosmo family compact SUV transcends the realms of being labeled, “just another urban ninja mom’s taxi,” neither is it a reinvention of the Merivia, rather the Crossland X is a re-evolution of Opel’s new design identity.

After driving the Crossland X Cosmo automatic for seven days – here is what I want to say:

Exterior Design:

Valiently disruptive and unapologetically cosmopolitan – this ritzy compact SUV boasts a multiplicity of standard features like: automatic high-beam cornering LED wing-signature headlights, 17” Titan Gloss Alloy Mags, two-tone floating roof, and a panoramic sunroof.

Interior:

Inside the cabin things collectively come together, the most striking feature is the integration between driver-centric functional technology and ergonomic comfort. For example, besides a reverse-camera, the heads-up display unit is within the driver’s precise line of sight, the centre-console/infotainment touchsreen tilts towards the driver and the steering wheel mounted controls provides intuitive access to the Navi 5.0 Intellilink Infotainment system. A structurally fluid cabin layout and use of dark tone materials complemented by blackout tinted rear windows also offer passengers a deeper sense of privacy and solitude. Incline adjustable rear seats with ski-hatch are a first in its price bracket.

Performance, Handling and Safety:

Driving from Kromdraai, through Hekpoort , to Magaliesberg, the Crossland X unleashed a lot more than just kilowatts and exhaust fumes: a wild at heart nature resides in its 81kw, 1.2l turbocharged engine. Adept for day-to-day city driving, the magic lies within its 6-speed automatic gearbox which makes haste not waste, putting down 205nm of torque, it draws-out every last kilowatt from the little 3-pot engine to send to the front wheels. Occasionally I had to manual-shift to abet a nippier response when overtaking on an up-hill. Otherwise, seamless gear-changes are the order of the day – as is its praiseworthy fuel-efficiency, 6.2L/100km. A communicative suspension and chassis set-up makes for spirited driving and positive handling. However, there is an elusive element about the Crossland X: “the speed creeps up on you!” Cruising along the R563, with the sunroof open, music blaring, taking in the scenery…just enjoying the drive and entirely absorbed in the moment.

Oblivious that the speedo-needle was no longer pointing true north but had somehow wondered due east instead – which I quickly remedied with the cruise-control: speed-limiter set to 120km/h! “There is no replacement for displacement,” that is an old wives’ tale when it comes to the Crossland X’s performance.

Final Remarks:

Considering the Crossland X Cosmo Automatic asking price of R370 118 is over-priced – that is my personal opinion! Thankfully, there is an alternative – the Crossland X Cosmo Manual variant. Although available only with a 5-speed manual transmission, it is almost R20 000 for affordable; which may or may not translate as better value-for-money in a buyer’s mind – but certainly is not at the detriment of the Crossland X’s perceived sense of premium quality.

By Dean Joseph