The Grandland X is the harbinger that brings Opel’s SUV product line-up full circle – earmarks the German automaker’s bold attempt to achieve imminence that would even surpass Opel’s glory days of the 80’s and 90’s – the Grandland X is the manifest workmanship and the allegorical battle cry which now resonates in Opel’s marketing credo, that The Future Belongs to Everyone!
Here is my waxing lyrical on the Grandland X:
Exterior Design-styling: Sophisticated elegance emanates from the Grandland X’s monolithic exterior contours – Opel’s Blue Blood SUV turned heads in parking lots, had motorists doing a double-take in traffic – and others confusing it for a Range Rover Evoque. Hallmarked by Opel’s signature angel wing chrome badging, cornering headlights, LED DRL’s and LED tail-lights – bling-bling tell-tales of a technologically advanced machine.
Interior Comfort and Design: 2018’s Winter is one of the coldest Winters I can remember. One morning, around 04:30am, lurking behind our ice-frosted bedroom windows was a gloomy and thankless outside world. That reminded me of an antique black & white photograph hanging on the stair-case wall of a haunted Victorian home. The mental and physical energy it took to psyche myself up out of bed…repeating mantras to myself like,”I can do this,” “time to put on my big boy panties,” “vasbyt Dean,” which was more like frost bite. However, waiting outside for us was the Grandland X: an Alaskan log cabin on four wheels, with both front and rear heated seats and a heated steering wheel to warm my frozen fingertips – too numb to tap the infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth my phone or insert my music USB. My daughter and I sat thawing, as the cabin’s expansive interior quickly heated up. The Grandland X cabin ambiance is like relaxing in front of a fireplace – sitting back in a scroll armchair, legs draped with a quilted blanket up on a cashmere ottoman, and a hot cup of Milo in one hand and a John Grisham novel in the other. Wrought with a sophisticated menagerie of optional extras, the Cosmo model comes standard with a comprehensive multi-media infotainment system, Sat-Nav, an intuitive sleek touchscreen, a minimalist styled dashboard accented with premium quality plastics – complemented by well-bolstered soft texture leather seats.
Engine Performance and Handling: Powered by a 121kw, 1.6L, turbocharged engine linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends 240nm of angular force to the front-wheels. At just 7L/100km, class leading fuel efficiency, the frugal Peugeot 3008 derived unit provides an ample delivery of low-end torque and brisk acceleration – so smooth – the speed seems to creep up on you. A series of corners, snaked along a winding country road elicits the Grandland X’s optimal handling prowess…although sporty…compliant inputs yield the most gratifying and engaging driving experience. Likewise, with its lithe steering response, you cannot wield the Grandland X like a sledgehammer – it is too dignified and composed for that. Owed to its EMP2 platform/suspension set-up, shared with that of the Peugeot 3008, ensures your milkshake and French fries don’t land-up on your lap as you limber over lumpy tarmac and dipping road surfaces – abetted by 225/55/R18’s. The Grandland X exhibits a brake-force capacity that will peel your face off. Brake hard and it’s like the instantaneous hardening of magma on the tyres.
Final verdict: A list of sumptuous standard features, like a reverse-camera with a 360’ simulated camera-view, blind-spot alert, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, hands-free/foot-swipe power tailgate, along with T/a-ESP, Hill-start assist, a 9.1 Bosch 4-channel ABS/EBD with EBA/brake-assist,(also featured in the Porsche) and 6-airbags – a podium applause of safety features. Some would argue that R565 000 is a hefty premium – albeit the Enjoy model is R100 000 cheaper and on an economy of scale is the sensible choice.
By Dean Joseph