One of the most exciting things about 2018 thus far has been my partnership with Opel through the Williams Hunt Group. As a fan of German manufacturing, it has been my pleasure to review some of the vehicles from the Williams Hunt dealership in Edenvale recently. Now popping in to do an overview of the Opel Mokka and get first-hand knowledge of the Opel Grandland’s impending launch, I am excited to be part of the Launch for the X-range, which includes the Opel Crossland, Opel Mokka and the Opel Grandland.
The face of Williams Hunt is a beautiful, smiling and vibrant young woman: Thembekile Malindisa has been with the Dealership for a few months now, and is the epitome of welcoming. Bringing a youthful, fun and vivacious atmosphere to the Dealership, Thembekile believes the composition of the team at Williams Hunt is what brings everything together. Whilst her personal favourite is the adorable Opel Adam, Thembekile is excited for the X-range launch.
Brett van den Brink, Dealer Principal at Williams Hunt Edenvale, is optimistic about the future of Opel in South Africa, noting that the popularity which Opel enjoyed in the 80’s and 90’s is making a huge comeback due the fantastic track record of the brand. Making it his personal mission to highlight the outstanding quality of these German vehicles and underscore this with a motivated team that focus on offering the customer a personal, attentive experience, Brett is confident that the perception of the brand is being changed: people who would previously not have considered an Opel are now coming for test-drives and bringing their friends and family to the Dealership. Determined to create a culture of selling excellence to the community, Brett is passionate about the reputation they have created in the area and maintained for so many years, and believes in the team he works with as well.
One such team member is Clint Fortune, Sales Manager for the Dealership, who has been in the industry for almost a decade, and loves the feeling of achievement when he is able to successfully unite a client with the car of their dreams. His current goal includes the growth of Opel sales, and shows great understanding for how the various departments within the dealership must work together in order for the Dealership to be successful. Going the extra mile is his Customer Service motto and he is driven to provide a comfortable, enjoyable and family-oriented environment for his clients. Clint is very excited for the launch of the Grandland, as he believes the need for a bigger vehicle in the Opel range is growing, and that it is set to be an extraordinary, luxurious vehicle. Managing a very young and vibrant sales team, Clint believes the dealership has the right ingredients needed to be very successful, most notably under the good leadership of Dealer Principal Brett.
Gregory Carnie, Sales Executive for the Dealership, is brand new to the industry and believes his passion for cars and technology is what will motivate him to continue growing and learning. Honesty is what Gregory also upholds as his philosophy for dealing with clients, and he also feels the impending launch of the Grandland will be thrilling for everyone involved. To be released in three variants, all in 1.6 turbo automatic, the fuel consumption on this SUV is tipped to be around 7 litres per 100 kilometres and promises to deliver 240 Nm of torque. Although we will have more information closer to the actual launch of the Grandland, Gregory notes that pricing for this fantastic SUV will range between R439 000 and R569 000. Promising to also be the biggest and best looking Opel yet, the Grandland is Opel’s first full-on SUV that Clint and Gregory both feel will hit that “sweet spot” in the market perfectly, thanks to it’s affordable pricing. Whilst I am very much looking forward to the launch and the opportunity to drive the Grandland, I was thrilled to be able to take the Mokka X out for a test drive in the meantime.
As Opel’s contribution to the crossover-SUV segment, the Opel Mokka is priced from R340 399 at entry level, to just under R400 000 for the top-of-the-range variant. Being incredibly affordable, the Mokka is also admittedly a pleasure to look at. Whilst the athletic nature of the vehicle is clearly indicated through it’s solid stance, heavy-set haunches and bold nose, there are also sleek and elegant lines along the side that please the eye. Sexy linear daytime running lights are also included, and give it a cheeky appearance that I love. In terms of the interior, the Mokka entry and mid-level variants are released with cloth upholstery, with leather as standard on the top of the range variant. The cloth upholstery is not problematic though as it is high-quality and well-stitched, with the darker fabric especially looking quite elegant. There is a cute little armrest for the driver that folds away when not needed, and conveniently placed cupholders in the centre console area.
A five seater that is ideal for families, the Mokka is spacious in the front (with my really tall father also sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat, both in terms of head and leg room) and generous in the back, even with the front seats extended back all the way. My hubby, taking a turn as the passenger in the front, noted that he particularly liked the fact that the seats are in a raised position, meaning your legs are always at a 90-degree angle, maximising comfort and ergonomics even with the seat back reclined. The middle seat in the rear is a bit tight and uncomfortable for an adult, but was perfectly fine for my children. Longer journeys proved to be quite easy with the Mokka, and the lovely, spacious boot easily held travelling equipment, luggage and picnic baskets laden with food.
The infotainment system on board is really user-friendly and responsive to the lightest touch. With Bluetooth connectivity (but no Sat Nav as this must be specified as an added extra), cruise control (which is easily set without fuss), climate control (and a very effective air-conditione) and rain-sensing wipers, the bases are covered in terms of features needed. Released as a 6-speed manual, the Mokka is incredibly responsive and jumps ahead at take-off. The 1.4 litre turbo engine produces ample power (103 Kw off of 4 cylinders) and 200 Nm of torque to have it roaring ahead in no-time, without the heavy, dragging feeling of a powerhouse diesel engine that you find on heavier vehicles.
In terms of manoeuvrability, the Mokka proved to be an exceptional capable vehicle. Equipped with all-around parking sensors, I soon got the hang of parking in extremely tight spaces (even at reverse) – I love the fact that it displays colour-coded warnings on the screen at the same time as emitting the warning tone, as you are then able to know immediately in which area your obstacle or hazard is located. I also managed to get an average fuel consumption of around 7 litres per 100 kilometres, which I found to be quite suitable for a vehicle of this nature.
Whilst at the Williams Hunt Dealership to return the Mokka, I bumped into the Marketing and Events Manager for the Williams Hunt group, who was sharing the excitement of Ansia Joles, a community member who had entered the Opel Love campaign in February this year, and subsequently came to collect her prize as the winner: having taken a creative selfie of herself biting the Opel sign, Ansia won the competition and a two-nights stay at a luxury resort and a drive in an Opel of her choice. Being very excited about the Opel brand as well, Ansia noted that she has fallen in love with the brand all over again, thanks to driving her friend’s Corsa recently.
It is clear from the vibe, excitement and drive at Williams Hunt that the Opel brand is moving mountains in terms of innovation; the quality of vehicles and the manner in which the community is being incorporated is fresh and dynamic. I am equally impressed with the Dealership as a whole, as well as with the Opel Mokka I had the opportunity to drive. I can only imagine what lies in store with the release of the Grandland!
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson