The Opel Grandland is pleasant, but rivals will give it a run for its money.
The Opel Grandland is currently not as visible on our roads. That's because the competition in the mid-sized crossover category is so tough. Yet, this Opel Grandland has plenty going for it.
Kicking off the model range is the Standard Grandland, mid-tier Grandland GS Line and the range-topping Grandland Ultimate, which I tested. The Opel Grandland is a superb vehicle. It feels refined with a straightforward temperament, making it an easy and comfortable drive.
The Opel Grandland has improved its second generation by boasting a few nips, tucks, and new technologies. Starting with the front-end bumper, which embodies the design of the Opel Mokka, there is a gloss-black colour across the grille. It's sporty and looks modern too. The two higher models gain new adaptive intelliLux LED pixel headlights. The LED headlights bring it into the 21st century.
The Opel Grandland stands on four 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels in gloss black. These high-profile 225/55 R18 tyres are also helpful when crossing bumpy and rough roads.
Towards the rear, it's tapered, and the headlights are sharp. One great and nifty feature on the top-spec Ultimate is the automated tailgate, which opens at a kick of a foot. You wave your foot under the tailgate without saying Open Sesame, and it swings open. It also comes with Keyless open and start. Practicality is essential, along with space. There are 514 litres of luggage space available.
Inside the cabin are full leather trim seats in the top-spec Ultimate. The entry-level Grandland has cloth seats, while the GS line has Alcantara. For the Grandland Ultimate, the driver's seats are adjustable via electronic levers on the side, the front passenger seat can be manually adjusted, and the front seats can be heated and cooled.
Now, coming to the overall feel in the driver's seat, there's a digital cluster and a multimedia system: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto friendly. It's simple to operate and straightforward to navigate with the solid dials and icons.
You have wireless charging in the centre armrest, a USB port, two cupholders in the middle and storage spaces on the door panels.
They have done away with the traditional gear lever design; now, you have an aeroplane-styled lever. It's minimalistic and very tasteful. I like it.
Jumping into the rear, passengers won't feel cramped. It's roomy and cosy. If you're feeling the winter chill, you have an armrest with a cup holder and heated seats.
Getting into the drive, one can't fault the Grandland; it's refined and feels smooth. It was also easy to wield the power from the 1.6-litre engine, which seemed just enough. The Opel Grandland is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, pushing 121 kw and 240Nm of torque. One can move quickly and swiftly overtake on the freeway and in day-to-day city driving when safe. Fuel consumption is an efficient 7 litre per 100km.
Against it, however, is the hefty price tag, which, at around R720 000 for the Opel Grandland Ultimate, certainly makes one feel that one can get one's money's worth elsewhere.
While the jury is out on its price tag, one must concede that the car does offer plenty of bang for its buck. It is a personal choice about whether one would like this in the garage compared to its rivals.
One can choose from three different model grades: the entry-level Opel Grandland 1.6 T starting at R599 000, the mid-tier GS line at R 680 000 and the top-spec Opel Grandland Ultimate. They all share the 1.6-litre turbo engine; trim levels and features set the trio apart.
One has to think of the Opel brand in the grander scheme of things; sales-wise, it used to do well many moons ago. However, now, its brand presence could improve.
I like it, but it has other competitors on its radar. One has more choices from the VW Tiguan, Toyota Rav 4, Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Peugeot 3008 and Citroën C5 Aircross. The competition is indeed formidable.
One suspects it will be a slow and uphill battle for the splendid Opel Grandland. Only time will tell whether it crosses over into the big time.