Crossland X TD lacks the wow factor but it does the job
There’s practicality and driving enjoyment to be had if you overlook the almost bland styling, writes Phuti Mpyane.
Opel’s Crossland is part of the X models family — which include the smaller Mokka and larger Grandland — and tested here is the diesel model in the range.
Think of this particular Crossland X as an apt rival to Peugeot’s 16k-cheaper 2008 1.6HDi in Allure specification and with which it shares a platform. Also add Renault’s 24k-cheaper and 66kW dCi Dynamique Captur to that list which also trumps the Opel on better claimed fuel economy and also stands at a higher 170mm off ground compared to the Crossland X’s 124mm.
The Opel also happens to be the most expensive of this diesel-powered trio and thus you can understand the conundrum that awaits buyers.
Can styling perhaps save the situation? Nope. There isn’t a distinctive feature to call upon from its upright and rather bland silhouette.
But the plain design plays its part inside the less than flexible interior — both in making room and offering a passage for good natural light to flow through the tall cabin. A premium interior look and feel is also vital to survive in this niche. The approach to filling up 2,604 mm of wheelbase with a plain cabin is another criticism. But you sit comfortably on high seats in a good driving position. There’s space for two to three rear occupants, with good leg and headroom, while the boot is suitably deep at — 410l with the seats up, and 1,255l when flattened — but it’s narrow.
This and the familiar Opel operating system that works through a touchscreen display are positives, as is the suitably premium sound coming from its speaker system. Features are good enough and you can have wireless telephonic chats through Bluetooth while it’s ready to accept Carplay and Android Auto.
It’s not a unique set of items that will save the day though, because right in the middle of the seats is a lost opportunity. Instead of an automatic transmission, there’s a five-speed manual transmission.
It has a refined enough action but an auto could have elevated the car’s attractiveness to buyers above rivals and it would have been a perfect fit with the car’s other marketable aspects, which is the four-cylinder diesel motor.
The Crossland X produces 68kW and 230Nm and drives the front wheels. And because the Crossland X weighs only 1,278kg, it’s the one with the better power-to-weight ratios in its segment, translating into good tractability and a suitably furious push when you are dashing somewhere.
Opel Crossland X 1.6TD Enjoy
WE LIKE: Space, performance and handling prowess
WE DISLIKE: Bland styling, manual gearbox, nothing wow
VERDICT: It’s a left-field choice
It also sips on its fuel supply, the car returning 5.6ll100km while its computer brain promises more than 900km of driving range on a full tank. And because Opel’s other progressive strength, which is good front-wheel-drive handling is right there as well, the Crossland X can be hustled along any type of road with confident vigour.
Volkswagen and Citroën have just entered the fray with the debonair T-Cross and C3 Aircross to frustrate the Crossland X and other segment alternatives, however, this doesn’t mean this conservative-looking Opel is without merit. If you want plenty of storage space and room for four adults but also relish a responsive drive then this Crossland X TD is worth a look.
Type: Four-cylinder turbodiesel
Capacity: 1560 cc
Type: 6-speed manual
Type: Front wheel drive
Top speed: N/A
Fuel Consumption: 4.4l/100km (as claimed) 5.6l/100km (as tested)
Emissions: 115 g/kg
Six Airbags, ABS, Brake Assist, traction control, EBD, rain sensing wipers, front fog lights, daytime driving running lights, Engine auto start/stop, air conditioning, USB port, park distance control front & rear, Bluetooth connectivity, auto on/off lights, cruise control, multi function steering wheel, cloth upholstery.
Cost of ownership
Warranty: 3 years/120,000 km
Maintenance plan: 3 years/60,000km
Lease*: R7,509 per month
*at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit
Motor News star rating
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Renault Captur 66kW dCi Dynamique, 66kW/220Nm — R325,900
Peugeot 2008 1.6HDi Allure, 68kW/230Nm — R332,900
Mahindra XUV300 1.5TD W8, 86kW/300Nm — R324,999