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Opel’s family favourite gains great new Bauhaus style

A few years ago, the Opel Grandland X and Peugeot 3008 may have been co-developed, but they were finished to suit two very different automaker philosophies. PSA Peugeot and General Motors had agreed to co-develop the two, a move that few would anticipate would culminate in General Motors in essence selling Opel to Peugeot. Which made these two, which started out more as friends from across the border, into actual siblings.

So, voila, Opel was part of PSA and on the brink of a renaissance set to spread through every facet of the business as they started to build German versions of the French cars. Suppose you could even say that these two sparked the fire that flamed this new union. But wait, there’s more. Opel merging with PSA was just the start and before we know it, the whole lot was spun into Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, and Chrysler, et al, to spawn Stellantis, now one of the biggest carmakers on planet earth.


No more a General Motors orphan

Anyway, getting back to the Grandland 3008 story, the original Grandland, and the basis of this car, was spawned under General Motors. And it showed. Essentially a GM orphan, it showed. It simply lacked style. Parked next to its Peugeot cousin, it looked flat and uninspiring. Ugly.

Then what became Stellantis took over and seemed to wave a magic wand. And voila! What a difference fresh parents can make! Opel has taken a remarkable step forward in style, inside and out. They have adopted a new design genre that takes elements of the goose flying through the moon badge (yes, that’s what the blitz represents!) and woven it all into a sensual new dynamic that is more than anything translated in the transformation from the frumpy old Grandland X to this re-imagined new world Opel.

First up, this new Grandland now adopts the brand’s fresh Opel Vizor face. Its gloss black grille panel joins a pair of 168 element Intellilux adaptive pixel LED headlamps. They deliver a seamless light beam at night without the glare for other traffic. The new Opel signature look also includes crisp body creases, high-gloss black accents and a two-tone roof.


Grandland gains new Opel Bauhaus style

Best of all, is that it goes in exactly the opposite direction of its Peugeot sister’s flamboyant style to adopt something of a Bauhaus feel. Opel is German, no? So now you have the choice of two stunning designs wrapped around a common chassis that excellently portray their diverse German and French roots. Just look how cool our blue tester looks among those Boland flowers. Pretty, hey?

Step inside the previous, pre-remake 3008 and Grandland incarnations, and the difference was even more obvious. The slick, chic Peugeot i-Cockpit was a stunning piece of work with that central screen and tiny wheel. Let’s just be nice and say that the Opel’s dour cabin was, well, more conventional.

Access this new Grandland via Keyless Open & Start to reveal a smart, dark and completely revolutionised Opel Pure Panel fully digital widescreen display cockpit. It combines a pair seven-inch driver’s instrumentation and Multimedia Navi Pro CarPlay and Auto infotainment screens to now make this Opel a sexy and inviting prospect.


Nothing new under the Grandland bonnet

Front inhabitants are treated to award-winning leather-trimmed heated and ventilated power-tilt electro-pneumatic lumbar AGR posture seats. There’s also wireless charging and a foot sensor auto power tailgate housing lateral parking sensors and assistant, the reversing camera, and blind spot warning.

Grandland’s many other onboard systems include camera and radar Highway Integration Assist that coordinates the car’s various adaptive assistants. They include everything from stop & go cruise control to active lane positioning, blind spot, auto parking and forward collision assistants. There’s also auto emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and drowsiness detection, as well as cruise control with speed limiter.

The rest of the always compelling Grandland remains just as it was. Besides it also losing the old one’s X at the end of the name. Which means its handy 121 kW 240 Nm 1.6-litre turbo four-pot is potent enough and as economical as claimed in mixed use. A comfortable, family friendly car, Grandland is still versatile and even fun to drive. Perhaps more street athletic than a bundu-basher, it’s not too bad at soft attempts of extra-tarmac activity.


Now far more premium German tin

The Grandland is now however a far more premium piece of German tin. It seems that Opel has once again found its mojo under Stellantis. Now just imagine if the brand can find a way back to its impeccable levels under that fairy-tale story it achieved under Delta in South Africa all those years ago. Opel is a performance brand too. Just saying! – Michele Lupini

Images & testing Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Opel Grandland 1.6T Ultimate
Engine: 121 kW 240 Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol I4
Drive: 6-speed automatic FWD
0-60 km/h:        4.23 sec
0-100 km/h:       9.21 sec
0-120 km/h:       12.24 sec
0-160 km/h:       21.63 sec
400m:             16.5 sec @ 140 km/h
80-120km/h:       6.21 sec
120-160km/h:      10.8 sec
VMax:             200 km/h
Fuel:             7 l/100 km
CO2:              156 g/km
Range:            750 km
Warranty/Service: 5y 100K/5y 100K km
LIST PRICE:       R720K
RATED:            8
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