It’s all great: Opel hits the sweet spot with this updated SUV

The first job the car did that week was taking me to an electronics store not once, not twice, but thrice to find a monitor and a special connector for the laptop.

Due to my stupidity of not bringing the right stuff, we had to go back twice. On the third try we got what we wanted. It was the first piece of city driving in the revised Grandland SUV from Opel. And that was kind of fitting because the car and my three-drive test drive emphasize the benefit of just keep going until you get it right.

Opel nailed it with the Grandland – looking for something that would make it more appealing. This time they seem to have found it. I think the success of a new or redesigned car can often be defined by a few elements that make an instant connection.

In the case of the Grandland SUV, it’s fair to say that a few things made a big impact. It had previous changes, but this time it needed something to give it a proper boost. So the first thing they got was the new Opel Vizor brand face on the front. It has given it a visual boost and immediately catches the eye.

This is vital to continued success as research shows time and time again that the looks of an SUV/Crossover are of paramount importance.

People want a nice looking machine first and foremost. Ask owners of Grandland competitors such as Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Volvo XC40 or Kia Sportage to name a few.

The second major update is inside and is called the Pure Panel Cockpit Central Display. This integrates two widescreen displays of up to 10 inches and 12 inches. As such, it does without many buttons – and undoubtedly adorns the instrument panel much more elegantly than before.

But I’m happy to say it retains some key manual features for the driver. It’s got to the point with many cars these days that I almost give up trying to extract a few everyday functions from some digital nightmare labyrinth.

It is possible that you will end up virtually going in circles and the frustration will increase.

So that’s it then? Did the Grandland manage a few much-needed touches to stay with the smart set?

Well, a little more is fine, I think. The cabin itself has been heavily modernized. It was rather boring, but feels a lot fresher now.

But in many ways, the change that makes a big difference is no change at all. It’s the 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine that has been in the Stellantis stable for some time, which also houses Peugeot, Citroen and others.

I really liked it in the Grandland. It may have suffered a bit from having to contend with long travel between gears, but I felt it matched well enough with the 6-speed manual. It had plenty of power (128 hp) and a pleasantly comfortable rise in revs.

I’ve heard it got a bit of a throaty critique, but I think that’s off the mark. I think a 3-cylinder petrol engine has its own sound and you like it or you don’t. i would take it

Normally I would probably advocate looking at the diesel, but two things hold me back. First of all, this petrol is a nice car for the city and it somehow felt better. Two, well, diesel isn’t exactly flavor of the month, is it?

One thing I would suggest is opting for the 8 speed automatic version. I switched to the old car because I drive around town quite a bit and it makes life so much easier than fumbling around with the shifter there.

I don’t know where Opel would be if they didn’t bring that lift all over the car because some of the rivals look really good – the 3008 is a bit of a favorite (especially its cabin).

The Grandland is one of those cars that is neutral enough to drive. It doesn’t have exhilarating pace but was punchy enough in the midrange. I would have liked a little more sympathetic cushioning to absorb the rougher tranches of the road I was crossing. I think the Sportage is probably better in that department.

would i buy it After all that has passed before you would have expected me to jump up and say yes. But that would rule out the variety of choice my money awaits in the guise of other SUVs. Among them, as you probably know, is the country’s best-selling car – the Hyundai Tucson.

So despite the improvements, the Grandland is by no means a safe channel for my money. I would put it at the top of my list because I like the interior and the front.

The remarkable thing about even having it on my list is that they managed to get it to such a position in the first place. And that’s because of the sheer application.

fact file

Opel Grandland Crossover, Elite, 1.2, 130 hp, 6-speed petrol, €270 VAT. Offer from €37,395, SRi €40,195, Elite from €41,995.

The standard SC specification includes cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, 7-inch touchscreen, 17-inch alloys, automatic headlights, fog lights, parking sensors and rear view camera.

SRI adds EGR driver’s seat lumbar adjustment, 10-inch T/screen, 12-inch info cluster, wireless charger, two-tone roof, 18-inch alloys. Elite adds heated seats, leather upholstery, 19-inch alloys, and night vision option. It’s all great: Opel hits the sweet spot with this updated SUV

Fry Electronics Team

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