The Opel Grandland SUV has been updated and is ready to compete again for the preferences of Ukrainian buyers. But what does it have to offer? Design and interior? Economical and powerful engines? Good equipment for reasonable money? Sophisticated driving qualities? Or maybe all at once?! Or nothing at all…

Design: noticeable changes “for new times”

The history of the Opel Grandland began a few years ago: then the car had an additional letter “X” in its name and was a joint development of GM (the owner of the Opel brand at the time) and the PSA Group. As time passed, the Opel brand completely left the “French”, a new design style was developed, the key element of which was the Opel Vizor: a flat black front panel, combining the same flat headlights.

This Opel Vizor element is the main design change for the Opel Grandland model. The SUV received almost rectangular headlights, a black glossy insert between them, as well as a new front bumper with pointed corners. Regarding the large-scale changes to the front part of the body, the rest of the parts have been updated only in small details. For example, a lot of black gloss is used in the decoration: door and wheel arch overlays, rear bumper insert, logo, and model inscription. And these details “in gloss” depend on the selected configuration.

Opel Grandland SUV is located in the very center of the popular C-SUV class: length 4.48 meters; width 1.91 meters; height 1.61 meters; wheelbase 2.675 meters. The update significantly changed the front part of the body, literally “pulling” the Opel Vizor with smooth lines onto the body, which previously had many curves. But the first incarnation of the Opel Grandland X model (two photos at the end) was too “neutral” in design, then the new appearance of Opel Grandland at least attracts attention.

Key changes in the interior can also be described in just a few words – Opel Pure Panel. This is a new proprietary solution that involves the use of two displays that are connected to each other by a common panel. Works great with large 12-inch monitors! When you sit in the interior, your eyes immediately focus on the huge screen of the Digital Driver Info Center: as if the feeling of “modernity” is set in this car. Installing a new compact joystick instead of the usual lever before works for the same feeling.

But there are not enough colors. The Opel Grandland SUV’s entire interior has “50 shades of black”: both the interior panels themselves are made of soft plastic or black gloss and the design of the display menu. In the end, everything looks grim, with large flat dark surfaces (be it displays or black gloss panels) visibly picking up fingerprints.

Although when adjusting the “climate” you do not have to touch the central display: a convenient separate block of settings is provided. On it, you can also find the buttons for turning on the ventilation of the front seats – very appropriate for the full leather trim. By the way, the leather itself is quite rough and slippery; and due to the lack of developed side protrusions, the body slides somewhat in turns. However, such leather will probably be very strong and durable, which is important when transporting numerous passengers and children. Still, it is a family car: there is a good amount of space in the back, there is an armrest and ventilation deflectors, and in the maximum configuration there is also heating.

During the car update, the front panel has changed significantly: now the Opel Pure Panel concept with two digital displays reigns here. Accordingly, the ventilation deflectors, and the insert in front of the passenger have changed, and a new automatic transmission control joystick has been installed. There’s plenty of room in the back, though not a record for the class; ventilation deflectors, armrest, heating are provided. In addition, I would like to get the possibility of comprehensive adjustment of the position of the sofa, in order to flexibly adjust the comfort of landing and the space of the trunk. By the way, the latter has a useful volume of 514 liters and an electric lid drive with a control sensor under the rear bumper.

Equipment: EMR2 platform, turbo engines, matrix headlights

Let’s recall the beginning – the car was developed jointly with the PSA Group, and therefore the use of the EMP2 platform is expected. This platform typically features independent front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension, as well as transverse engine mounting and front-wheel drive. Of course, there are interesting “offshoots” in the form of a powerful PHEV-hybrid with all-wheel drive and independent rear suspension. Somewhere, such an option is offered in the Opel Grandland model range. However, not in Ukraine.

Although we still have a good selection of engines and transmissions. The base is a 3-cylinder 1.2-liter gasoline turbo engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Another gasoline “turbo” is also offered: now a 4-cylinder with a working volume of 1.6 liters, which works in a pair with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Finally, the third option is a 1.5-liter diesel, which is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. All variants of Opel Grandland for Ukraine are front-wheel drive.

The update of the car gave it the latest IntelliLux LED PIXEL matrix headlights, which allow you to adapt the light as flexibly as possible and change the shape of the light flow. All thanks to the fact that these headlights contain 168 LEDs: it looks like a record in the class. In addition, the update gave the two aforementioned displays in the interior. Where it is especially worth noting the fully digital instrument panel with several options for displaying information – because before the update, the usual scales with arrows and a small screen were used on the Opel Grandland X model. Finally, one more point: the Drive Mode switch for a comprehensive change in driving style, instead of the former round switch for selecting settings for a certain type of off-road.

The Opel Grandland SUV is built on the EMP2 platform, it has a front independent suspension and a semi-independent rear suspension. Under the hood of the test car a 1.5-liter turbodiesel of the DV5RC, series was installed, which works in a pair with an 8-speed automatic AISIN. The update brought many modern technologies: matrix headlights with 168 elements, a digital instrument panel, an enlarged central display, a switch for driving modes, adaptive “cruise” and numerous driver assistance systems.

Behind the wheel: you will remember the wonderful turbodiesel and automatic transmission

Above, I used the word “neutral” to describe the design. In fact, the same neutral behavior of the car from the point of view of the operation of the chassis. The average level of comfort: it does not shake on bumps, but the softness of the pillows is not there either. I will only note the large rolls of the body, which are especially felt when sliding on the seats. Average driving behavior: as if it is not late with turns, but there is no “seductive dialogue” with the driver either; as some competitors are able to do – by the way, they are even built on a similar platform. I will only note that the steering wheel is quite light: even a fragile woman can handle it.

However, what will definitely remain in the memory is the behavior of the engine and gearbox. Once, upon first getting acquainted with the Opel Grandland X, it was the operation of the turbodiesel that caused complaints. But now this 1.5-liter turbodiesel paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission pleasantly surprises. Good acceleration even in normal mode, very pleasant and active starts in sports mode – it even seems that it is much more than the promised 130 hp and 300 Nm! Only “eco” mode slightly reduces engine activity. However, it does not change the excellent setting of the automatic transmission, which always switches smoothly, imperceptibly, on time – a wonderful gearbox! It would be nice to work so carefully on sound insulation: sometimes the engine is noticeable during acceleration, and at high speed, you hear aerodynamic noises.

Turbodiesel and automatic transmission definitely found each other: good acceleration and imperceptible switching, plenty of traction at medium speeds when starting from a standstill and during acceleration on the go. Fuel economy? In the city, the car consumed 6.5-7-7.5 liters of fuel per 100 km – this is more than promised by the passport (4.4 liters), but still not much for a 1523-kilogram crossover. In addition, the acceleration to a hundred km also does not correspond to the passport data (11.5 seconds) – but now it is already much better than promised: stable 11.3-11.4 seconds under normal driving conditions and even the ability to reach 11 seconds, if you “do magic” with the car and your skills. As for the track, at a speed of 100-110 km/h, the car steadily consumes 4.7-5 liters of fuel per 100 km.

Cost: what is the price of Opel Grandland and who is the competitor

Along with the update, the Opel Grandland car has significantly expanded its own range of various versions – options for choosing gasoline engines, various transmissions, new equipment options have been added; although they are all fixed, no options, only paid colors.

The model range is opened by Opel Grandland in the GL configuration: this car is offered with various options engines and transmissions – accordingly, the cost also changes significantly. The gasoline variant of Opel Grandland GL 1.2 PureTech 130 S&S MT6 costs from UAH 916,000 or $24,000. Another gasoline alternative is the Opel Grandland GL 1.6 PureTech 165 AT6 SUV priced from UAH 1.002 million or $26.5 thousand. Finally, a diesel option is also offered: Opel Grandland GL 1.5 BHDI 130 S&S AT6 costs from UAH 1.047 million or $27.5 thousand. General equipmentGL is already quite sufficient: ABS and ESP systems, cruise control, traffic sign monitoring, traffic lane control, front and side airbags, inflatable side safety curtains, 2-zone climate control, fabric seats, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats and steering wheel, multimedia system with a 7-inch display, digital 7-inch instrument panel, EcoLED headlights, 17-wheel alloy wheels.

One step higher is the GS configuration and such a car is only offered with a turbodiesel: hence the cost of the Opel Grandland GS 1.5 BHDI 130 S&S AT6 is from 1.162 million UAH or $30.5 thousand. Compensation for the increase in the value of the car is hidden in its advanced equipment, where the following has been added: keyless entry and push-button engine start, electric trunk lid drive with a sensor under the rear bumper, rearview camera, AGR front seats with heating and cushion length adjustment, combined interior decoration with fabric and leather, a central 10-inch display, a digital instrument panel based on a 12-inch display, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, black glossy decor on the body.

The maximum option is the GS Pack configuration, which is also combined only with turbodiesel: the price of Opel Grandland GS Pack 1.5 BHDI 130 S&S AT6 is from UAH 1.343 million or $35 thousand. The car can additionally show off the following: adaptive “cruise”, 360 camera, ventilation of the front seats, heating of the rear seats, heating of the windshield, matrix headlights.

The gray car in the showroom is an Opel Grandland in the GL configuration: a minimum of gloss black on the body and 17-inch wheels, fabric on the seats and small displays. However, in general, the equipment is sufficient, and only this configuration has a full choice of engines (gasoline or diesel) and transmissions (manual or automatic). The blue car in the car showroom is the GS configuration: pay attention to the combined upholstery of the seats (it is better than solid leather), the black gloss has already appeared, but no matrix headlights yet. Finally, the test car that became the hero of the article is the maximum configuration of the GS Pack. So we got acquainted with all versions of the Opel Grandland: various combinations of engines, transmissions, and equipment give us five options and a price range of $24-35 thousand.

Who can be called competitors? First, numerous Japanese crossovers: Mazda CX-30, Nissan Qashqai, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Their strong side is offering all-wheel drive – but the Opel Grandland responds with an economical turbodiesel. At the same time, in terms of interior space, it is comparable to Nissan and Mitsubishi, and wins over Mazda. And in terms of equipment and technologies, it is comparable to Nissan and Mazda, and wins over Mitsubishi. So, the Opel Grandland SUV has a good market position relative to the “Japanese”. Secondly, there are “Koreans”: for example, Hyundai Tucson – a spacious interior, good comfort, a wide selection of versions. It is difficult to deal with this competitor. Finally, thirdly: competitors are related models Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross – the first offers an interesting design and driving qualities, the second is better in terms of interior space and comfort. Winning races for a wallet is not easy…

Opel Grandland test drive results

There are cases when the car is updated simply to meet the realities of the time and to generalize the design between several models. But there are cases when updates make it possible to significantly improve the car’s market positioning, to give it a second chance for success. The story with the Opel Grandland model is just the second example.

In general, the Opel Grandland SUV remains as it was before – it tries to balance comfort: optimal size, economical diesel, and sufficient equipment. But how many of these “everyday crossover” models are there on the market today? You can get lost! However, the updated Opel Grandland car gave it many new advantages: gasoline engines, a reduction in the initial cost price, and more modern technologies. So: yes, it’s not easy to win the race for a potential buyer’s wallet – but now the Opel Grandland has significantly improved its chances.

Car provided by Opel representative office in Ukraine