Opel Crossland diesel misses the mark

The Opel Crossland X is one of the products that helped usher in Opel’s local independence in the wake of the German marque having been acquired by PSA.

Following the exit of General Motors from right-hand drive markets, Williams Hunt, an experienced Opel dealership network, took over the rights to sell Opel products locally. In a bizarre twist, there isn’t much involvement from PSA, which recently brought the Citroen brand back to South Africa while reinvigorating the Peugeot line-up. I received the diesel variant of the Crossland for a weeklong stay recently and found that within the bustling compact crossover segment, this left-field product has its work well and truly cut out.

A rock and a hard place

The Opel brand has some incredibly competent competition within the local market, particularly when it comes to SUVs, which are all the rage at the moment. The oil-burning variant of the Crossland X finds itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place. On the one hand, it has the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross, the Peugeot 2008, the Citroen C3 Aircross, Toyota’s C-HR, Suzuki’s Vitara, Ford’s EcoSport, Renaults Captur, Mazda’s CX-3 and the upcoming Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue duo to compete with. On the other hand, for the very same price, you can have another Crossland, but with a turbo petrol engine and an automatic gearbox versus the manual in the diesel variant.

Does the diesel have what it takes?

The age of small capacity diesel engines is coming to an end, with the larger diesel motors still seemingly safe for now. But at 1.6-litres, and indeed, paired exclusively with the aforementioned five-speed manual gearbox, the Crossland X diesel appears to be of a dying breed.  There’s a modest 68kW and 230 N.m on offer through a very short powerband. Combine this with a rather underwhelming five-speed manual gearbox and you have a disappointing powertrain. Lower in the rev range there’s quite a lot of lag while up top, the car runs out of puff, meaning that around 1 750 r/min-4 000 r/min is the optimal operating zone. That being said, in terms of efficiency, it is rather effortless to achieve 5.8-litres/100km in this car, something car more difficult in its petrol-powered rivals.

The Crossland

The diesel powertrain aside, the Crossland X is a practical product, offering 410-litres of boot space which can extend to 1 255-litres with the rear seats folded flat. The rear passenger space is commendable too; however, the general ergonomics, material quality and design of the interior lag behind key rivals within this segment, particularly considering new entrants such as the T-Cross and the updated C-HR. The Crossland, in Enjoy guise, comes relatively well specified for your R350 000, with features such as a colour touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, six airbags, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, lane departure warning, air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, electric windows all round and ISOFIX child seat anchors.


Despite offering an inoffensive package, the diesel variant of the Crossland X isn’t a car I’d recommend someone shopping in this segment shortlist in a hurry. The petrol variant along with its Peugeot and Citroen siblings are more worthy of consideration within this incredibly competitive and ever-growing segment.

Service plan and warranty

All Crossland X models come as standard with a three-year/60 000km service plan and a three-year/120 000km warranty.


Crossland X 1.6TD Enjoy R349 000


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