Long-term test (Introduction): Opel Crossland X 1,6TD Enjoy

As much as the CAR team misses having the eminently handy Opel Combo Cargo as a fleet workhorse, the arrival of something a lot less utilitarian is a salve to the 80 km daily commute I’ve undertaken in a rather noisy and sparsely equipped van. 

There are some parallels to be drawn between our outgoing load lugger and the funky Crossland X, most notably the 1,6-litre turbo- diesel powerplant that joined the previously all-petrol range earlier this year. Much as it did in the Combo, this little unit punches above its weight with a hearty
230 N.m of torque to back up that otherwise modest 68 kW on offer. The execution, however, is not quite as polished. Where this unit was linked to a reasonably snappy five-speed gearbox in the Combo, it’s now coupled with an oddly baggy-feeling shifter. I’m often loath to level too much criticism at a car’s drivetrain during its honeymoon period in our fleet, but it is evident. 

Another aspect that’s taken some getting used to is gearing that’s appreciably taller than that of the Combo. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword; while it helps the engine adopt a calm demeanour at motorway speeds, it’s at the cost of some low-speed flexibility and necessitates a bit more gear- stick stirring in traffic. 

But that’s about where the initial misgivings end. Despite the gear- box’s quirks, the Crossland’s 5,63 L/100 km fuel consumption comes close to the 5,3 claimed by CAR’s fuel index, and this model’s Enjoy specification throws a generous amount of standard kit into the mix: all-round parking sensors, rearview camera, an Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay-enabled infotainment system, auto lights and wipers and lane-keeping assist. We have yet to really test the Cross- land’s practicality but there appears to be plenty of interior space. The Crossland passed the time-old seating test of “six-footer-behind- six-footer” and its two-tier boot and 1 040 litres of utility space will be put to use with a friend’s house move on the cards. 

I’ll give the transition from a commercial to a passenger vehicle drivetrain a bit of time before drawing a conclusion on what appears to be the Crossland’s one weak point. It’s a promising start. 

After 1 month
Current Mileage: 
756 km
Average fuel consumption: 
5,63 L/100 km
We like: 
generously equipped
We don’t like: 
baggy feeling gearshift

 

Long-term test (Update 1): Opel Crossland X 1,6TD Enjoy

Although my friend’s house move failed to materialise before this update, the Crossland X has still been tasked with many errands that have seen the rear seats folded flat and the utility space put to the test. 

Folding these 60:40-split items frees up a useful 1 048 litres of load space that’s not overly affected by wheelarch intrusion. With the pews in place, it has another handy trick up its sleeve: the boot floor is a modular panel that acts as a lid to a 96-litre recess in which valuables can be hidden. It can be removed altogether, bumping the luggage space up from 288 to 384 litres. 

On the other ownership fronts, the Crossland continues to delight and occasionally disappoint. The little Opel’s styling has managed to garner a noticeable degree of approval from those who’ve taken in the funky, dogleg C-pillar and stylish sheet metal. The cabin
has also impressed with its solid construction – a recent trip on a moderately rutted dirt road didn’t unearth any annoying trim rattles – and, while rather plain compared with the outside, is comfy and ergonomically sound. 

But it’s the powertrain that grates. The diesel unit’s outputs (68 kW backed up by a useful 230 N.m at just 1 750 r/min) are ample for a car of the Crossland’s size but the transmission would benefit from better execution. The gearlever’s long, somewhat vague shift action and gearing that is a bit too tall makes the Crossland demanding to drive fluidly in slow-to-crawling traffic. It sits in contrast to our outgoing Combo, which had the same engine coupled to a snappy shifter with close-set gear ratios and proved a flexible and nippy little van. 

In the Crossland X’s favour, the average fuel consumption has been an impressive 5,52 L/100 km. 

After 2 months
Current Mileage: 
1 271 km
Average fuel consumption: 
5,52 L/100 km
We like: 
surprisingly practical for such a compact car
We don’t like: 
powertrain continues to irk