When it comes to cars, cheap and cheerful aren’t always two things that go together. In the main, you tend to get what you pay for in matters of motoring (unless, of course, we’re talking high-end brands that know they can charge a premium for their offerings – and happily do so).
Bargains on new cars are still be had, though, particularly when a manufacturer is a newbie in the market.
So it is with German manufacturer Opel, which, despite being a long-established brand, has just nudged the bumpers of a trio of its latest vehicles into the UAE. The carmaker opened its first showroom in the Emirates just a couple of months ago, so it really is a fresh face here.
Of the three new arrivals, the Grandland X Innovation, a compact SUV, is the model we’re putting under the spotlight. There are two versions available, the other of which is called the Enjoy, and they’re being marketed as “ready for any adventure”. It certainly wasn’t a rush job, either, as the car has apparently been in development since 2013.
Looks-wise, the design on this new offering is not revolutionary, but it’s a smart-looking little ride that’s not as small within its five doors as you might think. There are some nice aesthetic tweaks on the outside, too, not least the black diamond roof option on the top-of-the-range Innovation+ model.
You get a lot of kit inside the soft-contoured cabin, much of it standard. There is a wireless charging dock, a decent satnav, parking sensors, with driver aides including emergency braking and a lane-departure warning system. There is also some much-trumpeted ergonomic seating, which should save your back a little when you’re off on a proper trip, as opposed to popping to the supermarket (though it’ll probably benefit you there, too).
When it comes to power, both the Enjoy and Innovation are fitted with 1.6-litre turbocharged engines, delivering 165 horsepower, which is sufficient to make both urban jaunts and motorway cruising comfortable.
So, the price, then. The Grandland X Enjoy starts at Dh89,000, which is very respectable for a car of this kind, while the more upmarket Innovation is priced from Dh99,900. You do get a few tidy add-ons on the more expensive vehicle, not least an improved sound system and a panoramic sunroof.
It should be noted that, despite the grip settings, the Grandland X won't be suitable for the kind of off-roading that the world's most hardcore 4x4s are capable of. However, it should also be noted that it is still more competent in this arena than many of its pricier competitors. In short, as long as you're not tackling overly extreme terrain, you should be fine.
Driving the Grandland X is a happy experience, as well. Other cars may offer more, but Opel’s SUV is a solid performer in all areas. As we said, you get a lot for your money. And, let’s face it, that’s not something anyone should be turning their noses up at in this current climate.