The Opel Karl


The Opel Karl
Hugh @laoisnews

It is already October, and some motorists may be considering a new car for January, so here is a little car that may fit the bill.

The Opel Karl is Opel’s rival to the Toyota Aygo, VW UP or Hyundai i10 and is a very smart little city car that is great around town but capable out on the motorway too. Prices start at just €11,995 for the compact 1.0 litre petrol hatchback.

This week I am road testing the higher grade SE model.

This is one very smart little hatchback.

Sleek lines, a distinctive profile and additional features such as smart alloy wheels and a great range of colours make the Karl a very attractive small car.

I was expecting a rather cheap feeling cabin at this entry price point but the new Karl surprised me.

It feels much more up market than I expected and is very well built.

The SE version tested is very well equipped too and includes features normally not found in a small hatch such as Hill Start Assist, City Mode Switchable power steering, Bluetooth music streaming, electric front windows, multifunction steering wheel, alloy wheels, electronic climate control, USB audio connection, and six airbags.

There are also optional packs which allow buyers to personalise their cars such as the Winter pack which costs just €200 adds heated front seats and a heated leather steering wheel which is excellent value.

The Karl is powered by an excellent 3 cylinder 1.0 litre 75 PS petrol unit which is mated to a 5-speed gearbox.

With emissions of just 104g/km road tax costs just €190 per year.

Performance is good with plenty of get up and go.

The new Karl proves a refined motorway cruiser and nippy around town.

Over my weeks road test it burned just 5.3 litres of petrol per 100km.

It also has a rather nice growl from that 3 cylinder engine which adds little sportiness to the sound of the Karl.

The little Karl impresses with its compact dimensions making it easy to dart about in city traffic.

Many cars of this size are noisy and a bit unrefined. They feel small, but not the Karl.

Whether on wet or dry roads it handles with aplomb, proving surefooted and secure.

The ride is very good absorbing the bumps and dips of many of our less good roads with ease.

Its also very quiet and refined, with wind, road and engine noise all well suppressed.

The new Karl gives the impression of being a much bigger and more substantial car that its compact external dimensions would suggest.

Accomodation is good too, sure the boot is tiny but there is a decent bit of legroom in the back for a car of this size.

Up front you really forget you are in a car that measures just over 3.6 meters in length.

The Opel Karl is a very fine small hatchback and I have no doubt that it will do well for Opel.

I like its styling. It feels much larger inside than it looks from the outside and it drives like a much larger car too.

The little 3 cylinder 1.0 litre petrol performs well only showing its limitations when overtaking.

The Karl is nifty about town but quite happy on the motorway too.

With prices starting at just under 12 grand its great value as well.

The SE model tested with some extra goodies costs €14,695.