Aug 18, 2015
Rüsselsheim. Small KARL – huge impression: according to Auto Bild (issue 32/2015) the best model in the mini-car class shows real greatness when it comes to the environment. The new Opel entry-level model can now be ordered in the super-economical ecoFLEX version. Ideal for everyday use, the 3.68-meter long, five-door car with the Start/Stop system and three-cylinder, 55 kW/75 hp 1.0 ECOTEC engine consumes just 4.1 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions dropping from 99 to 94 grams per kilometer. The entry-level price of the especially environmentally friendly KARL variant remains under 10,000 euros at exactly 9,950 euros (RRP incl. VAT in Germany).
Yet the test winner is anything but a sedate economy model: its new one-liter all-aluminum engine is a member of the highly praised three-cylinder gasoline family, whose turbocharged versions in the Corsa and ADAM impress with outstanding running smoothness and efficiency. The engineers paid close attention to reducing noise and vibrations during the development phase with a low-resonance construction for the block, a split oil pan, the noise protected integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head and a sound absorbing cam cover, which all contribute to the engine’s excellent manners.
The KARL also sets standards in this market segment in terms of space, safety and comfort: the 939 kilogram, five-door model offers room for up to five occupants and a load volume up to 1,013 liters. Apart from standard ABS, traction control TCPlus, stability control ESPPlus and Hill Start Assist, KARL can be equipped with a further safety feature highlight, Lane Departure Warning. This reduces the risk of accidents with the help of front camera sensors that scan the road. A cornering light function integrated in the fog lights ensures that turning maneuvers are safer for the driver and other road users. On-board comfort can be increased with optional features including a heated leather steering wheel along with heated front seats. The City mode (standard from Enjoy) of the speed-dependent power steering reduces steering effort in heavy city traffic at the push of a button and Park Assist prevents bumps when parking. Cruise control with speed limiter ensures driving at legal speeds.
From the fall of 2015, Opel KARL can be ordered with the new-generation IntelliLink infotainment system and the personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar – features normally only found in higher classes. So Opel’s entry-level model will also raise the bar for connectivity in the mini-car segment as all its variants become fully-fledged members of the Opel model portfolio.
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