Opel has clearly been hard at work in preparation for the 85th Geneva Motor Show. Aside from officially unveiling OnStar for Europe and the fifth-generation Opel Corsa OPC, the company also took the time to unveil a brand new entry-level five-door to the world: ladies and gents, meet the Opel Karl (that’s Vauxhall Viva to those under the Union Jack). Though we’ve previewed it here before, the Geneva show marked Karl’s official unveiling in the sheetmetal.
Named after the son of the company founder, the Karl sports Opel’s new 1.0L, three-cylinder engine that’s good for 75hp. Opel says the new, all-aluminum 1.0L Ecotec three-pot, developed specifically for the Karl, is both smooth (for a three cylinder at least) and efficient and comes paired with a “soft” five-speed manual.
Despite being just 3.68-meters (12.07 feet) in length– seven inches shorter than a 2015 Mini Cooper– Opel says Karl can fit five people. Though adults in the rear will no doubt be packed-in tighter than fitted luggage, they’ll look pretty good while doing it. The Opel “smile” is well-integrated and the fog-lights complement the front-end nicely. For a small car under 10,000 euros the Karl doesn’t look half bad to our eyes.
Karl also comes equipped with a surprising amount of standard kit such as ESP with traction control, ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Hill Start Assist. Just like the Adam and Corsa, Karl also comes standard with ‘City Mode,’ a feature that reduces steering effort at the touch of button for inner-city driving.
It’s also available with some pretty grown-up options like Lane Departure Warning, park assist, cruise control, a heated leather steering wheel, and even a sunroof. Buyers can look forward to three trim levels, ten paint colours, and various wheel designs ranging from 14″ to 16″.
Opel says its German dealers have already taken 15,000 orders for the vehicle, even though deliveries won’t start until June. With all this in mind, Opel’s tiniest vehicle might just be one of its best small cars yet.