2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
After the Adam, Opel is launching another small car, the Karl. He offers a lot of cars for well under 10,000 euros. You can even take a seat in the rear without need.
Small cars are on the rise right now. In addition to the SUV, the minis in particular will see significant growth in the next few years, says Martin Golka: “We are expecting four million registrations in this segment across Europe”, reads the head of European small car marketing at Opel from the coffee grounds of market research and wants Cut a large piece of the cake from his employer.
The Hessians have prepared themselves accordingly and worked thoroughly on the base below the new Corsa. Where the Corsa does not try its best in terms of format, but at least in terms of equipment and thus can fulfill all wishes, the Hessians drive with a double strategy for the very small cars: For the fashion-conscious, the Adam has been available for at least 11,750 euros for a year which has long been as hip as a Fiat 500 in major European cities. And for everyone for whom a small car must above all be inexpensive and practical, they can now replace the Opel Karl for 9,500 euros or more.
2250 euros cheaper than the Adam
Not only is it 2,250 euros cheaper than the Adam, it also offers more car: Although two centimeters shorter, it always has five doors instead of only three like its dashing cousin, the back seat is not only suitable as a coat rack and bag rack and the trunk is ten Percent bigger. "With the Adam, we have already made a few compromises in terms of practicality and variability in terms of design and appearance," admits designer Carsten Aengenheyster. “With Karl it was exactly the other way around.” It was developed from the inside out and therefore offers a surprising amount of space for a small car. Nonetheless, its design does not seem like a chore and not nearly as boring as the Agila, which it has to replace.
The design is just as different as Karl and Adam are designed. Because technically the Adam is a little brother of the Corsa, uses many common components and is also built together with the Corsa in Eisenach. The Karl, on the other hand, was, the Hessians insist, largely drawn and developed in Rüsselsheim, but is a model from the GM family, is also offered as a successor to the Chevrolet Spark and rolls off the assembly line in Korea.
Steering wheel known from Corsa
Nevertheless, it not only looks like a real Opel, it also feels like it. Because in addition to design features such as the headlights or the flash in the metal seams on the flank, there are interiors with many familiar elements: the steering wheel is known from Corsa & Co and the large touchscreen with the Intelilink system from the Adam is in the center console. Underneath there are two large rotary controls for the air conditioning, in which digital displays are now even unlike the Adam.
In general, the designers did not mess with the cockpit: There is a neat chrome ring around the instruments, interior designer Steffan Arndt is one of the “jewels” in the car, just like the trim on some switches, the seats have an elaborate texture that The air conditioning blows through four individually adjustable fans and the cockpit looks great for a hard plastic landscape: "Even if you don't want to afford soft-touch surfaces, you can put a few lines in it and fight against boredom," he says against the competition, whose inner workings are as boring for him as the north German lowlands in which it was designed.
The equipment can also be greatly expanded. You get close to 15,000 euros, but you can even equip the Karl with lane assistant, seat and steering wheel heating. And there is also a large sun canopy.
Only a three-cylinder on offer
So far, monoculture has only prevailed under the hood. Because at the start, Opel only offers a 1.0-liter with 55 kW / 75 PS. The three-cylinder shakes a maximum of 96 Nm out of its sleeve, creates in the best case 170 km / h and is satisfied with 4.3 liters in the cheapest configuration. But marketing man Golka already indicates that it doesn't have to stay that way. “We still have alternatives up and down”.
What is still noticeable when you first come across the new entry-level model is the solid space available for people and material: if you slide the seats all the way back, you think you are in a significantly larger car - no wonder with a 2.39 meter wheelbase. And even if you take the backbenchers into consideration, you can sit very comfortably in front. And above all, you will find a shelf for the tiresome odds and ends everywhere. The mobile phone lands automatically in the open part of the glove compartment, the documents in the flap underneath and in the doors quickly disappear whole liter bottles on the left and right.
The further you crawl back in the Karl, however, the clearer the Hessians' iron austerity obligation becomes. Although at least two adults, well, two big children, can sit reasonably well in the rear, although the Karl is much lower than the Agila, the headroom is okay. And with its 195 liters, the trunk is not only slightly larger than the Adam's and can be expanded to 940 liters in two easy steps, it also has the lower loading sill.
But while there is still a little chrome glinting in the cockpit and a few displays twinkling, the rear looks rather dreary and the luggage compartment even bleak. Flimsy panels, thin plastic parts and, for example, no special bracket for the parcel shelf, testify to the tight budgets. "Somehow we had to get the low entry-level price," says Arndt, justifying the choice of materials. “We distributed the jewelry where you look most often and saved where you rarely look,” says the interior designer, reminding himself of his time as a home builder: “The decorative tiles in the bathroom always stick around the mirror and not behind the washing machine. "(SP-X)