I saw the boy. He was 9 or 10 years old. He was running between the cars that were sitting in a queue line at the stop lights.1 second later he was in front of the car I was driving. I hit the brakes as fast as I could, almost convinced that the boy was under the car. But he wasn’t. I didn’t even touch him.
Ladies, I present you THE BRAKING GURU: Opel Grandland X.
Did I panic? Yes, I did. Did I want to say bad words to his mother, who was waiting for him in a car nearby? Yes I did. My feelings were mixed – on one hand I wanted to make sure that the boy was ok but on the other hand, I felt rage. How could this happen? Didn’t he know that crossing the street by running through cars (not on a zebra) is a very dangerous thing to do? And I really think I skipped a heartbeat. I don’t like this kind of experiences but they sure make a driving test more genuine (and remind you that you know, carpe diem). Now I’m 101% sure that you can rely on this Opel when it comes to braking. Good thing to know about a car!
I needed to tell you this before anything else. But now, let’s rewind.
I was @ Autopolis, my partner for this test drive, trying to install the baby car seat in my ride for the weekend: Opel Grandland X. My daughter was watching me with curious eyes, sitting in her stroller. If you got to read my review for the Tesla, you already know that I experienced some issues with installing a car seat with Isofix. So, after that experience, I decided to buy a car seat that can be put in place with a seat belt. It was a great idea because it’s super easy to install (although you need to be careful at some details – I will tell you more about them in one of my future articles, dedicated to motherhood behind the wheel).
Now, you must know that the whole story was happening in a parking and to make the transition of the car seat smoother (it isn’t the lightest or friendliest thing to carry), the Opel was parked as seen in the drawing below (I already know I’m not good at explaining stuff so I will spare you of this « quality » of mine. I’m not good at drawing, either)
While I was installing the car seat I had to keep the door opened so that I could see my kid and vice versa. This resulted in blocking the parking alley (oops). But because there was no heavy traffic in that area of the parking I was pretty zen. Not for long.
I saw this businessman heading towards a car and I hoped he just forgot something but I wasn’t right. After he pulled out the car he was waiting for me to move the car so that he could pass. The deer eyes + some random gestures that meant « it won’t take long » won me some time but not enough.
When I finally finished installing the car seat and put my daughter in it it was time to place the stroller in the trunk. But how do I open the trunk door? I did the thing with the leg:
« Almost every new car has this feature« , I said to myself.
But nothing happened. I searched for a button, but nothing was found. I was almost having a meltdown when the man who had been already waiting for a while decided to try his luck and pass by. And he got lucky. He gave me that look that men give to women in traffic while saying something (guess he didn’t admire my outfit). But I can understand him, he was patient enough. So no hard feelings, businessman from the parking.
Later edit: the trunk door opens after the sensor detects move and you take a few steps behind. Logic. Nobody wants to get punched in the face by a hard metal door. Over the weekend I still had issues with opening the trunk door so I think this sensor thing is not really made for me. You can see that in the video below:
And yes, there is a button that opens the trunk door, my husband found it for me (he only tried once).
You might ask yourself why didn’t I find a solution to park the car right away after I put my daughter in the car seat. I could have left the stroller near a car. Well, it’s because I wanted to postpone the inevitable: driving a car with automatic gearbox. Some of you already know that when it comes to gearboxes, I’m like a grumpy grandma that doesn’t want to learn how to use the e-mail and sends letters by mail. So the first thing I did when I got behind the wheel was to Google « how to use an automatic gearbox »- I needed a reminder. Well, it wasn’t that complicated I have driven automated cars before, but I preferred to forget that it happened.
After I managed to park the car in a dedicated slot, I took some time to analyze the dashboard and the buttons placed on the steering wheel. Everything was intuitive and that’s a lady-friendly thing for me when it comes to a car!
I also have a funny story to tell you about discovering this car (the other ones are embarrassing so I will keep them for me): after conscientiously adjusting the side mirrors, when I wanted I put the car in reverse mode, they automatically changed their position. What did I do? I adjusted them AGAIN. The second time I put the car in reverse mode (because it took me some time to pull out the car from the parking slot) the mirrors again changed their position. So that’s a thing the car does for you so that you can see better while you reverse. That was my AHA moment from that Friday. Honestly, I found it difficult to reverse with the side mirrors in that position.
After I got used with the dashboard and other important things that I always must know before my first ride with a new car, the next thing I tested was the way this Opel behaves on the acceleration lane. It speeds incredibly good, a really important thing when you want to align yourself as fast as possible to the speed practiced on the highway. You can put your trust in it. It also breaks unbelievably great (as you already read) so these two important things for women are well covered by this car.
I got used to driving an automatic car very quickly, I think it took me 500m to feel the sweet taste of doing basically nothing except turning the steering wheel, pushing the brakes and signalize right or left.
I’m not going to repeat the blah blah regarding the fact that us, women, love the visibility that an SUV offer. But with this huge advantage comes an important disadvantage: THE PARKING MANEUVER. Luckily, this car is equipped with lots of sensors and cameras so parking is now a fun and light activity. Not for me, though.
When I arrived home it took me forever to fit it in the narrow parking slot. Lately that day I discovered Park Assist. As you can see in the video below, it’s a huge asset. Yes, you must control the speed of the car and move the lever in the directions indicated on the display but this is such a small effort for a perfect parking reward.
I took the car for a test drive in Germany, and I chose a destination for the photo session the vineyards from Perl. An extraordinary place to be in autumn! Oh, the taste of a delicious white wine! The Moselle region is well-known for its tasty wines so if you have the chance, you shouldn’t miss visiting it. But don’t drink and drive!
As the chilly autumn started to embrace the region, we experienced some windy moments during the photo shoot from Saturday and on Sunday we couldn’t take pictures because of heavy rain. But we still took the car out for a ride! Here’s how Luxembourg looks by night 🙂
During the weekend I also took some time to analyze in detail all the options that this car offers. In the video below you can find more information about the dashboard.
The steering wheel is very easy to use, it glides fabulously under the drivers’ hands. And (for me) it has the right amount of buttons!
Take a closer look at it:
Another thing I like a lot about his car is the extendable front seats! Such a spa experience. Sadly for the driver, this is a very good feature for the passenger, I tried to drive with the seat extended and I didn’t feel comfortable.
My conclusion is that Opel Grandland X is a very easy car to drive and a perfect road partner for a lady. If you have the chance to drive it, please do so! I’m curious about your opinions!
The Opel Grandland X was courtesy of Autopolis Luxembourg, my partner for this test drive.
P.S. Yes, the sun visor does have a mirror for the driver💄😏