Karl is the new entry-level Opel.
Karl is the new entry-level Opel.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.
Opel Karl.

 

By: Jason Woosey

Opel's all-new Karl is a compact hatch designed to go head-to-head with city cars like the Kia Picanto.

First let's get our heads around the rank and file side of things.

The Opel Adam, which is barely any larger than the new Karl, is a three-door boutique hatch named after the company's founder and aimed at the Fiat 500 in the lucrative 'boutique hatch' segment.

Karl is named after said founder's son and is a cheaper but more practical five-door hatch that pitches its tent in the Fiat Panda's camp. The Opel Agilia replacement also has a more conservative design than its 'father'.

Opel has promised that the Karl will start at less than 10 000 euro (R138 000) in Germany which is rather competitive in that context, given that the cheapest Picanto five-door sells for 9950 euro.

Our GMSA contact has told us that the Karl is currently not under consideration for the South African market.

However, reports from abroad suggest that the next-generation Chevrolet Spark will share its platform with the Karl so it's likely (although not confirmed) that GMSA will continue to focus its budget car strategy on the bowtie-badged model.

Perhaps it's too early to say, but this could actually be an early preview of our next Spark, then.

WHAT’S IT GO TO OFFER?

Karl measures 3.65 metres in length, seats up to five occupants and buyers will be able to order it with some high-end features like Lane Departure Warning, heated front seats and an ultra-modern IntelliLink infotainment system.

The little hatch is powered by a new 1-litre, three-cylinder normally aspirated petrol engine, created specifically for the Karl. It develops 55kW and Opel promises "impressive running smoothness and efficiency."