First drive in the new Opel Karl
Karl Lagerfeld is not exactly the man I would want for a tête à tête. Unless it's about the latest summer collection, which he would of course make available to me free of charge. However, the Opel Karl looks very different. Here you can actually treat yourself to a daily meeting. Because the little runabout has everything a woman (and also a man likes) needs. At least if they are city people. It all started when Adam Opel baptized his son Georg Adolph Karl. And if the Rüsselsheimers already honor the old gentlemen with a car, why not the offspring as well?
Little Karl is a really big man, despite his length of just 3,68 meters. He definitely lives up to his position as a spacious, fully-fledged miniature car with character and convincingly affordable pricing for entry into the Opel world. If there is a bit of a snag here and there. For example, with the loading volume. The Karl only offers 1.013 liters. Manageable and yet sufficient for small weekend shopping. Five people can fit in comfortably without squeezing their knees. It will of course be a little more difficult with giant seating, but these would then probably not reach for little Karlchen.
An ode to simplicity
Everything is in its place. Nothing seems superfluous or fake. The interior of the Opel Karl offers a manageable number of functions that are absolutely sufficient. No confusion of buttons like in other Opel. The motto is simple and clean. Thanks to the Intelli-Link, which reflects the display of your own cell phone, navigation is also significantly easier. Even if a good cell phone line is still required here. For the foreign assignment probably rather impractical, but with the little Karlchen one would also like to drive around in the city at home. Here again it is very far ahead, especially when you suddenly find yourself in a full shopping arcade. Fortunately, the Dutch are relaxed and marvel at the little speedster before they wave it through. The navigation device meant it at least well. The view was impressive. Thanks to speed-dependent power steering with city mode, this challenge was quickly mastered. Only the turning circle leaves a little to be desired.
But should a passerby get in front of Karl's little snub nose, the Opel Onstar Service, who is on call every day of the year, will be happy to help. Fortunately, this was not necessary for the test drive of a different kind. The much admired Opel Karl 24 Ecotec shows itself completely in the Opel design. A short, crisp design with clear lines, a friendly face and clear glass headlights with an eagle eye look give it its typical appearance. A dynamic side guidance by means of horizontal lines and a harmonious rear design with optically connected rear lights round off the exterior. Its completely redesigned all-aluminum three-cylinder engine with 7 PS provides the city with an efficient engine that needs a little before it gets going, but then shows its brisk side in city traffic.
Oooh Karl, oooh million
The Opel Karl is available from a basic price of 9.500 euros. However, you can really only get an engine and car around it. Very simple and simple. If you want a little more, you can put together your own little box from 10 different paintwork, three equipment variants and many little extras. Here, however, the price rises quickly and suddenly you get rid of sleek 15.000 euros. But in the segment still an acceptable price, you can get almost everything here, even a panoramic glass sunroof.
If you can wait a little longer, from autumn 2015 you can also look forward to the new Intelli-Link infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and reflects apps from your smartphone to your screen. In addition, the OnStar telematics service will also be available, including LTE internet access via built-in SIM card, WLAN hotspot, emergency call and personal assistant.
At the end...
Little Karl is really big if you like it simple and simple. The comfortable city car offers everything you can expect from a city car. But you shouldn't expect more. It is practical, functional and personable. You don't need more. It remains to be seen whether there will ever be an Opel Adolph or an Opel Georg. The Opel heirs offer enough inspiration for this.
Driving report: Simone Amores Photos: Simone Amores / Robert Basic