Driving test – Opel Rocks-e (2022) – Crazy or genius?
The A segment is under pressure. Models such as the Peugeot 108, Citroen C1, Renault Twingo, Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo and a whole host of other small cars are slowly disappearing from the scene. They are required by Europe to meet increasingly strict emission and safety standards. That makes small cars expensive, for the consumer and the manufacturer.
Due to, among other things, the mandatory and expensive safety equipment, there is no longer any money to be made from real A-segmenters. Automakers are therefore throwing in the towel in the segment. A shame, because there is a lot of demand for this kind of ‘shopping cars’. Especially in our country. Opel has found a smart way to bring an affordable compact four-wheeler onto the market. You can drive the new Rocks-E from 8,499 euros. How do they get that price so low? Simple: it’s not a car.
It’s not a car?!
No, the Rocks-e is officially a microcar. You can drive the fully electric two-seater from the age of 16, without a B driving license. Smart of the Germans, because brand loyalty develops at a young age. For many future drivers, their first car will therefore be an Opel. Although it is not officially a car…
Does he look very famous?
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room directly: the Opel Rocks-e is in fact a converted Citroën Ami . He not only shares the technology, but also the entire carriage. Still, there are a few changes that give the Rocks-e a face of its own. For example, the new Opel Vizor family face, which we know from the new Astra, Mokka, Crossland and Grandland, is present in a simpler form. The color scheme is also different from the Ami. The Rocks-e features bright yellow accents and a two-tone color scheme.
Simple but cheerful interior
The color schemes can also be found in the interior. There are storage nets and hooks for shopping bags in the same colors and different gray or yellow pockets and inserts around the instrument panel and center console. Even the floor mats have yellow accents.
Small is beautiful
The Rocks-e is only 2.41 meters
long short, 1.39 meters wide and weighs only 471 kilograms. An 8 hp electric motor drives the front wheels and ensures a maximum speed of 45 km/h. This is of course also the maximum speed for microcars in and outside built-up areas. A 5.5 kWh battery pack provides a range of 75 kilometers.
Charging Opel Rocks-e
You can fully charge the two-seater in about four hours. You don’t need an expensive charging station for that, because you can simply plug it into a normal socket. You can also hang it on a charging station via an adapter. You always have the ‘charging cable’ with you, because it is attached to the car and stored in a compartment in the B-pillar.
How does that drive?
We can be short about that: nice! The fun starts even before you get in. The two large doors are identical. The door on the driver’s side therefore opens ‘opposite’ and conventionally on the passenger side. A smart way to save money, because this saves production costs. In the beginning you have to get used to it when getting in and out, but we don’t find it awkward. It makes the car even more fun and quirky. The front and rear bumpers are also exactly the same. The windows in the doors are another nod to a Citroën classic. They fold up, just like a Citroën 2CV.
A lot of space
The Rocks-e is small on the outside, but big on the inside. You get a large panoramic roof as standard, which creates a spacious feeling. The two seats are placed almost against the rear, so that even people of two meters can get behind the wheel without any problems. The driver’s seat can be adjusted manually, the passenger seat is always fixed, just above the rear axle. As a result, there is no more luggage space in the back. You can place your shopping bag or backpack in the front at the feet of your passenger, where there is 63 liters of storage space. Those looking for more space should go for the Rocks-e KARGO. This micro-commercial vehicle is available from 7,399 euros (excluding VAT) and is, according to Opel, very suitable for delivering zero-emission packages or pizza in the city centre.
But is he driving it now?
Sorry, we digressed. There is simply a lot to tell about this special Opel creation. But hey, it drives nice. Why? Thanks to the immediately available torque of the electric motor, you can enjoy more traffic. He’s not fast, but call us a microcar that is. It is quiet, and most other 45 km/h cars are certainly not. It has a turning circle of 7.20 meters, which makes it easy to maneuver in narrow streets and small alleys. But beware: the bike path is off limits to the Rocks-e.
Special driving experience
Thanks to the standard panoramic roof, you have the impression that you are driving through the city in a glass fishbowl. This allows you to enjoy the environment more and you will not suffer from claustrophobia. A problem that many other vehicles of this size do pose.
The seats of the chairs are a bit short, they could have been a little longer. Too bad, because there is a lot of legroom, so that could have been done. On the other hand: they are soft enough and how long do you really sit on them?
Bring your own audio system
In front of you you get a digital set of instruments, on which you can read the speed and the remaining range. A navigation or audio system is missing. According to Opel, you now have enough with your phone for navigating, which you can place in a phone holder on the center console. If you still want to enjoy music, you can purchase a Rocks-e bluetooth speaker from JBL, which fits exactly in a compartment in the dashboard. Simple, modern and it saves everyone money.
Three variants of the idiosyncratic Opel will be launched on the market. Standard on the Rocks-e is LED headlights and indicators and a panoramic roof. We would leave the basic variant, because it rolls on steel rims. That looks very scanty and detracts from the nice design of the Rocks-e. Our advice: go for the Tekno or the Klub. They are equipped with ‘x-Style’ wheel caps and black stripes on the doors. Other striking features are the gray body of the Rocks-e Klub and the yellow skid plates of the Rocks-e Tekno.
Who is the Opel Rocks-e . for?
We can confirm that the Rocks-e feels completely happy in the city. It is smooth, compact and emission-free. Exactly what you want in the city. And not unimportant: you are comfortably covered. Moreover, you are warm in the winter, because heating is included as standard. But according to Opel, the Rocks-e also holds its own outside the city. For example, it is ideal for students who do not yet have their car driver’s license, but who prefer not to go to school on a Vespa or speed pedelec in the winter.
How much does the Opel Rocks-e cost?
The Rocks-e is quite affordable if you compare it with other models. It is almost twice as cheap as its closest competitor, the Birò . You can drive it from 13,500 euros. You have a new Canta (petrol) for 15 grand. For the Opel you will lose a maximum of 9,299 euros.
The Rocks-e can also be financed from € 89 per month. Then you are of course not there yet, because Opel requires a deposit of 3,400 euros. There will be plenty of parents who are happy to put this amount and nine tens on the table every month, as long as their offspring do not get on a scooter.