Making its global debut in Geneva, the new Opel Karl offers an early look at the design -- and likely many of the features  -- expected in the fully remade 2016 Chevrolet Spark that will be officially unveiled next month at the New York Auto Show. Opel's entry-level subcompact 5-door hatchback hopes to impress the European buyers with its contemporary style and operating efficiency coupled with an impressive roster of standard and available features not often offered on vehicles in this segment.

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Available in three trim grades - Essentia, Enjoy and Cosmo - all versions of the new Karl share the same new GM Ecotec 1.0-liter/3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline unit that makes 74 horsepower. Opel Karl will offer a 5-speed automatic transmission along with the standard manual gearbox as well as an ecoFlex Package that raises its Euro fuel economy numbers to the U.S. equivalent of 55 mpg. Measuring just over 12 feet nose to tail and riding on a 93.9-inch wheelbase, the Karl's user-friendly cabin is relatively roomy by class standards. And lowering the backs on its 60/40 split-folding rear seat can up total cargo capacity to 33.2 cu ft. 

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As for cool tech touches, the new Opel Karl complements its basic stability/traction controls and anti-lock brakes with Hill Start Assist, cruise control and available adjustable steering effort while offering Lane Departure Warning and Park Assist. On the comfort/convenience front, standard/optional items include heated front seats/steering wheel, a power sunroof, Bluetooth phone/audio streaming capability, USB ports and several sound systems. It's hard to imagine that all or at least most of that kit won't make its way over to America as well.

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