Vauxhall Grandland X
It's all about grandeur
The name says it all: the Grandland X is all about grandeur. The lines have therefore been chosen to make the Grandland X look tough. The front looks extra wide thanks to chrome lines running from the logo all the way to the headlights.
A characteristic of any SUV is the high shoulder line. The Grandland X goes a step further with plastic bumpers all around in a dark shade. A nice detail: the "hockey stick" shape on the side of the car usual for Vauxhall has been placed upside down in the Grandland X, making the car appear taller rather than longer.
The roof can be executed in a contrasting colour, making it seem to float above the car. In addition, a panoramic roof is available that extends above the rear seat, giving the Grandland X a greater sense of space.
In order to reduce development costs, Vauxhall collaborated with Peugeot in designing the Grandland X. Such collaborations often result in two brands selling almost identical cars, but Vauxhall has made every effort to give the Grandland X its own character. That certainly applies to the interior, which from the sound of the door closing to the layout of the dashboard is completely different from the Peugeot 3008.
The Peugeot's interior has the layout of a sports car, while the Grandland X exudes luxury and grandeur. As the Grandland X is Vauxhall's largest SUV, the brand opts for high-quality materials and a traditional layout.
The space in the front and rear is excellent; the Grandland X offers all the space needed for five adults plus their luggage. Because there is also enough room for tall people in the back, it is noticeable that the rear headrests are too low to contribute to safety. In the front, the Grandland X "shines" with excellent seats, developed in cooperation with the German Institute for Healthy Backs.
Because of the collaboration with Peugeot, the Grandland X does not offer the same technology as Vauxhalls developed in-house. All the usual active safety features are present. Some features are simpler (such as the beam that adapts to conditions) or missing (FlexFix).
Unique to Vauxhall is "OnStar" and this is standard on every Grandland X. Among other things, OnStar offers an assistant (a human, not a computer) that can help plan journeys, make reservations or call for help. In addition, OnStar offers mobile phone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also handy: incoming e-mail can be read aloud by the computer.
The Grandland X will initially be available with two engines: a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.6-litre diesel engine. A plug-in hybrid version is under development. The aforementioned engines can also be found in the Peugeot 3008, but once again Vauxhall has gone out of its way to give the Grandland X its own character.
While Peugeot's 1.2 engine excels with liveliness, Vauxhall opts for quietness and suppleness. The Grandland X is so quiet that those not paying attention to the shift indicator can drive for miles in too low a gear!
The tremendous suppleness provides calmness, but when the accelerator pedal is pressed deeper it lacks decisiveness. The performance of the 130 hp / 230 Nm turbo engine is more than adequate, but with a car that gives such a grand feel, grand performance comes when called for.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine has a much less pronounced character than the 1.2-litre petrol engine. What is rather special is that the diesel engine is available in combination with an automatic gearbox. This automatic understands its job well: it shifts jerk-free and always at the right moment.
The 120 hp / 300 Nm diesel engine builds up its power extremely gradually, providing even more comfort but also a lack of character. Again, performance is more than adequate, but it lacks the sense of superiority that the petrol engine gives.
How the Grandland X drives also depends heavily on the engine chosen. And again, the petrol engine has a strong advantage. The Grandland X diesel drives well, is nicely balanced but ultimately doesn't stand out above average.
When the petrol engine is chosen, the Grandland X is relatively light, which makes for excellent handling. The whole car is beautifully balanced and everything, from shifting to steering, flows with so much refinement that it makes for a lot of driving pleasure in its own way. To compare it with Peugeot's counterpart: Vauxhall has managed to retain its agility and superior handling, but has replaced the sharp edges with more comfort.
To keep costs down in purchase and use, the Grandland X is not equipped with all-wheel drive. To still perform in (light) off-road and extreme weather conditions, the Grandland X provides "Intelli Grip". This adjusts the electronic anti-slip control so that the Grandland X with only front-wheel drive still gets further than an average car.
Vauxhall introduces its third SUV: the Grandland X. The Grandland X is Vauxhall's largest SUV and that translates into lots of interior space and rich equipment. Alongside the existing Vauxhall Crossland X and Mokka X, the Grandland X offers a grander feel thanks to more generous dimensions, greater comfort and refinement.
Compared to SUVs from other brands, the Grandland X is less pronounced to look at. However, its driving characteristics - with the 1.2-litre turbo engine - are far above average. Even if the Grandland X doesn't convince with its looks or equipment, a test drive certainly will.
- Extremely comfortable
- Excellent driving characteristics
- Smart, modern, sensible electronics
- Rear headrests too low
- Not as economical as promised