The Grandland X completes Vauxhall’s trio of SUV models and is the biggest of the siblings. It is available in five generously-equipped trim levels and powered by a choice of petrol or diesel engines. The Grandland X is a fabulous all-rounder that is competitively priced too.
The goodStylish, robust design and generously equipped
The badFierce competition from rivals
Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate (2018) – first drive
Vauxhall has launched a new range-topping Ultimate edition into its sporty Grandland X line-up and it looks most impressive.
The Grandland X Ultimate, priced from £34,040, is powered by a 2.0-litre 177PS diesel engine mated to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox which can deliver combined fuel economy of 57.6mpg with carbon emissions 128g/km.
The athletic, yet muscular design of the Grandland X is guaranteed to turn heads and the Ultimate model tested boasted 19-inch diamond cut alloys, a black roof and door mirrors, a panoramic glass roof, sculpted wheel arches, LED daytime running lights, dark tinted rear windows, the signature Vauxhall crease in the bonnet, a bold grille housing the Vauxhall Griffin and premium quality lights.
Although the higher-end Grandland X models are already generously equipped with the likes of wireless mobile phone charging, a Denon premium sound system and adaptive cruise control, the Ultimate versions introduce luxurious touches such as a 360-degree Panoramic Camera, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, heated sports seats, a heated steering wheel and the premium LED adaptive forward lighting pack with projector headlights.
When it comes to driving dynamics and performance, the Grandland X is a competent all-rounder and can sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 9.1 seconds before maxing out at 133mph. The acceleration through the automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive and there is a constant supply of power on tap which helps to make light work of overtaking at short notice.
In congested town centres, the elevated driving position is a plus factor with cars and pedestrians darting out from all angles and the advanced park assist will make you look the complete expert when squeezing into a tight parking space. Then out on faster motorways and country lanes, the Grandland X is also accomplished. It can easily hold its own alongside fast-moving traffic and the road-holding is confident and assured for an SUV-styled vehicle. There is a little body sway if bends are attacked too enthusiastically and noise levels within the cabin increase at higher speeds with additional engine, road surface and wind sounds filtering through.
Comfort levels are good with powered seats and lots of steering wheel adjustment available to find the ideal driving position. And there is ample room for three passengers to stretch out in the back of the car with plenty of leg, head and shoulder space. Being an SUV, the Grandland X needs to be practical and it is. The boot, complete with a powered tailgate, has a capacity ranging from 514 litres to 1,652 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there are a number of convenient storage options scattered throughout the car including deep cup holders, a glovebox, door pockets and a central bin where the wireless phone charger can be found.
Safety features are comprehensive too and include anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, speed sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, traction control with hill start assist, tyre monitoring and six airbags. It’s also worth noting that the Grandland X achieved the maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating.
Unfortunately, due to the unique wheel design on the Ultimate model, it cannot be fitted with Vauxhall’s rather clever IntelliGrip traction control system that offers extra grip in a range of challenging terrains such as snow, mud and sand.
But it is available with Vauxhall’s excellent OnStar service which connects the driver to a ‘real’ person at Luton who is like your personal assistant offering all sorts of advice and tips. If, for example, you want to find a restaurant, hotel supermarket or petrol station, you simply call them up, have a chat and they will download the directions straight to the vehicle’s sat nav system. In addition, they are there to offer assistance if the vehicle is stolen, breaks down or is involved in an accident whereby your GPS location can be sent to the emergency services.
All in all, the Grandland X Ultimate is another contender for sales in the fiercely competitive and pretty crowded SUV sector. Yes, there are more dynamic options out there and more refined models too, but the Vauxhall is an attractive all-round package and certainly worth a look.
Vauxhall Grandland X – first drive (2017)
Vauxhall has introduced a completely new model into the SUV sector and it is hoping the vehicle will prove it’s got the X factor.
That’s because the Grandland X completes the company’s trio of SUV cars joining the Mokka X and recently launched Crossland X, but as its name suggests, the Grandland is the daddy of the line-up.
At almost 4.5 metres in length, it features a striking, robust, upright design with flowing body lines, chunky wheel mouldings, a central crease in the bonnet, smart alloys, signature double blade LED lights and a large grille where the Griffin badge is supported by two neat chrome wings. A smart contrasting black-coloured roof can be selected as a £320 option.
The interior is also impressive in its design and layout with ample room for five adults to sit comfortably with plenty of leg, head and shoulder space in the back seats. The boot is generously sized too with a capacity of 514 litres increased to 1,652 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there are numerous storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin. Don’t expect to store too much in the glovebox as it’s tiny, but there are other places to tuck bits and bobs away out of sight.
The Grandland X is available in two-wheel drive only with prices starting from £22,310 and rising to £28,035 (an automatic gearbox adds £1,500 to these costs). There are four trim levels to choose from called SE, Tech Line Nav, Sport Nav and Elite Nav, and all are generously equipped with either a seven or eight-inch colour touchscreen, a sat nav system with European mapping, dual zone climate control, ambient lighting, Bluetooth connectivity and plenty more besides. Upper trim levels see the addition of an eight-speaker Denon premium sound system, wireless charging and a powered tailgate with kick-gesture or key fob opening function.
At launch the choice of engines to drive the Grandland X is limited to a 1.2-litre 130PS petrol powertrain or a 1.6-litre 120PS diesel option with either six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, but it’s worth noting that Vauxhall has announced extra engines will be added to the range.
Safety features, either standard or optional, are comprehensive and include the likes of a forward collision alert system with pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking. There is adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, a driver drowsiness alert system, traffic sign recognition and lots more.
The car also introduces Vauxhall’s innovative IntelliGrip traction control system, whereby the optional electronic system ensures optimum road grip in diverse driving situations with different modes to cope with changing conditions. These are called Normal, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP off.
And, like all new Vauxhall models these days, it offers the OnStar service which connects a driver to a real person at Luton who is like your personal assistant and can offer guidance tips about the location along with directions that can be downloaded directly to your sat nav system. In addition, they are there to advise if the vehicle is stolen, breaks down or is involved in an accident.
We tested out the Grandland X on a lengthy road route that incorporated busy town centres, motorways and country lanes.
We chose the all-singing, all-dancing Grandland X 1.6-litre 120PS Turbo diesel model in range-topping Elite Nav spec. This car was priced at £28,035 (£29,360 with options). It could sprint from 0 to 60mph in 11.8 seconds, topped out at 117mph and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel efficiency of 65.7mpg with carbon emissions of 111g/km.
The Grandland X certainly looks the business and the interior has a truly premium feel to it with a soft-touch dashboard and a neat, clutter-free layout. The dashboard has a layered effect with the upper section housing the infotainment system, the middle section is for the climate control and the lower section is the driving controls and vehicle set-up functions.
It’s very simple to get a good driving position thanks to generous seat and steering wheel adjustment and all the controls are perfectly positioned for driver usability. The elevated driving position means good all-round visibility which is vital on a family car that is likely to put in regular appearances on the school run.
Vauxhall has been clever with the finer touches too such as a ledge to rest your hand on when using the touchscreen. It can be difficult to change a radio station or programme an address into the sat nav whilst on the move and a steady hand makes this process a lot simpler.
The test car featured a six-speed manual gearbox which proved both smooth and responsive and the Grandland X easily cruised at motorway speeds. It also showed its agile side with good manoeuvrability as it weaved its way through busy town centres.
We did find the car was a tad bouncy and there was a certain degree of body roll if pushed too enthusiastically into tight bends, but it was noted that the 19-inch wheels might be a little too big for the car and that was reflected in the ride quality. In fact, we drove the same powered car on 18-inch wheels a little later and the road-holding and general handling seemed more confident and assured.
Another slight gripe is the gear stick. Whilst the chunky grab handle-style gear knob looks fabulous and is great as you shift up through the gears and back down again, finding reverse means adjusting your hand position completely and it was quite difficult at times.
All in all though, the Grandland X is another great challenger in the SUV segment and Vauxhall is hoping to attract buyers away from models such as the Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage.