The Grandland X completes Vauxhall’s trio of SUV models and is the biggest of the siblings. It is available in four 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 – 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.