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First drive: Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.

First drive: Vauxhall Crossland X
Niche-mixing Crossland X from Vauxhall.

 



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Vauxhall Crossland X

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

MPV, SUV or crossover? The new Vauxhall Crossland X mixes elements of all in a compact, space efficient family car.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2t Elite
Price: 19,395
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Body style: five-door crossover
CO2 emissions: 116g/km
Combined economy: 55.4mpg
Top speed: 128mph
0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
Power: 130hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 230Nm at 1,750rpm

What's this?

That's a good question, and one we're still pondering. Vauxhall refers to the new Crossland X as an 'urban crossover', replacing the Meriva compact MPV, yet clearly styled to suit the burgeoning SUV/crossover market. It's a bit of a fusion of all, then, where the cabin has elements of MPV thanks to things like the sliding rear seats and the expansive glass area up front, yet the design hints at SUV ruggedness. It's a mixed bag, then, but one with appeal, as its compact dimensions cloth a usefully spacious interior.

In typical Vauxhall fashion it's not breaking new ground in interior design, trailing its rivals for flair, though the payoff for that is ease of use and simplicity. That'll appeal to many; not only does the unfussy nature of the cabin work well enough, but it's less likely to look dated in a few years' time. The view out is decent up front, too, though the back window is small, making the optional reversing camera a useful addition.

The standard equipment list is pretty comprehensive, as the base SE model includes a touchscreen infotainment system with all the connectivity you need, climate control, adaptive cruise control and Lane Departure Warning. There's the option of a head-up display, and from model year 2018 there'll be Forward Collision Alert with pedestrian detection and a Driver Drowsiness System.

The boot is decently sized and shaped, as well, while the rear seats have a 40/60 split fold and they slide, too. Higher trim models get a variable boot floor. There's a pair of ISOFIX mounts on the outer rear seats, though three abreast across the back would be a touch tight if those outer positions have child seats on them - in fairness, that's true of all its rivals.

How does it drive?

It's all very predictable, so the Crossland X isn't going to excite its driver, but if you want an easy drive then that's what you'll get here. Sampled in the range-topping 130hp 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol form, the engine's smooth and quick, making it an able performer both around town and on the motorway. Economy is good, too, though if that's your ultimate goal then the diesel choices will better suit.

The six-speed manual gearbox is fairly long in its throw and the gear knob's a bit of an unusual shape - exacerbated in some gears by the stick's position. There's plenty of adjustment behind the wheel to get comfortable, however, the steering is light and the simplicity of the controls and clarity of the instruments are refreshing these days.

If there's a highlight it's definitely the engine; while most Crossland Xs will be bought in lowlier specifications, the turbocharged triple's enthusiasm is impressive, its low-rev torque making for easy progress. It's quiet, too, rarely betraying its three-cylinder status. It's a shame that the chassis isn't better suited; while we understand the Crossover X will spend a great deal of time doing mundane school runs and the like the chassis could use a bit more sparkle.

It rides decently enough, but that softness is sometimes at the expense of control, so the Crossland X is prone to lean in the corners and it's a bit bouncy over less than smooth roads. Not as sharp as several supermini alternatives, then, nor indeed some of its more obvious small crossover rivals, but that's forgivable given the brief.

Verdict

The niche-mixing Vauxhall Crossland X is not ground breaking, but utterly fit for purpose. That'll suit many, so it's difficult to be too critical, though it's flattered here by the most powerful engine. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs with the smaller, less powerful choices, in lesser trim levels. Nonetheless, the Crossland X is an able small family car, with decent interior space, the lofty upright driving position of an SUV and some MPV usefulness sprinkled around its refreshingly simple, decently specified interior.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 11 May 2017









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2017 Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Crossland X. Image by Vauxhall.








 

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