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First drive: Vauxhall Grandland X 1.6 Turbo D. Image by Vauxhall.

First drive: Vauxhall Grandland X 1.6 Turbo D
We try Vauxhall's new entry in the hard-fought crossover sector.

 



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Vauxhall Grandland X 1.6 Turbo D

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Few may have guessed that when the Vauxhall Grandland X was developed in partnership with Peugeot, that the PSA Group would own the company by the time it reached the market. However, this remains very much a Vauxhall, despite sharing its underpinnings with the Peugeot 3008.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Vauxhall Grandland X 1.6 diesel Elite Nav
Price: 28,035, range starts at 22,485
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-seat SUV
Combined economy: 55.3mpg
Top speed: 116mph
0-62mph: 11.8 seconds
Power: 120hp at 3,500rpm
Torque: 300Nm at 1,750rpm

What's this?

This is the Vauxhall Grandland X, an all-new SUV that is the third prong in the company's off-road-themed model range. It joins the Mokka X and Crossland X, and the company hopes it can cut off a bigger slice of the crossover pie. Previous attempts at cracking the SUV market haven't been so lucky, but Vauxhall now appears to have the formula right.

The Grandland X was developed alongside the Peugeot 3008 but, visually at least, there's no way that you would know. Eagle-eyed enthusiasts will spot that the two share the same engine start button, but little else. Under the bonnet, UK buyers will get a choice of either a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is a 130hp turbocharged three-cylinder unit, or a 120hp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, which are Peugeot's PureTech and BlueHDi units respectively.

Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, while the Grandland X remains exclusively front-wheel drive. Vauxhall will offer Grip Control on selected models, which gives a choice of settings for the traction control system to suit different terrains. It simulates four-wheel drive by enabling different rates of slip with the front wheels to maintain forward momentum on more challenging surfaces.

The roomy cabin has good head and legroom and it can be made even more spacious with an optional glass roof. A typical five-seat layout allows for a 514-litre boot that can grow to 1,652 litres when you tumble the rear seats forward. All Grandland X models come equipped with Vauxhall's OnStar system that brings connected services to the car. It gives you the ability to contact a call centre 24/7 to help with all manner of things, like getting directions which they can remotely send straight to your car's sat nav. It also doubles as a WiFi hotspot, which should help pacify younger passengers on longer journeys.

How does it drive?

In a world where so many cars are deemed to be dynamic simply because they have stiffer suspension, the Grandland X forgoes this in favour of a decent ability to soak up bumps. Even riding on larger 18-inch alloy wheels, the Vauxhall delivers a comfortable ride, and it's especially compliant on a motorway cruise. In the bends, things do become a little undone, where there is more body roll than some of its rivals. The handling doesn't feel as sharp as a SEAT Ateca's, for example. But then the Grandland X isn't trying to come across as a sporty SUV or one that's trying to be something it's not. Comfort is what the Vauxhall seems to do best.

For many, the 1.6-litre diesel is still likely to be the more tempting engine option to choose. Its low CO2 emissions of 104g/km and claimed 55mpg combined figure make easy reading for a household budget. The turbocharged four-cylinder isn't especially punchy to drive, but it makes good use of its 300Nm of torque, helped by the lack of a heavier all-wheel drive system to lug around. We were less impressed with the somewhat cumbersome manual, with changes across the box not feeling as precise as some of the competition.

Verdict

If you primarily want an SUV for the higher driving position and space inside, then the Grandland X should be on your shortlist. Vauxhall has produced a well-packaged car that has good levels of comfort and a choice of engines that should leave you happy, regardless of which one you choose. More importantly, unlike some SUVs on the market, you don't need to pick the top level specification to get the most from it.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 12 Oct 2017









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2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.

2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.2017 Vauxhall Grandland X drive. Image by Vauxhall.








 

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