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First drive: 2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.

First drive: 2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster
Ineos has taken the back off its Grenadier 4x4, but is the resulting commercial vehicle a pick-up to be reckoned with?

   



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2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

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The move into the pick-up truck market is a natural one for Ineos, and the arrival of the Grenadier Quartermaster is no surprise. But the conventional Grenadier has had a mixed reception, so can the even more commercially minded Quartermaster really mix it with the likes of the Ford Ranger?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster Fieldmaster
Price: Quartermaster from £66,215 (£81,945 as tested)
Engine: 3.0-litre, turbocharged six-cylinder petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power: 286hp
Torque: 450Nm
Emissions: 325-336g/km
Economy: 18.9-19.6mpg
0-62mph: 8.8 seconds
Top speed: 99mph
Max payload: 835kg
Max towing weight: 3,500kg (braked trailer)

Styling

The Quartermaster is, essentially, a derivative of the Grenadier, albeit with a slightly stretched wheelbase and a pick-up load bed on the back. So it's no surprise to find the front two-thirds of the vehicle looks exactly the same as that of a conventional Grenadier, but even that looks a bit awkward. There's a lot of pseudo-military stuff going on there, not to mention a lot of inspiration from the Defender and G-Class. But that isn't so bad compared with the rear of the vehicle, which really gives the Ineos the air of a cheap Chinese knock-off of a proper 4x4. The lonely tail lights are, ironically enough, a particular lowlight.

Overall, though, there will be some who kind of like the look for its boxiness, as well as the clever details that are purely designed for off-roading. Take, for example, the winches hidden in the bumpers and the clips on the doors for attaching panniers and other aftermarket gadgets. Whatever you think of the look, you have to admit the details are well thought through.

Interior

Those details continue into the cabin, which is just as much of a button-fest as in the standard Grenadier. But all those buttons are designed to be used while wearing gloves, which is part of the reason why some of them have migrated onto the ceiling. Obviously, the other reason is because it makes you feel as though youíre flying an airliner.

Despite all the buttons, some of which are more useful than others, the cabin is really dominated by the central display, which incorporates the speedometer and other useful information, as well as the usual media stuff. Thereís no speedo in front of you, and thereís no head-up display as standard, so your eyes will be drawn away from the road from time to time.

Still, thereís some clever stuff in that screen, including an off-road setting that gives you information about pitch and roll and even where the wheels are pointing, which is a neat trick. There are grab handles everywhere, too, in a bid to make sure you have something to hold on to on uneven terrain.

As with the Grenadier, quality is hit and miss, with some nice materials balanced out by some occasionally flimsy-feeling switchgear and the odd hard plastic that spoils the premium effect. But then this is a vehicle thatís designed to be hosed out Ė it even has bungs for letting the dirty water out and the switches are IP-rated for overspray Ė so perhaps we shouldnít expect too much. After all, the Defender has much the same problem.

Practicality

Surprisingly, given its size, the Quartermaster is a bit short on space. Yes, there's plenty of room in the front, but those in the back will find legroom a bit tight and visibility a bit awkward. Still, that's true of a lot of pick-up trucks, so we won't dwell on it for too long.

More problematic is the lack of carrying capacity in the load bed. Where a Ford Ranger Wildtrak will carry well over a tonne back there, the Quartermaster will only manage 835kg, and then only in petrol form. The diesel carries even less. That's an issue for tax purposes, as well as practicality, but it's the same story for the much sportier Ford Ranger Raptor, and that doesn't do too badly. At least the Quartermaster can still tow a 3,500kg trailer.

Performance

Because the Quartermaster is so closely related to the normal Grenadier, it gets the same choice of engines. You could (and indeed should) have a 3.0-litre diesel sourced from BMW, or if you really donít like having money, you can have a 3.0-litre petrol engine also sourced from BMW.

The vehicle we tested came with the 286hp petrol engine, which is lovely in its manner Ė it sounds great and it has ample get-up-and-go Ė but we just couldnít face getting 19mpg at best. Especially when the 249hp diesel is arguably even smoother in terms of its power delivery and simply suits the vehicle better Ė even if its economy isnít all that much better. Still, itíll top 20mpg, which feels more palatable.

Both engines come with eight-speed automatic gearboxes as standard, and both come with permanent all-wheel drive, which makes them both brilliant off-road. However, the diesel has a bit more torque than the petrol, which only solidifies its position as our favoured engine for off-roading. Itís not that the petrol canít cope; itís just not quite as good as the diesel.

Ride & Handling

The Quartermaster, like other Grenadier models, is unapologetically set up for off-roading. And it's brilliant at it. With permanent all-wheel drive, the locking differentials and a low-range gearbox, as well as some off-road tech such as hill descent control and a driving mode that turns off all the parking sensors to prevent annoying beeps, the Quartermaster is unstoppable.

Great axle articulation, traction and ground clearance all mean it can get wherever you want it to go, and though the extra wheelbase means it can't quite crest the same lumps and bumps the standard Grenadier can, the difference is negligible. And it'll still wade through the same 800mm of water as the passenger-orientated vehicle.

Off-roading, then, is not an issue, but on-road driving is less enjoyable. The off-road orientated suspension proves really unforgiving at any speed, and the Quartermaster can jolt and thud into bumps like a prizefighter. Subtle, it ain't. The ride does settle down a bit with something in the load bed, as is often the case with pick-ups, but it's still less comfortable than, say, a VW Amarok and it's even less compliant than the standard Grenadier.

That said, the suspension does at least make the Quartermaster feel stable on the road, with the same springs that make it so unflustered off-road keeping the body level on it. It's reasonable to drive at about 70 per cent of full blast, and you can have a little fun on the right road, but there's no getting around the vehicle's size, or the slightly weird steering that doesn't return to the centre position as you'd expect. Tight bends are the Quartermaster's natural nemesis.

Value

Quartermaster prices start at a little over £66,000 including VAT, and though they come with lots of off-road kit, including a locking centre differential, low-range gearbox and various other goodies, they aren't exactly luxurious. Even leather doesn't come as standard. If you want more kit, you can choose from an array of options, or you can upgrade to either the Trialmaster or the Fieldmaster, both of which are inspired by sister company Belstaff's motorbike jackets.

The Trialmaster is, as the name suggests, the more off-road orientated of the two, with BF Goodrich tyres and a raised air intake, while the Fieldmaster gets leather and opening sunroof panels for a bit more luxury. Both cost £73,715 plus options, and options are numerous. You can add loads of Fieldmaster bits to a Trialmaster and vice versa until you build exactly the vehicle you want. As a result, our Fieldmaster test vehicle came in at almost £82,000 including VAT.

That's a lot of money, especially when a Ford Ranger Wildtrak (with a 3.0-litre diesel engine) costs just under £40,000 plus VAT, and a 3.0-litre petrol Ranger Raptor costs less than £55,000 plus VAT even with all the optional kit on board.

Verdict

Objectively, the Quartermaster falls well short of the standard set by other pick-up trucks. It's expensive, uncomfortable and lacks carrying capability, but it does have character. There's something appealing about its attitude and its concept that gives it a surprising likeability that makes it conceivable as a heart-over-head option. And that's just as well, because would-be customers might struggle to justify their purchase using facts and figures.



James Fossdyke - 19 May 2024



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2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.

2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. Image by Ineos.    







 

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