Having been on the market for less than a year, this big seller from Vauxhall has just received an all-new diesel engine, smaller than before, but offering more power and much better economy.
Facing incredibly stiff opposition from the likes of Peugeot’s 3008, Kia’s Sportage or Seat’s Ateca, the latter pairing starting at a much more affordable price too I must add, among a plethora of others within the segment – the Grandland X needs to be a good all-rounder to stand out within crowded sector.
At a glance, the Grandland X from Vauxhall is most certainly not a bad looking car – proving sleek and stylish with a rear side profile that caught my eye one of the days I looked back at this SUV after parking up.
Finished in the stunning Topaz Blue, a £570 metallic paint option, this model tested is equipped with the contrasting black roof and mirrors at a cost of £400. Premium LED adaptive headlamps feature at a cost of £1,115, a great addition to the vast amount of safety technology on-board.
On opening the tailgate via the ‘foot swipe’ method – a means of opening which requires no hands, a highly convenient thing when you refuse to pay for a shopping bag in the grocery store and thus are struggling with hands and arms overflowing – there is a great deal of space on offer within the boot.
All my camera gear fits with room to spare, meaning busy family life won’t be an issue and during my time in a Grandland X a few months ago, we got an en suite refurbished, at which point – this SUV became van-like with the seats dropped and it coped perfectly with disposing of large boxes of smashed up tiles etc.
The cabin of the Vauxhall Grandland X is a vast improvement over the older generation cars from the maker but still a little plastic feeling compared to a few direct rivals, especially some of the switch-gear on the multi-function steering wheel and the seats could benefit from a little more support.
Despite the slight lack of support, the full black leather seats do offer good enough comfort and with a £555 winter pack added, the front seats as well as the outermost rears, come equipped with heat at the press of a button.
Climate control can be adjusted via a mix of knobs and buttons on the dash, but to adjust the areas in which you want the air to be directed, you need to use the 8-inch touch-screen where the menu pops up after pushing a button on the dash – a feature that is quite distracting and hard to get used.
With all the usual functions you would expect from a good infotainment system such as AM/FM/DAB radio, great phone integration, streaming options, Bluetooth and USB connectivity – the Grandland X also offers a traditional 3-pin, 220v socket in the rear for mains power, something great for a business user needing on-the-move laptop power or simply keeping devices up to charge during a family commute.
For this model pictured, we went to a drive event on the mainland to experience what Vauxhall are very excited about, an all-new engine that replaces their 1.6 turbo-diesel unit, a new power-train that is a little smaller in capacity, but offers a bit more power, and being mostly aluminium, saves weight too.
More and more manufacturers are starting to down-size engines and make lighter, all in the name of better efficiency and economy, and with new French owners, this Peugeot/Citroen engine will now be rolled out across all new models within the three brands.
Not much smaller than before, the all-new unit is a 1.5L turbocharged diesel producing 128bhp with 221lb/ft and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox, or an 8-speed automatic ‘box. A top speed of 119mph is achievable with a respectable 0-60mph time of 10.2 seconds, all whilst returning a combined mid-60’s mpg.
Driving the Grandland X highlights that despite the small amount of critic I have given the model, it’s a grand place to be and one which will suit many lifestyles as it offers decent room, it feels safe and handles more like a car than an SUV.
The engine is never going to win any races, but neither is it sluggish, I feel for the vast majority of owners, it’s the perfect combination of power and affordability, I’d happily opt for the new engine as it drives and performs better than a rivals SUV, fitted with a 1.7 turbocharged-diesel, that resides in our drive at home.
Five trim levels are available with this new engine, and all pricing below is based upon it being mated to the 6-speed manual gearbox, expect to add around £1,800 if you opt for the 8-speed automatic ‘box.
Starting from £24,805 with the ‘SE’ trim which gets you an IntelliLink touch-screen infotainment system, 17-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers and automatic lighting control with high beam assist.
Cruise control with speed limiter and intelligent speed adaptation features alongside lane departure warning and speed sign recognition whilst inside see’s a leather-covered steering wheel and electronic climate control including air conditioning.
The ‘Design Line’ adds 18-inch alloy wheels, black roof and mirrors, chrome detailing and dual climate control along with dual level boot floor and 60:40 split rear seats with ski-hatch and rear privacy glass, the Design Line starts from £25,805.
Next up is a ‘Tech Line Nav’ which packs much more punch and is somehow cheaper than the entry level models, at £24,430 – I feel this is the trim level to opt for.
A touch-screen infotainment system with navigation is accompanied by more stylish 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, dark-tinted rear windows, keyless entry and start and ambient interior lighting sits alongside a power tailgate.
Side blind spot alert is a handy safety feature that features along with a safety pack including driver drowsiness system, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection and lane departure warning with lane assist.
A ‘Sport Nav’ starting from £27,035 adds 18-inch diamond-cut five-spoke alloy wheels and speed sign recognition whilst an ‘Elite Nav’ gets a bit more style and quality with 19-inch diamond-cut five twin-spoke alloy wheels, fixed panoramic glass roof panel with electrically operated sunblind and sports-style black siena perforated leather seat trim.
Wireless charging for mobile devices adds convenience along with a heated windscreen and a winter pack comes as part of this trim, starting from £28,780 which includes heated electrically adjustable seating and heated steering wheel –
Servicing should be done annually or at 16,000 miles (whichever comes first) and a one-year unlimited mileage warranty is beneficial to big mile business users whilst a further two-years and up to 60,000 miles is more than suitable for the more than average private user.
Words and Photos: Graham Baalham-Curry
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