Vauxhall has expanded its SUV/crossover range upwards with the Grandland X to offer more space, but does bigger equal better?
The large doors make getting into the Grandland X easier than in one of its many rivals and the seat is lower set than most. Once inside, the Vauxhall offers lots of room and there’s plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat for anyone to get comfy. However, only the top two trims are offered with lumbar adjustment.
A central infotainment screen is easy to read and has clearly displayed buttons. There’s no shelf underneath to rest your hand on when using it to steady your finger’s aim, but there are steering wheel controls for the main functions and the stereo uses a simple rotary adjuster.
Move into the rear and the Grandland X can accommodate three adults, even if you opt for the panoramic glass sunroof, as it doesn’t pinch much headroom. The floor is flat right across, so stowing a wheelchair is simple. The boot is a generous size, ranging from 514- to 1652-litres. That’s better than a Nissan Qashqai and the space is well shaped with plenty of tie-down points. There’s a high load sill to overcome, though, and when the rear seats are folded they leave a step in the load floor.
The large 19-inch alloy wheels fitted to top spec Grandland X models brings a firmness that borders on uncomfortable, so the smaller wheel sizes are a better bet. They make the ride compliant but make sure that it doesn’t lean too much in bends. The light steering isn’t ideal on twisty country roads, but it’s great in town and for parking. Vauxhall only offers the Grandland X with front-wheel drive, so it’s no off- roader, but the raised driving position gives a good view forward. When reversing, however, the small back screen makes parking sensors essential.
You can choose from 120hp 1.6-litre and 177hp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines that offer up to 70.6mpg and 57.6mpg respectively. Both are quiet and punchy, but the 130hp 1.2-litre turbo petrol is the best bet. It’s smooth, hushed and the slick six-speed automatic offers a combined economy of 54.3mpg.
You have a choice of five trims, starting with the SE. It comes with alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors and lane departure warning, climate and cruise controls, a seven-inch infotainment display and Vauxhall’s IntellilLink system that lets you contact a call centre for travel, route and destination information. The Tech Line gains a larger eight-inch screen, sat-nav and voice control that makes it easier to use. It also has keyless entry and start, Lane Assist and emergency braking. Choose the Sport Nav and you get a powered tailgate to open and close the boot at the touch of a button. The Elite Nav offers leather upholstery, heated and electrically adjusted front seats and wireless phone charging, while the Ultimate gains LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, uprated stereo and heated rear seats. The Ultimate also comes with Advanced Park Assist to take care of steering the car into a bay.
The Grandland X doesn’t stand out from the competition in looks or drive, but it has lots of safety kit and low running costs to make it a worthy contender.
The Grandland X is available through the Motability Scheme, starting from your total weekly allowance plus zero Advance Payment. Find out more about the Scheme at www.motability.co.uk, or call 0300 456 4566.