Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 5 3.4
  • Range of small petrol and diesel motors
  • All versions are front-wheel drive
  • Five- or six-speed manual gearboxes, plus six-speed auto

Let’s start by saying that performance isn’t what the Vauxhall Crossland X SUV is about, and the array of small petrol and diesel engines with modest power outputs reflects that fact.

Vauxhall Crossland X petrol engines

The petrol range starts with the non-turbocharged 1.2, which has 83hp and 118Nm. With 0-62mph taking 13.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 105mph, it's likely to be good enough if you're driving around town, but load it up or get it on to the motorway, and you'll wish you shelled out more for a higher-powered version.

Far better performance can be expected from the turbocharged 1.2-litre engines. We’ve driven this in both 110hp/205Nm and 130hp/230Nm configurations – the former with a five-speed manual gearbox and the latter with a six-speed. The turbocharged engines are the same PureTech units you'll find in Peugeot and Citroen cars.

The 110hp engine is adequate, and more responsive than the 83hp car, with the standard five-speed gearbox stunting what performance is available. Hitting 62mph in 10.6 seconds, it’s still more than quick enough for most families, capable on the motorway, and would be our recommendation if you don’t want to stretch your finances far enough to get the high-power motor available only on pricier trim levels.

Our favourite is the highest-powered one, which has a characterful engine note and decent flexibility on the road. It covers 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds, and it does so with enough punch to at least make this small car feel nippy. You'll need at least this if you're a family user, often finding it loaded up with people or luggage.

There’s an automatic gearbox of the 110hp too, and this extends the 0-62mph dawdle to 11.8 seconds. We’ve not driven this yet, but on paper it doesn’t look like a particularly tempting option as it's less economical and less efficient than the sweet-shifting manual.

Vauxhall Crossland X: diesel engines

It’s a simple case of one engine and two transmission options here. The 1.5-litre Turbo D BlueInjection diesel comes in with 102hp and 250Nm, with 0-60mph taking 11.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard. There is an automatic version, which gets you 120hp, but on the road, it feels largely the same, with the added advantage of a very smooth-shifting gearbox.

How does the Vauxhall Crossland X drive?

  • Plenty of lean from the body in corners
  • Easy to park with optional rear-view camera
  • Don’t be fooled by the looks: this isn’t an off-roader

It's adequate and no more, and there are many more talented options to choose from if you're looking to have fun in your small family SUV. First choice would be the Ford Puma, with the sleek new Mazda CX-30 (and CX-3 if you can find one in the dealers since production ceased in early 2020) showing this Vauxhall a clean pair of heels. As it's based on the old Peugeot 2008, and there's a new one out now, it can't even be said to be competitive with its PSA sister cars.

The Crossland X is easy to drive and park, but it’s fair to say it isn’t going to rival the sector’s best when it comes to handling. The primary issue here is the amount of body lean when cornering, which is more than a little disconcerting. We found the steering to be reassuringly well-weighted, however. Vauxhall is pretty good at this and it’s refreshing to see it filtering down to the cheaper models in the range.

Despite its off-roader looks, we wouldn’t advise taking the Crossland X too far off the beaten track. In reality it’s just a small hatchback in this respect, and even a Mokka X will be far more accomplished, especially as it's available with four-wheel drive, unlike the Crossland X.

It’s a similar story with towing: these engines simply don’t have the grunt to pull much more than a small braked trailer of between 650-870kg.