Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Three engines available in the Grandland X
  • Petrol and diesel options are both good ones
  • Hybrids powerful and economical

The engines offered in the Grandland X are shared with the Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross among others.

Petrol engines

Interestingly, rather than a traditional four-cylinder engine, the 1.2-litre petrol engine only has three-cylinders. Why should you care? It improves MPG. If you listen carefully, it might sound slightly more high-pitched than four-cylinder engines too. This 1.2-litre is smooth and punchy, with 130hp from 5,500rpm and a useful 230Nm of torque available from 1,750rpm. It completes the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in 11.1 seconds when paired with a manual gearbox and 10.9 seconds with the auto – and both are capable of reaching a 117mph top speed.

Diesel engines

The 1.5-litre diesel engine is brilliant, as you'll find in all of the cars it's fitted to. It pulls strongly yet smoothly, and is suitably refined at speed. With 130hp at 3,750rpm and 300Nm from 1,750rpm, you can expect a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds for the manual and 12.3 seconds for the auto. Top speed is 119mph with either transmission. Our advice: stick with the manual, as at this level it’s much slicker and nicer to drive than the indecisive auto.

Hybrid engines

Topping the range are the hybrid models. These are essentially, greener, more economical, and faster, than the petrol or diesel. The downsides? Well, they're more expensive, and you'll have to plug them in to benefit from the electric motors.

We've tested the 300hp Hybrid4 model. It's the most powerful Vauxhall currently on sale and it feels it - 0-62mph comes up in 5.9 seconds and there are paddles behind the steering wheel if you want to change gear yourself too. The eight speed automatic isn't the sharpest if you're really wanting to attack a track. But we bet that you're not too bothered by that.

Maths fans: pay attention. The Hybrid4 model has a 1.6-lite turbo petrol engine making 200hp. It also has a front electric motor developing 110hp, and the rear motor makes 113hp. This adds up to 423hp. But the power rating is only 300hp.

While in full power mode, all three power sources are in use, because they all work at different RPM, there's not a single moment all three can produce maximum power.

On the flip side, rather than having a theoretical 300hp (dependent on battery levels) you'll always have 300hp. This is because even when the digital readout is at 0 electric range - you still have 15% battery. This means that even if you've 'run out' of electric power, you still have 300hp at your disposal.

There are four driving modes, electric, hybrid, AWD, and sport. Lock it into sport and full power is available. In electric mode it's mostly rear-wheel-drive, with a theoretical 35 mile range. Even at motorway speeds, we just about managed 30 miles. That's with 'B' mode selected - which is a form of regenerative braking.

The Hybrid uses the same 1.6-litre engine, although it's detuned. And it makes do with one electric motor - not two. This means it has 225hp, and is capable of the standard 0-62mph sprint in 8.6 seconds. Both hybrids take around 1 hour and 50 minutes to charge from a standard wallbox.

Engines no longer available

Before the 1.5-litre diesel arrived in 2018, a 1.6-litre motor was available. It was an engine we rated - in fact, the 1.5 that replaced it has similar characteristics, although the 1.6 was shy on power at 120hp. Performance-wise the 1.6-litre Turbo D had a top speed of 117mph for the manual, 115mph for the automatic, with 0-62mph times of 11.8 and 12.2 seconds, respectively.

A 2.0-litre diesel with 177hp at 3,750rpm and 400Nm at 2,000rpm is also available on the used market. This is appreciably faster than the lower-powered units, with 0-62mph falling in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 133mph. It’s available only with an automatic gearbox but in this setting the self-shifter works quite well, thanks to a deeper well of torque to call on in this largest engine. As a package, it’s surprisingly responsive given that there is just one transmission mode – so there’s no faffing around with comfort or sport settings. This engine pulls really well, and only gets noisy at higher revs.

How does it handle?

  • Quick, light steering lacks feel
  • Body movement is well-controlled
  • Good grip levels

The Grandland X's steering is quicker than you’d expect and a little light, suffering from an ultimate lack of feel. As you’d expect from a tall car there’s also a fair bit of lean when you corner quickly, but it’s a reasonably well-controlled movement rather than a sickness-inducing wallow.

Traction levels are quite high but the mostly comfy ride gets a bit busy at higher speeds, especially while cornering. All-in-all the handling is good enough for the market it's aimed at – although not as sharp as the SEAT Ateca or Renault Kadjar.

Despite the Hybrid4 being the fastest of the range, there’s still very little feel to the steering. And there’s a tremendous amount of roll. Tip it into a long curvy corner and you can feel the car tilt, as you'll also hear a fair heft of tyre roar. Because of the four-wheel-drive there’s plenty of grip. It's fast then, but just not all that engaging.