Vauxhall's Qashqai-fighter could well have winning style
- SUV completes line-up of three new X-branded family cars
- Promise of ample personalisation options and cutting-edge tech
- Well-equipped for the money, all offered with Vauxhall OnStar
- Available to order now, but deliveries start in late 2017
- Limited range of engines from launch
- No four-wheel drive version for adventurous types
The Vauxhall Grandland X is the third member of its X-branded family, slotting in at the top of the range, above the entry-level Crossland X and mid-range Mokka X. It will go head to head with rivals, such as the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008.
Not only is the Grandland X targeting the same market segment as the Peugeot, it’s based on, but it shares the underpinnings and large amounts of mechanical componentry with the forthcoming Citroen C5 Aircross and the DS 7 Crossback.
Vauxhall expects that this will become its second-bestselling car behind the Corsa, which is ambitious considering it doesn't directly replace any model in its range. However, as well as taking sales from the big market sector sellers Nissan, Renault and Ford, Vauxhall expects existing Zafira Tourer buyers to move across to the new SUV.
What is a Vauxhall Grandland X?
It's a mid-sized SUV, with seating for five, and comes equipped with a raft of driver technology, as Vauxhall races to catch up with its opposition in the hotly contested family car market.
Autonomous emergency braking, driver drowsiness alert and park assist are available across the range, which is aggressively prices and generously equipped.
It is a practical and usable car, too, with an elevated seating position, and acres of glass for a light and airy interior. Vauxhall says it has class-leading interior space, which certainly seemed the case when Parkers had an exclusive eraly preview of the car. The luggage space looks impressive, with a capacity that ranges from 514 litres (and increases to 1,652 litres with the rear seats folded down).
Looking good, packed with tech
It's a very good-looking car, especially from the rear. It needs to be – there are many talented rivals that it's going up against, and as a class newcomer, it needs to stand out.
The Grandland X follows on from the Insignia Grand Sport in adopting a more 'premium' interior and exterior design. It has highly sculpted wheelarches, and acres of cladding on the side to add to its go-anywhere appeal.
The interior looks good, too, and follows the Insignia in offering a de-cluttered dashboard and generously proportioned touchscreen. You can specify the Grandland X with the following equipment:
- IntelliLink infotainment system
- Vauxhall OnStar, which now includes new services such as hotel booking and parking space search
- Wireless charging for mobile handsets
- Adaptive Forward Lighting LED headlamps
- Electronic Grip Control
- Adaptive Cruise Control with pedestrian detection
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Driver Drowsiness Alert
- Advanced Park Assist
Prices and engines
There is one petrol and one diesel engine available across the range: a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol producing 130hp or a 1.6-litre diesel producing 120hp producing 104g/km of CO2.
The entry-level Grandland X is aggressively priced for the 130hp 1.2-litre Tech Line Nav model. This comes fitted with stop-start and a six-speed manual transmission.
There are four trim levels ranging from SE, Tech Line Nav, Sport Nav and Elite Nav. The flagship Elite Nav is also reasonably priced when fitted with the flagship 120hp 1.6-litre Turbo D diesel engine and six-speed automatic gearbox.
Styled for the family
It's unmistakably a Vauxhall, though, with contrasting roof treatments, plenty of chrome detailing, and the company's signature L-shaped LED daytime running lights. Vauxhall offers a myriad of personalisation options, too.
We're intrigued by the AGR-certified (in other words, supremely supportive) ergonomic front seats, which do deliver great long-distance comfort.
The option of a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and smart tailgate, that opens with a kick, all ensure driver and passenger comfort, are also notable features that appeal to family drivers.
The Parkers Verdict
The Grandland X should be a success for Vauxhall. It's certainly a better looking effort than the gawky Mokka X and pudding-like Crossland X, being particularly handsome around the rear quarters.
It's well-equipped, with some interesting safety kit as standard. This is good news at such a competitive launch price. Vauxhall OnStar – the concierge system that more cars should have as standard – is a brilliant standard fitment, too.
It comfortable for long distances, and is refined. It isn't the sharpest driver's tool in this segment – but it probably doesn't need to be.