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The Grandland X is Vauxhall’s largest SUV, it’s comfortable and roomy but lacks character and design flair

The Vauxhall Grandland X is the firm’s largest (and best) SUV. It is the first all-new Vauxhall to come out of the recent PSA Peugeot Citroen buyout, and shares its platform with the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs. It offers a comfortable and composed drive, with bags of space and loads of kit.

It isn’t the most characterful crossover, yet those after something sensible and well built should definitely add it to their list. We’d avoid the priciest diesel models as they don’t represent particularly good value – but opt for one of the cheaper entry-level petrol cars and you’ll have yourself a capable and well-rounded family SUV. 

Our Choice 
Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 (130PS) Turbo Tech Line Nav

The Vauxhall Grandland X launched in 2017 as the firm’s third SUV – joining the smaller Crossland X and Mokka X models in the brand’s expansive range. It was the first car to launch following PSA Peugeot Citroen’s big Opel-Vauxhall takeover – sharing its platform with the big-selling Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs.

There’s just one bodystyle to choose from, with no seven-seat option available. There are a wide range of trims and engines, however, with top-spec models costing as much as some Audis, BMWs or Land Rovers. Rivals in this crowded market span everything from the Nissan Qashqai, to the SEAT Ateca and Jeep Compass, as well as plenty more in between.

Things kick off with the entry-level Grandland X Tech Line Nav, which comes loaded with most of the kit a family might need. All cars get a touchscreen sat-nav system, 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control and cruise control. There’s plenty of safety kit, too, including forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Lane departure warning and lane assist are also standard.

Next up is SE, which, bizarrely, offers less kit for your cash. We’d avoid it unless you’re offered a particularly appealing discount or a competitive finance deal. If you’ve got more money to spend, the Sport Nav car is worth a look, although the premium it commands over Tech Line means it’s still a questionable choice. 

Elite Nav cars add bigger 19-inch wheels, leather trim and a panoramic glass roof. This model also boasts Vauxhall’s Winter Pack One, with heated seats and a heated steering wheel. Last up is the pricey Grandland X Ultimate, with LED lights, a 360-degree parking camera and wireless mobile phone charging. It’s well equipped, but costs more than many BMW X1 or Audi Q3 models. 

The Grandland X engine range is simpler. There’s a choice of one petrol and two diesel engines; the 128bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol is our top pick, while the identically-powered 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel should appeal to high-mileage drivers. The top-spec Ultimate is the only model available with the 175bhp 2.0-litre diesel. Most cars come with a six-speed manual, though an auto (with six or eight gears) is available, while four-wheel drive isn’t currently an option.

Engines, performance and drive

3.6
The Vauxhall Grandland X feels safe and secure to drive, rather than particularly fun

You’d be hard-pushed to call the Vauxhall Grandland X fun. Instead, it’s a safe and predictable car to drive, with exemplary urban manners and good motorway refinement. Engine choices are limited, but that’s no bad thing – each unit has its merits so which one you should go for really depends on how you intend to use the car. 

Built on the same EMP2 platform as the Peugeot 3008, the Grandland X feels like a very similar car to drive. We love the turbo petrol engines; they’re excellent in town but suitable for longer journeys, too. Those covering big annual mileages should look to the excellent diesels, however. Every version offers reasonable performance and low running costs.

Each model comes with the same light controls and vague steering, as well as a soft suspension set-up and a comfortable ride. PSA Peugeot Citroen isn’t famed for its tight manual gearboxes, and unfortunately the Grandland X suffers the same fate. The long throw doesn’t make for a particularly satisfying shift.

There’s quite a bit of body roll, too, so you won’t want to barrel into too many corners at high speed. Those after a sweet-handling crossover should look at the excellent Toyota C-HR or SEAT Ateca. 

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Vauxhall Grandland X engine range is surprisingly small. While buyers have a long list of specs to choose from, there are only really two engine options; a third is available if you’re splashing out on the pricey Ultimate model. 

So really, it comes down to whether you want a petrol or diesel car. Both engines are strong and relatively efficient, and both should be more than powerful enough for everyday needs.

The petrol engine is a PSA-sourced 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo with 128bhp. It’ll do 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds and hit 117mph flat out. It’s punchy and refined, too. Early diesel cars were fitted with a 1.6-litre engine, but a more modern 1.5-litre unit replaced it in late 2018, adding a bit more power and slightly improved performance. The 128bhp/300Nm diesel will do 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and top out at 117mph, feeling stronger in-gear than the tiny petrol motor.

The final engine option is restricted to the flagship Ultimate trim level. The 175bhp 2.0-litre diesel is available exclusively with an eight-speed auto box, yet despite its superior on-paper performance (0-62mph in 9.1s), we wouldn’t shell out unless you really need all the extra kit.

MPG, CO2 and running costs

4.5
Up-to-date engine range means low running costs. There’s a plug-in hybrid on the way, too

The Vauxhall Grandland X should be an affordable car to run, no matter which version you go for. Even the most expensive and most powerful diesel engine returns decent fuel economy, though the four per cent diesel surcharge on company car tax means they’re not as affordable as they once were.

Our pick of the range is the 1.2-litre (130ps) turbo petrol, which – depending on wheel size – should return around 53-54mpg, with CO2 emissions as low as 117g/km. Adding an auto box shouldn’t hurt economy or emissions, either. 

The diesels will return superior miles per gallon, with the 1.5-litre Turbo D version claiming an impressive 68.9mpg and lowly 108g/km CO2 emissions. The most expensive 2.0 (177ps) diesel auto will do 57.6mpg, while emitting 128g/km. However, sitting in the 30 per cent company car tax bracket (compared with the petrol car’s 24 per cent rating) suggests this is an engine better suited to higher-mileage drivers. 

Insurance groups 

Vauxhall Grandland X insurance groups are competitive, if not quite class leading. Entry-level cars with the smaller engines come in at group 12, while even top-spec Ultimate editions with the most powerful diesel engine are group 16. A typical mid-spec Sport Nav car would sit between group 12 and group 15.

For comparison, a SEAT Ateca starts at group 8, but stretches all the way to group 23 for a range-topping 2.0 TSI FR 4Drive turbo petrol version.

Depreciation

Most Vauxhall Grandland X models will hold onto at least 45 per cent of their value after three years or 36,000 miles. Some versions, like the 1.5-litre Turbo D in Tech Line Nav spec, will retain an impressive 52.8 per cent of its value over the same time period.

The mechanically similar Peugeot 3008 posts official figures of between 41 and 48 per cent, with the popular 1.2 PureTech GT Line car retaining the most value after three years and 36,000 miles.

Interior, design and technology

3.8
The Vauxhall Grandland X is functional but bland compared with the funky Peugeot 3008 on which it is based

The Vauxhall Grandland X is a practical and well-built family SUV. However, alongside more stylish models (including the Peugeot 3008 on which is it based) it looks a bit dull – both inside and out.

The anonymous exterior design can be livened up by one of the firm’s brighter colours, but spec your Grandland X in white, silver or black and it’ll fade into the sea of urban crossovers found lining the UK’s city streets. It’s a shame, because the nicely proportioned Vauxhall Astra family hatch is one of the sharpest-looking cars in its class.

Those familiar with the Vauxhall Grandland X’s French sister car will notice a few common parts inside. The starter button is lifted unchanged from the 3008, while many of the warning lights on the dash are the same, too. But that’s where the similarities stop; the Peugeot’s sleek digital dials have been swapped for a set of plain analogue instruments, with limited functionality and a dull design.

The main infotainment system is a match for the Peugeot’s set-up, however. There’s a handy row of buttons below the screen, while all the main functions are simple to operate. The climate controls sit low in the centre console, but are perfectly accessible and easy to adjust.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

Every Vauxhall Grandland X gets a seven-inch infotainment display, loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It’s slick enough and easy to use, with a simple menu set-up and plenty of hidden features. SE-spec and Design Line cars can be upgraded with a larger screen for around £700, with wireless phone charging an extra £180.

Vauxhall’s innovative OnStar system used to be standard on most Vauxhall models, but has recently been relegated to the options list. It costs £490 on all Grandland X variants – but as the service is being switched off in 2020, it isn’t worth the extra cash. Unless Vauxhall adds it for free, we’d give it a miss.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

4
The Grandland X doesn’t have the biggest boot in its class, but it’s still a seriously spacious SUV

The Vauxhall Grandland X is a practical family car. It has a roomy interior and a big boot, with plenty of useful cubbies and storage spaces. Visibility is excellent, with a typically raised driving position and plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel.

The five-seat SUV (there is no seven-seat version) has loads of space in the back for adults and children alike, with ISOFIX points on each of the outside seats. There are lots of storage spaces, including one ahead of the gear lever and one in the central armrest; the door bins are a decent size, and the glovebox is spacious, too.

Those after a little extra convenience should look at the inclusive option packs, which add things like parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as LED lights and a tow bar. 

Size 

The Vauxhall Grandland X is 4.47m long and 1.81m wide. It doesn’t feel like a cumbersome car on the road, but those after something a bit easier to park might be interested in the firm’s smaller SUVs: the Crossland X or Mokka X. The SEAT Ateca is shorter, but slightly wider. 

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Space in the back of Vauxhall’s Grandland X is very generous. The flat floor means there’s room for three across the rear bench, with plenty of head, leg and knee room. The large windows and light-colour headlinings mean it never feels dark, cramped or claustrophobic, either. 

There’s no seven-seat option. Whereas Peugeot offers a seven-seat 5008, Vauxhall buyers seeking an additional two seats in the boot will need to look at the Zafira Tourer or the van-based Combo Life. Every Grandland X gets three ISOFIX points, including tethers on the front passenger seat. 

Boot

The Vauxhall Grandland X’s 514-litre boot is easy to access thanks to the big, wide, and square tailgate. A Peugeot 3008 is marginally bigger with the seats in place, but fold things flat and the load bay booms to 1,652 litres – two litres more than you’ll find in the Peugeot, and almost as much as some cars in the class above. A Kia Sorento, for example, provides a 1,732-litre load bay with all five of its rear seats folded flat. 

Towing

How much your Vauxhall Grandland X can tow will depend on which engine you choose. The basic 1.2-litre (130ps) turbo models will tow a 1,350kg braked trailer, reduced to 1,100kg if you go for the automatic model.

The 1.5-litre diesels – with their punchier engines and improved torque – are better, boasting 1,400kg and 1,200kg maximums for the manual and auto models respectively. Go for the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel and you can tow up to two tonnes.

Reliability and Safety

4
The Vauxhall Grandland X uses a tried and tested platform, and was awarded a five-star crash test score

The concept of platform sharing has significantly boosted reliability and safety in recent years. Such is the case with the latest Vauxhall Grandland X, which shares its underpinnings and many parts with the excellent Peugeot 3008 SUV.

As such, both cars gained a full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating when they were tested in 2016 (Peugeot) and 2017 (Vauxhall) – with solid scores across the board. The Vauxhall gained an 84 per cent rating for adult occupant protection, and 87 per cent for child occupant protection. Pedestrian protection was rated at 63 per cent, while the Grandland X was given a 60 per cent score in the safety assist category. Whichever way you look at it, Vauxhall’s largest SUV is a safe family car. 

The Grandland X was too new to feature in our 2018 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, but the firm didn’t score particularly well in the overall manufacturer’s table. Vauxhall came 22nd out of 26 makers – with just Fiat, Renault, Citroen and Dacia languishing behind. Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and Skoda all placed in the top 10. 

That said, the Peugeot 3008 was crowned Britain’s best car to own – placing first overall and ahead of the Kia Niro, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Toyota Prius. This bodes well for the Grandland X, as the two cars share so many parts.

Warranty

Vauxhall’s old seven-year warranty is no longer applicable to its new cars, which means all Grandland X SUVs come with a three-year/60,000-mile guarantee. While it’ll be of little consequence to many motorists, Vauxhall actually offers that warranty without a mileage cap for the first year. So, if you were to cover 80,000 miles in the first 12 months, for example, your car would still be covered.

The policy is competitive, if not class leading. Kia continues to offer a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, while Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-mileage deal is particularly appealing for higher-mileage motorists.

Servicing

Bizarrely – and despite using the same engine and platform – the Vauxhall Grandland X requires less frequent servicing than its Peugeot 3008 cousin. For example, petrol Grandland X models fitted with the 1.2-litre turbo engine require servicing only every 16,000 miles (or one year), whereas the 3008 will need to be booked in every 10,000 miles.

Both Vauxhall and Peugeot offer monthly servicing deals. Both start from around £13-15 per month, and can be adapted depending on your projected mileage. If you want to pay for your services in one lump sum, the minor (around £159) and major (around £249) check-ups are priced accordingly.

Last updated: 
3 Oct, 2018
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