By Ian Strachan
Long before Peugeot’s parent company had taken over Vauxhall/Opel the two manufacturers were already co-operating to produce individually-badged vehicles from common floor pans, writes motoring editor Ian Strachan
One of the results of this collaboration is the largest of Vauxhall’s SUV range – the Grandland X, which is based on the same floorpan as the much-acclaimed Peugeot 3008.
But the cars, apart from being pretty much the same size, are very different. The Vauxhall maintains many design cues which will appeal to the British maker’s traditional buyers. What you get with a Grandland X is a roomy vehicle which combines the performance and handling of a hatchback with the stability and size of a bigger 4×4 or MPV.
The result is a medium sector SUV with a tough appearance and a stable drive ride which has bags of room inside. And with the Grandland X you also gets bags of technology, particularly with Vauxhall’s OnStar system which gives the ultimate in connectivity. A wi-fi hotspot, automatic crash response, smartphone, and vehicle diagnostics are all available at the touch of a button.
The Grandland X Sport which I tested is powered by a willing direct injection 1.6 litre diesel engine delivering brisk 120bhp performance. But this is a car that looks at home on a motorway or negotiating country lanes, helped by stability control and multiple-choice traction control for maximum grip.
As a result it handles remarkably well, even in slippery road conditions. Cornering is sure footed with no body roll and the sensible suspension set up ensures a comfortable ride.
The engine provides good performance throughout the speed range, delivering power smoothly but with plenty of mid-range pull. It’s helped by a pleasant-to-use six speed manual transmission.
Fuel consumption comes in at 70.6 miles to the gallon in mixed driving, which is excellent for a car of this size and content.
The interior is light, well laid out, and spacious with plenty of room for five adults. The large luggage area can be further improved with the ability to fold the three rear seats flat.
The technology is standard across all models, and includes an infotainment system controlled on a clear eight-inch touchscreen. All the information, entertainment and control you need is at the touch of a fingertip including smartphone projection, navigation, DAB radio, voice control and Apple CarPlay. There’s also a Smartphone charging plate option at £160 – extremely useful.
Other equipment levels are generous. Standard features on the Sport specification include smart diamond-cut 18 inch alloys, front fog lights, powered tailgate, lane departure warning and blind spot alert . You also get LED daytime running lights and high-beam assist headlamps, cruise control with speed limiter, automatic dual zone climate control, powered, heated door mirrors and electric windows. My test car was fitted with a heated windshield (£100), front and rear park assist (£570), roof rails (£100) and a very welcome winter pack which included a heated steering wheel (£555).
This is a solid and enjoyable vehicle that looks good. And you’ll love playing with the technology. The Grandland X starts at £22,310. The Sport Nav version I tested is £25,950 on the road. which is competitive with its rivals without sacrificing quality or specification.