Vauxhall Grandland review
The Vauxhall Grandland (nee Grandland X) offers a comfortable and composed drive, with bags of space and loads of kit. Recent revisions mean the Grandland now has a more stylish look, improved on-board tech and plug-in hybrid power to accompany its new name.
It isn’t the most characterful crossover, however, although 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 – opting for one of the cheaper entry-level petrol cars is a better bet for a capable and well-rounded family SUV.
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.
While its Peugeot SUV cousins traded on a sense of style, the Grandland X suffered from somewhat of an image problem. Although it fulfilled its practical, family SUV brief pretty well, its exterior styling was a little plain, while the lacklustre cabin and onboard technology lagged behind rivals.
A facelift in 2021 saw the ‘X’ dropped from the model name and a sharper overall look, particularly at the front end where the Grandland now includes the company’s Vizor grille design – already in use with the Mokka and new Astra. Vauxhall’s Adaptive IntelliLux LED Pixel headlights are included on higher-spec models, while all except the base SE cars include a 10-inch colour touchscreen.
Buyers have just one five-door bodystyle to choose from, with no seven-seat option available, and Vauxhall has slimmed down the choice of available engines. A 1.2-litre 128bhp petrol, or a identically-powered 1.5-litre diesel unit make up the core of the range, while the Grandland petrol plug-in hybrid model is available with 222bhp and, according to Vauxhall, delivers up to 39 miles of all-electric drive.
Petrol cars come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with an eight-speed auto transmission offered at extra cost. The diesel and plug-in hybrid versions are only available with the auto ‘box, and if you’re looking for a four-wheel-drive SUV you’ll need to look elsewhere, as the Grandland is front-wheel-drive only.
Vauxhall has pared back trim levels for the Grandland to now include Design, GS Line and top-of-the-range Ultimate, while the plug-in model does without the entry Design specification.
Rivals in this crowded market span everything from the Nissan Qashqai, to the SEAT Ateca and Jeep Compass, while the all-new Kia Sportage will bring further competition, along with the Hyundai Tucson which is our current class favourite. The Grandland will also be doing battle with the Skoda Karoq, Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, VW Tiguan, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, so it certainly has its work cut out.
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