Vauxhall Crossland X Review
The Vauxhall Crossland X has good engines, a nice infotainment system and a practical interior. It isn’t the best small SUV to drive, though.
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What's not so good
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The Vauxhall Crossland X is a small crossover that has chunky SUV looks and a slightly elevated driving position. The Crossland X model was introduced at the beginning of 2017 and is similar in size and price to the Seat Arona and Renault Captur as well as the Peugeot 2008 with which the Crossland X shares parts.
The Vauxhall Crossland X’s interior isn’t as stylish as in a Peugeot 2008 and you’ll find some disappointingly low-quality materials around the centre console, but on the upside, most of the buttons are intuitively positioned making them easy to find. Build quality is about average at this price – it’s better than a Suzuki Vitara, for instance, but not quite as good as a Seat Arona.
Vauxhall includes its 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard which comes with DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s bright, crisp and responsive to touch, making it one of the better systems available in small SUVs. More expensive trims (and optionally on lesser models) have an 8.0-inch version of the same great system that also includes sat-nav and an easy-to-follow 3.5-inch driver info display between the dials.
The Vauxhall Crossland X cabin is a comfortable place to spend time. Getting in and out is easy because you don’t really need to stoop down to get in to the seats and the wide-opening doors further ease access. There’s no shortage of steering wheel and seat adjustment so you can get a good driving position in no time.
Space is good in the back, too – two adults in the back of a Vauxhall Crossland X will feel much better than in something like a Nissan Juke. Unfortunately, the Crossland X is a bit too narrow to carry three passengers comfortably in the back, although, to be fair, few small SUVs do this successfully.
You’ll find plenty of places to store your clutter in the front, and the big door pockets can fit 1.5-litre water bottles. The rear door pockets are a bit smaller but still decently practical. However, if you want 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats that also slide forwards and backwards you have to spend extra since you only get a 60:40 splitting bench as standard.
Regardless of the seat option you go for, the boot is pretty spacious considering the size of the Vauxhall Crossland X. At 410 litres, it’s slightly smaller than the Renault Captur’s but comfortably ahead of a Seat Arona or Suzuki Vitara. It’s also a nice square shape, so bulky items are easier to fit. There’s no lip to carry heavy shopping bags over, but if you fold the seats and use the Crossland X’s maximum 1,255-litre capacity, there is a small step in the floor that big boxes can snag on.
Buyers have lots of choice when it comes to small SUVs and the Crossland X has the looks and infotainment to impress. It’s a shame it doesn’t impress with its drive in the same way
You have the choice of three petrol and one diesel engines. The entry-level 82hp petrol is a bit weedy so it’s best you skip it and head straight for the 110hp which is the pick of the range. You’ll love its lively nature but also the fact it is hushed at a cruise. The 130hp petrol gives you noticeably better performance when overtaking or on steep hills, but it’s coarser than the 110hp and sends more vibrations through the steering wheel.
The single 102hp 1.5-litre diesel engine is a great fuel-sipper on long motorway drives, but it makes the most noise when cold and you’ll need to drive a lot to recoup their higher purchase price.
The Vauxhall Crossland X is up there with the best of them in terms of standard equipment and value for money, but it’s near the back of the pack when it comes to driving experience. Provided you don’t get out of the city, the Vauxhall Crossland X is easy to live with thanks to a light clutch and even lighter steering that helps when maneuvering or parking.
However, take the Vauxhall Crossland X beyond 30mph and it starts to feel too bumpy even on seemingly smooth roads and the light steering becomes too sensitive to give you much confidence at speed.
At motorway speeds and the combination of engine, road and wind noise is enough to drown out a normal conversation. In short, it’s acceptable on the school run, but other alternatives are much more enjoyable and relaxing to drive.
That said, the Vauxhall Crossland X is a very safe car. It got the maximum five stars for safety from Euro NCAP. You can get auto emergency braking, but what’s missing, though, is the clever traction control system you can get on the Peugeot 2008, which is a shame, because it comes in handy during snowy winters.
All in all the Vauxhall Crossland X makes a decent case for an affordable SUV with an elevated driving position. It comes with good space and standard kit that’s optional on similarly-priced alternatives making it a smart choice – if not a particularly exciting one to drive.
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