The Vauxhall Grandland X is decently practical, safe and good value for money. However, the mixed interior quality might put you off
The Vauxhall Grandland X is a family SUV that hopes to sway you away from alternatives with its reasonably large boot, good amount of standard safety kit and overall ease of use.
Those alternatives include the mechanically similar Peugeot 3008, the comfy Nissan Qashqai and the practical VW Tiguan, all of which are highly accomplished family SUVs.
Sit inside the Vauxhall and the dashboard looks traditional, with little surprises, and the layout is intuitive which, inevitably, makes the cabin feel less distinctive than the likes of the Peugeot 3008. The plastics in the Vauxhall feel nice and soft for the most part, but build quality is mixed – you can easily shake the centre console and the central cubby lid feels flimsy.
Inside, the Grandland X has plenty of space up front and enough room for a six-foot passenger to sit behind a similarly tall driver. That said, the Vauxhall isn’t as good at carrying three passengers in the rear seats as the slightly wider Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Vauxhall Grandland X is behind the Tiguan when it comes to boot space, too. That isn’t to say the Vauxhall’s boot isn’t large enough – it swallows baby strollers and large suitcases with ease – but the VW has around 100 litres more, which can be as much as an extra person’s luggage.
Getting the Vauxhall Grandland X is a bit like ordering a traditional dish at a modern restaurant: you know you’ll like what you’ve ordered, but you might enjoy your meal all the more if you were a bit more adventurous
Loaded up to the brim, the Vauxhall Grandland X feels best with one of the two diesel engines. The strong pulling power at low revs and hushed nature of the smaller 1.5-litre diesel makes the louder and dearer 2.0-litre a bit of a needless expense – unless you’re going to be doing lots of towing. If you’ll spend most of your time driving around town, then the punchy and cheaper 1.2-litre petrol is well worth considering.
Driving the Grandland X around town is very easy – there’s decent all-round visibility, letting you dart around city streets with confidence, and the standard rear parking sensors help when reversing in tricky spots. Out on the motorway, wind and road noise are kept at reasonable levels and the Grandland X is pretty comfortable over poor surfaces, but overall a VW Tiguan is even comfier over bumps and goes around corners with less body roll.
The Grandland X is not available with four-wheel drive but you can spec the All Road pack, which adds special tyres for mud and snow and selectable driving modes to suit the driving conditions. Fitted with the All Road pack, the Grandland X will give you peace of mind on slippery roads.
What will give you peace of mind all year round is the excellent five-star safety score from Euro NCAP. Lane departure warning is standard and so is Vauxhall’s OnStar service, which will contact the emergency services for you if you have an accident.
The Grandland X may not be the best car of its type, but it’s above average in many important areas – its space and equipment, for example – and is certainly worth considering if you want a family SUV.