The small- to medium-size SUV sector is a crowded one – so it’s hard for any one particular model to stand out. This is something the Vauxhall Grandland X manages to do brilliantly. It’s a true looker with plenty of other plus points in its favour, too.
As a relative newcomer on the SUV scene, the Grandland X had to make a big impression from the start. Vauxhall spent plenty of time designing a car that looks distinctive and that could only be a Vauxhall.
That’s why you’ll find that it has a great deal of chrome styling, carefully sculpted wheel arches and lots of cladding to help it to look a lot tougher than it actually may be.
At the front, there are the make’s trademark L-shaped LED daytime driving lights, and the sporty rear end adds quite a dash to its generally sleek lines.
Vauxhall spent plenty of time designing a car that looks distinctive and that could only be a Vauxhall.
What’s it like to drive?
Driver and passenger comfort seem to have been high on Vauxhall’s list of essential features for the car. This means the suspension is less sporty than you’ll find on SUVs like the Seat Ateca or the Peugeot 3008. The trade-off for this pothole-absorbing quality is its handling isn’t the most precise and it tends to roll a bit when cornering.
The steering’s on the light side, too, which is good when you’re weaving around city streets - a little less reassuring on motorway driving. There’s also a slight visibility issue with the combination of smallish windows and wide windscreen pillars limiting how much you can see from the driver’s seat.
Driver and passenger comfort seem to have been high on Vauxhall’s list of essential features for the car
As we’ve mentioned, comfort has been a major consideration when it’s come to designing the Grandland X – this starts with the front seats. All have been ergonomically designed and the higher-spec models go one stage further with AGR seats. You’ll especially feel the benefit of these after a long journey, even though they may feel a little thin and unsupportive at first.
There is plenty of headroom both in the front and the back of the car and room for a part of five, thanks to the lack of a transmission tunnel making it more comfortable for the middle passenger.
The dashboard is relatively clear with most things being controlled via the infotainment screen. Easy and intuitive to use, this also has a little ledge underneath to help steady your hand when trying to select options.
While the interior is generally quite plush, there are certain areas where Vauxhall have obviously tried to economise. Door pockets are made from rather flimsy plastic. The small windows also tend to make it quite dark inside so it might be worth looking for one of the models with a panoramic sunroof.
As a car that is firmly aimed at families, you’d expect plenty of boot space and other storage solutions – and that’s what you’ll get.
The boot capacity is in line with other SUVs in the category and should offer enough space for most owners. The floor of the boot also has two options to let you move it higher or lower depending on how much space you need. There are also other handy features like reasonably-sized pockets for odds and ends and a 12v socket.
In the car itself, there are a couple of cup holders, a pretty decent arm-rest box and extra space in the centre console, perfect to hold your road-trip snacks.
Running costs and reliability
There’s a choice of petrol, diesel or hybrid engines. It’s not a big surprise that it’s the latter that is the most economical at up to 204 mpg. This has to be weighed against the premium price you’ll pay for a hybrid.
For higher mileage driving, the 1.5-litre diesel will deliver almost 70mpg with the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine coming in at 54.3mpg according to official figures.
What we love
If looks and comfort are what you’re after in a small- to mid-sized SUV then you should get on the trail of a used Grandland X. It might not be the best-equipped or the most economical choice, but it’s a great alternative and one that definitely stands out from the crowd.
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Town and country drivers
Looks aren’t everything, but they do make up a lot of the appeal of the Vauxhall Grandland X. So if you want to stand out in the supermarket car park or at the school gates amongst the sea of other SUVs, this could be the car for you.
This review was