Ultimate is a good description for the latest model to join the Vauxhall Grandland X range. Not only does it feature the most powerful engine in the mid-sized SUV, it is also the most luxurious, sitting right at the top of the five-model line-up. For those that are in the know, this newcomer shares its underpinnings and engine with the rather impressive Peugeot 3008 GT, and so we’re keen to find out whether that car’s accomplished nature has rubbed off on this Vauxhall.
We were underwhelmed with the Grandland X with the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine when it met the Nissan Qashqai in a recent twin test, but we’re pleased to say that the installation of this 174bhp 2.0-litre powerplant has transformed the car. It’s quick off the mark, has good mid-range pull for overtaking, and the new eight-speed Aisin-sourced automatic transmission changes gear smoothly and imperceptibly, even though we found it difficult to select ‘drive’ on a couple of occasions. The engine is nicely refined, and you only notice it working away when you’re driving in a spirited manner, but even then, it’s hardly raucous. There’s a touch of wind noise at a motorway pace, but pleasingly very little in the way of roar from the tyres and road surface. The steering delivers sufficient feel, is nicely accurate and is highly manoeuvrable in a town environment. Body lean is neatly contained, there’s plenty of grip from the 19-inch wheels, and it’s a pleasant, comfortable car to drive. The ride is wellresolved, too, soaking up potholes well.
The cabin of the Grandland X follows recent Vauxhall design trends, with an ovalshaped central console housing a large touchscreen that operates the infotainment system. The controls are neatly placed for ease of use, and air vents surround the display. Further down, the banks of switches are well-ordered and thoughtfully grouped together. The dashboard itself is made from squidgy materials, feeling suitably plush and well put together. The nicely bolstered seats are easily adjusted to gain a comfortable driving position, even if the chairs themselves feel as though they are mounted too high. Headroom is alright up front, but the panoramic roof does limit the amount of available space for rear seat passengers, particularly if they are over six foot tall. Leg and kneeroom is good, though, and there’s a flat floor that makes sitting three abreast easy. Cargo carrying capacity is well thought out with 514 litres available with the seats up, and this can be extended to 1,652 litres by folding the rear seats down. And while access to the boot is wide, in common with many SUVs, the sill height is high. Space for items around the cabin is reasonable, with a large lidded area in front of the gear selector and a decentsized armrest cubby, though both the door pockets and glovebox are small, with the latter compromised by the fuse box, in common with its Peugeot donor car. One other area of disappointment concerns the wireless charging for Qi-equipped smartphones, as the space available is too small to accommodate an iPhone X or any of the plus-sized devices that are commonly available.
On sale | Now In showrooms | Now
Prices | £34,040 Bodystyles | 5-door SUV
Engines | 2.0 (174bhp)
Trim levels | Ultimate
Also consider| Kia Sportage GT-Line S 2.0 CRDi, Peugeot 3008 GT BlueHDi 180
Model tested | Ultimate 2.0 Turbo D BlueInjection
Price | £34,040 Built in | Sochaux, France
Bodystyle | 5-door SUV, 5-seats
Layout| Front-wheel-drive
Powerplant| 1,997cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbo diesel
Transmission | 8-speed automatic
Stop-start| Yes SCR| Yes
Max power| 174bhp @ 3,750rpm
Max torque | 295lb ft @ 2,000rpm
Top speed | 133mph 0-62mph | 9.1secs
CO2 emissions | 128g/km (Euro-6)
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) | 53.3/61.4/57.6mpg
Fuel tank size | 53 litres Range | 672 miles
Insurance group | 24 BIK rate | 30%
Size (length/width with mirrors) | 4,477/2,098mm
Boot space (min/max) | 514/1,652 litres
Kerb/max towing weight| 1,575/2,000kg