What Car? says...
You could see the Vauxhall Crossland small SUV as the more sensible sibling of the British car brand's funkier Mokka.
So what sets the Crossland apart from its more glamorous stablemate? Well, it's the cheaper option of the two for a start, which could make it attractive in its own way. It's also more practical, with a bigger boot and the option of sliding and reclining rear seats.
Indeed, the Vauxhall Mokka is really designed for those who are less fussed about practicality and more interested in eye-catching styling and bright paint colours. It is also available as a fully electric car – the Vauxhall Mokka-e.
There's no electric Crossland available, but there is a choice of petrol and diesel engines in the range. Depending on which one you pick, you can have a manual or automatic gearbox.
Both cars are based on the Peugeot 2008, except the Crossland sits on the underpinnings of the previous-generation 2008 (2013-19), whereas the Mokka is based on the latest car. If you're wondering why there's a French connection, it's because Vauxhall now operates under the PSA umbrella, which also covers Citroën, DS and Peugeot.
So, should you choose the Vauxhall Crossland over its many rivals in the small SUV category? After all, you might also be considering the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke, Skoda Kamiq, Volkswagen T-Roc and others.
That's what this review will help you decide. We'll tell you all about the Crossland’s performance and refinement, practicality, cost of ownership and safety, as well as which engines and trims make the most sense.
When you've decided which make and model of car to buy, we can also help you save potentially thousands off the list price if you search our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It has lots of the best new Vauxhall Crossland deals.
More on the Vauxhall Crossland
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Vauxhall Crossland's entry-level non-turbocharged 1.2 (83PS) petrol has a fairly measly 82bhp and takes 14.0sec to get from 0-62mph. We'd advise at least stepping up to the 1.2 (110PS) Turbo, with its more useful 109bhp. It’s the best version of the 1.2 based on cost and performance, and is a willing engine when revved, providing enough punch for most situations. The official 0-62mph time is 10.5sec, which is quicker than the Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95.
That said, the extra power of the 128bhp 1.2 (130PS) Turbo is welcome. It pulls really well from around 2000rpm, so there's no need to thrash it to get up to speed. It’s the only petrol that’s available with the option of the six-speed automatic gearbox, which is fine, but doesn’t change down as swiftly as a few of the rival autos, including the Volkswagen T-Roc.
There are two diesels in the range: the 109bhp 1.5 (110PS) Turbo D and the 118bhp 1.5 (120PS) Turbo D. Neither beats the 1.2 (110PS) Turbo petrol for outright pace and, while they will be better if you tow a caravan or more economical if you're a high-mileage user, for most buyers the petrols are a better bet.
Suspension and ride comfort
There are better-riding cars in the small SUV category, so if comfort is your 'biggie' then try out the yielding cushioning of the Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc.
The Crossland rides more like the Nissan Juke. It's not uncomfortable, and it absorbs most bumps pretty well, but certain sharper-edged abrasions thud through the cabin, and it's never truly settled on the motorway, unless you're lucky enough to find a dead-smooth section.
If ride quality is a big concern for you, it's best to stick with the smaller 16in wheels fitted to SE Edition models, as larger wheels can make it worse.
If you spend most of your time weaving through urban traffic, the Crossland does a good job. Its light steering makes it easy to nip in and out of lanes and helps with low-speed parking manoeuvres.
When you head out into the countryside and along winding lanes, the steering feels accurate and faithful enough for you to guide the Crossland with relative ease. Sadly, though, with less grip and more body lean than some of its lighter-footed rivals, it's not a whole heap of fun. It's also affected by crosswinds on motorways.
Noise and vibration
The three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrols are a bit noisier than the 1.0 TSI engines in the Kamiq or T-Roc, and they thrum the most when accelerating from a low speed. They send some vibrations back into the interior, most obviously through the gearlever, but you can also feel the steering wheel and pedals buzzing at times.
Speaking of the gearlever, the manual gearchange isn't that good. The lever has a long throw, it's not very precise and the clutch biting point is so vague you're generally thinking, "Crikey, don't stall it" every time you pull away at traffic lights. That's not a problem you'll have in the Arona, which has a much more predictable clutch, while the Puma has a far nicer, snickety gear change. The Crossland’s automatic gearbox changes pretty smoothly, though.
At a steady 70mph, the Crossland is prone to the effects of wind gusting over its door mirrors and road noise than the ultra-quiet T-Roc. The Peugeot 2008 is a quieter motorway car, too.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Most people will find the basics in the Vauxhall Crossland pretty good. There's lots of steering wheel adjustment – for in and out as well as up and down – and seat height adjustment for all trims. If you go for anything other than the entry-level SE Edition trim, you get an 'Ergonomic Active Driver's seat'. That means it comes with adjustment for the seat squab angle and length, as well as electrically operated four-way lumbar adjustment. It's comfortable to sit in, but it doesn't have much in the way of side support to keep you propped up in corners.
Our biggest gripe is the lack of space between the clutch pedal and the side of the footwell – if you've got big feet you'll snag the clutch pedal every time you pass it in search of the footrest. The pedals are also offset to the right, which tends to annoy people with shorter legs.
In the good news section, the heater controls are all physical knobs and buttons that are easier to use than touch-sensitive controls and the analogue instruments are easy to see. You get a small digital screen between the dials, for information on things such as fuel consumption, media and telephone. There's no option to have digital dials, which you can get – either as an option or as standard – in most of the Crossland's rivals.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Visibility out of the Crossland isn't too bad at junctions because the side window-line is quite low and the middle pillars are set back far enough that they don't impede your view – the DS3 Crossback and Peugeot 2008 are much, much worse in that respect.
The base of the Crossland's windscreen pillars are quite fat, though, and you sit so far from the windscreen that most people won't have a clue where the end of the bonnet is. The rear pillars are also quite big compared with on the Skoda Kamiq, which is one of the easiest small SUVs to see out of in any direction. You can improve matters in the Crossland if you go for an Elite Edition, which gets front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree reversing camera.
All trims come with LED headlights. They are much better for picking your way along unlit roads at night than halogen bulbs, which are all you can have on the Kia Stonic.
Sat nav and infotainment
You get a 7.0in touchscreen as standard in the Crossland if you go for SE Edition trim, which also includes a DAB radio, six speakers, Bluetooth and, importantly, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (so you can use your smartphone and its apps from the screen).
All the other trim levels feature built-in sat-nav and an 8.0in touchscreen. Wireless phone-charging comes as standard on Elite Edition and the top Ultimate Edition trim.
The Vauxhall software is very similar to Citroën and Peugeot's, but if anything it's a little more responsive and the menus are slightly better organised. It's still not that great, and you'll find much quicker and more useable systems in the Seat Arona, Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross or T-Roc. The best set-ups in the class are those that offer a physical interface rather than just a touchscreen, including the ones in the Mazda CX-3 and Mini Countryman.
The interior of the Crossland is not unlike the one in the Ford Puma. It looks smart at a glance, and there are some plusher, soft-touch materials – on the top of the dashboard, for instance – along with some chrome and gloss black finishers.
Is it the best in the class, though? No, because the surfaces feel a lot cheaper as your hand runs lower down the interior, and, in places, it doesn't feel very sturdy. A Nissan Juke has a much nicer overall ambience, as does the Skoda Kamiq. Rivals such as the T-Roc and T-Cross are more solidly made but have an abundance of harsh and unyielding plastics.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Access through the Vauxhall Crossland's big front doors is good and, once you're inside, there's plenty of head and leg room, even if you're tall. The Volkswagen T-Roc is wider, so if you prefer to have more distance between you and your passenger, that’s worth considering instead.
Storage space is not as vast as it is in the Skoda Kamiq but you still get plenty of trays and a couple of cupholders. The door bins might be long but they're also shallow, and the glovebox is minuscule.
Ultimately, the Crossland is beaten on rear space by many rivals these days, including the Ford Puma and Nissan Juke, but most convincingly by the Kamiq, which offers an astonishing amount of space for its size.
Head room is not a problem, but if you’re in the back and over six feet tall – and sitting behind someone with the front seats slid rearwards – you’ll have very little knee room. On the plus side, the foot space under its front seats is fine and the central tunnel that runs along its floor isn't as pronounced as it is in other competitors.
Just as it is in the front, the Crossland isn’t particularly wide, so you'd be better off with the broader T-Roc. If you regularly carry three adults in the back, you’ll need an SRi Edition model and above to get a third, central rear headrest. There's not a lot of storage space in the back either, with just a couple of small door bins, and it's only on upper trims that you get a rear armrest and map pockets.
Seat folding and flexibility
SE Edition trim has fairly typical 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Mid-range SRi Edition and above come with the Versatility Pack, which includes reclining and sliding rear seats (plus that third headrest we mentioned earlier).
There aren't many cars in the small SUV class that have all those features, or even any of them. It's just a shame that they're only provided on pricier models.
At 410 litres (or up to 520 litres on models with sliding rear seats), the Crossland’s boot is bigger than most of the competition's, including the Juke’s and the Kamiq's. The Puma, with its big well under the floor, has more space overall, but you'll easily get a buggy or a couple of medium-sized suitcases in the back of the Crossland.
On top of the boot's size, it's also usefully square and, if you pick SRi Edition or Ultimate Edition trim, you'll get a height-adjustable boot floor. If you raise it up, there's hardly any lip down from the bottom of the tailgate opening and you get a smooth floor when the rear seats are folded down. On other versions without the adjustable boot floor, there is a step in the extended load bay with the seats folded and a bigger lip to heave items over.
Accessibility & Motability
Usability for people with disability or their carers
Motability - Access
The Vauxhall Crossland gets off to a good start by having doors that open to a comparatively wide 65 degrees, which means they’re well out of the way when you want to climb in and out. What’s more, the door pulls are reasonably far forward on the door so you shouldn’t have to stretch out too far to shut the door.
At its lowest setting, the driver’s seat is 60mm from the ground – pretty much an ideal height for most people. Both front seats can be adjusted for height in all trim levels.
The tops of the door sills are fairly high at 430mm from the ground, so you’ll have to lift your legs a bit when getting in, and there’s a drop of just over 110mm from the top of the sill to the car’s floor, so you’ll need to lift your legs a bit on the way out of the car.
The door aperture is tall and wide, though, so you won’t have to bend your neck much at all when getting in and out – a boon for those with restricted mobility.
Motability - Storage
Most trim levels of Vauxhall Crossland provide 410 litres of boot space – pretty much average for this class of car. However, if you opt for SRi Edition or Ultimate Edition trim, you get a Versatility Pack that can boost that figure to 520 litres. That comes courtesy of a rear seat that can slide forwards to increase boot space, and splits 60/40.
That said, even without that pack, a wheelchair will fit in the Crossland’s boot, as long as it’s folded. If you want to leave your wheelchair assembled, it will fit with the back seats folded down.
The Versatility Pack also makes it much easier to slide bulk items in and out of the boot, thanks to the variable-height boot floor it brings. When this is in its highest setting, there’s almost no lip to lift items over. However, without this floor there’s a considerable 140mm drop between the lip and the boot floor, plus the seats leave a step when folded down.
Motability - Ease of use and options
Only two engines in the Crossland range offer the option of an automatic gearbox. Fortunately, both are decent. The 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol is a seriously zingy companion that revs quickly and pulls strongly. Its well-suited to driving around town as well as venturing onto country roads. The automatic gearbox itself is pretty smooth and does a decent job of knowing which gear to use at any given moment.
For those who rack up more motorway miles, the 118bhp 1.5-litre turbodiesel is strong and its average economy figure of more than 56mpg isn’t to be sniffed at.
Even entry-level SE Edition models have automatic lights and wipers and cruise control, but SRi Edition adds automatic full beam. Stepping up to Elite Edition and adding the Safety pack is well worth it because it brings parking sensors at both ends, as well as better infotainment. Unfortunately, keyless entry and go is only available on top-spec Ultimate Edition versions.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Vauxhall Crossland's entry-level SE Edition trim with the gutless 1.2 (83PS) engine costs about the same as a similarly equipped Skoda Kamiq SE, and is cheap next to an entry-level Ford Puma. However, if you go for a trim and engine that you actually want (which in our opinion is the 1.2 (110PS) Turbo Elite Edition), the Crossland is hardly any cheaper than the Volkswagen T-Roc. The depreciation over three years is terrible, though – much worse than for most of its rivals – so long term it's not going to be cheap to own if you're a cash buyer.
If you're buying on PCP finance, check out our New Car Buying service for the best deals, but with such weak resale values you're relying on Vauxhall to come up with a tempting offer to keep the monthly payments low.
The 1.2 petrols officially all average nearly 50mpg, which is competitive, but the mild-hybrid Puma 1.0 Ecoboost 125 is even more fuel efficient and has lower CO2 emissions. If you're a company car driver, you might want to look at the Renault Captur PHEV or Peugeot e-2008 because plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars are by far the cheapest for benefit-in-kind tax (BIK). Both the diesels are RDE2 compliant, which means they don't incur the 4% BIK diesel surcharge.
Equipment, options and extras
Avoid SE Edition trim because of its lack of safety equipment. It does come reasonably equipped otherwise, with air-conditioning, 16in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
SRi Edition is worth looking at, mainly for the additional seating flexibility and height-adjustable boot floor but you also get climate control, 17in alloy wheels, a black roof and privacy glass.
Ignore the rest of the trims – the Crossland only makes sense if you keep it cheap and get a great deal. Otherwise, buy one of its more appealing rivals.
Vauxhall's performance in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey wasn't great: it finished in joint 22nd place (out of 30), level-pegging with Peugeot. Ford and Nissan finished even lower, though.
The Crossland comes with a three-year 60,000-mile warranty and a year’s roadside assistance. That's in keeping with the cover from the majority of other manufacturers, but doesn't match the five-year warranties Hyundai and Toyota offer, let alone Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile package.
Safety and security
The Crossland achieved a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2017. The tests are much more stringent these days, though, so bear that in mind if you’re looking at a rival that was tested more recently. Although the Crossland had good category scores in the main, there were some issues relating to adult chest protection and, more acutely, whiplash in the rear seats.
Disappointingly for a modern car from a respected brand, you have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking (AEB) on every trim apart from the entry-level SE Edition model – on which it isn't available at all. Most rivals have this important safety aid by default. Lane-keeping assistance is also not available, but lane-departure warning is fitted as standard, along with e-Call emergency response. You don’t get an alarm on SE Edition trim.
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|RRP price range||£22,900 - £30,330|
|Number of trims (see all)||3|
|Number of engines (see all)||2|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||petrol|
|MPG range across all versions||44.8 - 48.7|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£1,355 / £1,921|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£2,711 / £3,843|