What Car? says...
You could see the Vauxhall Crossland as the more sensible sibling of another small SUV from the British car brand, the Mokka.
The Crossland is the cheaper option of the two, which could make it attractive in its own way. It's also more practical, with a bigger boot and sliding rear seats on top-spec models. Indeed, the Vauxhall Mokka is more about eye-catching styling than practicality, and is available as an electric car (the Vauxhall Mokka Electric), whereas the Crossland engine range is limited to a couple of petrol options.
Vauxhall is part of Stellantis – which also includes Peugeot – and both models are based on the Peugeot 2008. However, the Crossland sits on the underpinnings of the previous-generation 2008, whereas the Mokka is based on the latest car.
To help you decide, this review will tell you all about the Crossland’s performance and refinement, practicality, cost of ownership, safety and more.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Vauxhall Crossland's entry-level 1.2 (110PS) Turbo produces 109bhp, and we think it's the best option based on cost and performance.
It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and is a willing engine when revved, providing enough punch for most situations. The official 0-62mph acceleration time of 10.5 seconds makes it slightly quicker than the Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95.
The other engine option is the 128bhp 1.2 (130PS) Turbo. With a bit more power, it pulls keenly from around 2000rpm, so there's no need to thrash it to get up to speed. It’s only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which works pretty well but doesn’t change down as swiftly as a few of the rival autos, including the VW T-Roc's.
Suspension and ride comfort
There are better-riding small SUVs. If comfort is a priority, the more cushioned Kamiq and T-Roc are better choices.
The Crossland is far from being uncomfortable though, and absorbs most bumps pretty well. Certain sharper-edged abrasions thud through the cabin, and it's never truly settled on the motorway, so the two rivals above feel plusher in this area.
If ride quality is a big concern for you, it's best to stick with the smaller 16in wheels fitted to Design 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 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.
If you fancy some joy behind the wheel, you can do no better than the Ford Puma, which is a cracking thing to whizz around in. The Seat Arona is pretty tidy to drive, too.
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 1.2 (110PS) Turbo's manual gearchange isn't that good. The lever has a long throw and it's not very slick or precise. That's not a problem you'll have in most rivals, or even the Mokka. Meanwhile, the Puma has a far nicer, snickety gear change. The 1.2 (130PS) Turbo’s automatic gearbox changes pretty smoothly.
At 70mph, the Crossland is prone to the effects of wind gusting over its door mirrors. Road noise isn’t too harsh, but the Peugeot 2008 and the VW T-Roc are much quieter on motorways.
Strengths Willing performance
Weaknesses Quite a lot of road noise; ride comfort and handling trails rivals
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.
The 'Ergonomic Active Driver's seat' on top-spec Ultimate trim comes with adjustment for the seat base angle and length, as well as electrically operated four-way lumbar adjustment. It's comfortable to sit in, but 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 offset to the right too, which some might find tiresome on long journeys.
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 DS 3 and the Peugeot 2008 are much worse in that respect.
The rear pillars are quite wide compared with those 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 mid-level GS trim, which gets front and rear sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera.
All trims come with LED headlights. They're much better for picking your way along unlit roads at night than halogen bulbs, which are still fitted to certain versions of the Kia Stonic.
Sat nav and infotainment
You get a 7.0in touchscreen in the Crossland if you go for entry-level Design trim, which also includes a DAB radio, six speakers, Bluetooth and, importantly, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity.
The other trim levels (GS and Ultimate) get an 8.0in touchscreen and add built-in sat-nav.
The infotainment software is very similar to Citroën and Peugeot's. Some of the icons are a bit small and you'll find much quicker and more useable systems in the Seat Arona, the Skoda Kamiq and VW's T-Cross and T-Roc. The best set-ups in the class are those that offer a physical interface rather than just a touchscreen, such as the Mini Countryman system.
The Crossland's interior looks smart at a glance, but while there are some chrome and glossy details, it's mostly covered in scratchy plastics that feel cheap and, in places, not very sturdy.
A Nissan Juke has a much more pleasant ambience, as does the Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Roc.
Strengths High driving position; great visibility; physical air-con controls
Weaknesses Interior materials are a bit disappointing; potentially awkward pedal arrangement
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 VW 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 generous as it is in the Skoda Kamiq, but you still get plenty of trays and a couple of cupholders. The door bins are long but shallow, and the glovebox is very small.
Ultimately, the Crossland is beaten on rear space by many small SUV rivals, including the Ford Puma, the Nissan Juke and – most convincingly – the Kamiq, which offers an astonishing amount of space for its size.
Head room is not a problem, but if you’re more than 6ft tall and the person in front of you has the their seat slid right back, 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 often carry three adults in the back, you’ll need the top-spec Ultimate model, because it's the only version with three headrests in the back, rather than two.
There's not a lot of storage space in the back, with just a couple of small door bins, and only Ultimate trim comes with a rear armrest and map pockets.
Seat folding and flexibility
Design and GS trim have fairly typical 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which allow you to extend the boot space.
Ultimate trim comes with the Versatility Pack, which includes sliding rear seats, plus a third headrest and an armrest. Not many other small SUVs have all those features – or even any of them. It's just a shame that they're only provided on the priciest model.
At 410 litres – or up to 520 litres if you have Ultimate trim with sliding rear seats – the Crossland’s boot is bigger than most rivals', 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 Ultimate trim comes with 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 Design and GS trim (with no adjustable boot floor), there's a step in the extended load bay with the seats folded and a bigger lip to heave items over.
Strengths Good head room all round; big boot, available with sliding rear-seat
Weaknesses Rivals offer more width; limited rear leg room
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Vauxhall Crossland's entry-level price is about the same as for a similarly equipped Skoda Kamiq SE. Both cost slightly more than a Kia Stonic or Nissan Juke, but less than an entry-level Ford Puma and VW T-Roc.
The Crossland loses more of its value over three years through depreciation than those rivals, so long term it's not going to be cheap to own if you're a cash buyer.
If you're buying on finance, the model's weaker resale values mean you're relying on Vauxhall to come up with a tempting offer to keep the monthly payments low. It's worth checking out the best prices on our New Car Deal pages.
The Crossland's engines officially average around 45mpg, which is competitive, but the Puma 1.0 Ecoboost 125 (which has mild-hybrid tech) is more fuel efficient, with lower CO2 emissions.
If you're looking for a company car you might want to consider the Renault Captur PHEV or the Peugeot e-2008 because plug-in hybrids and electric cars are the cheapest choices for benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax.
Equipment, options and extras
We recommend avoiding Design 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.
Mid-level GS is the best choice for most buyers, and includes climate control, 17in alloy wheels, a black roof and privacy glass, plus a bigger infotainment touchscreen and more safety kit.
The Crossland makes the most sense if you keep it cheap and get a great deal. So, while Ultimate trim adds an ergonomic driver’s seat, keyless entry, heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as the Versatility Pack, we think you're better off with one of the rival small SUVs.
Vauxhall's performance in our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey wasn't great: it finished in 30th place (out of 32 manufacturers), beating only Alfa Romeo and Cupra.
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 when it was tested in 2017, but it’s worth bearing in mind the tests are much more stringent these days. 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, automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn't standard on all trim levels. Most rivals have this important safety aid by default and you need to have mid-level GS in order to get this and a driver attention alert.
Lane-keeping assistance and lane-departure warning are standard, along with e-Call emergency response. You don’t get an alarm on Design trim.
Buying and owning overview
Strengths Attractive list price
Weaknesses Entry-level trim lacks safety equipment; weak resale values
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|RRP price range
|£28,190 - £30,330
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|44.8 - 48.7
|Available doors options
|3 years / 60000 miles
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£1,673 / £1,921
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£3,346 / £3,843