Vauxhall Grandland X hatchback performance
The technology that’s borrowed from the Peugeot 3008 includes the engines: a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel and a range-topping 2.0-litre diesel.
You might expect the petrol to struggle given its small size but, in reality, it produces a respectable 128bhp and feels eager to rev. That said, it's ultimately not that nippy; the less powerful Skoda Karoq 1.0 TSI 115 managed the 0-60mph dash slightly quicker in our tests.
As for the 128bhp 1.5 diesel, it accelerates briskly from fairly low down in the rev range, allowing you to get up to motorway speeds briskly enough. It runs out of puff quickly, though, so you’ll be changing through the gears quickly. We reckon most buyers will be better off with the petrol.
The 2.0 diesel is, unsurprisingly, the quickest engine in the Grandland X range, although it never feels as fast as you might imagine. Granted, there’s plenty of shove that comes in handy in hilly areas, but the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox is far too eager to change down a gear when you just want to accelerate briskly but smoothly. This quickly becomes frustrating.
Meanwhile, the 1.2 and 1.5-litre engines come with a more traditional six-speed manual gearbox, with a six-speed automatic available as an option on the 1.2 and the eight-speed automatic available on the 1.5 diesel.
Vauxhall Grandland X hatchback ride
Because of this comparative softness, the Grandland X’s body does move around a fair bit over undulating roads and the consistent bobbing that results tends to jostle you and your passengers around. However, it’s something you’ll be aware of rather than overly annoyed by.
In the Peugeot 3008, specifying the grip control package has a negative impact on comfort because it includes stiffer all-weather tyres, and we’d expect this option to have a similar effect on the Grandland X. It's also best to avoid the chunky 19in alloy wheels that are fitted to the posher trims.
Vauxhall Grandland X hatchback handling
Despite the reasonably supple suspension, the Grandland X's body doesn’t sway about too much through bends and it grips the road well, although there is a noticeable amount of nose-dive under braking and quite the opposite under hard acceleration.
The steering is a little vague around the straight-ahead, which can be an issue on the motorway – but turn it past the first few degrees and the car starts to change direction quite quickly. That inconsistency can take a while to acclimatise to; in a Seat Ateca, for example, the steering is more progressive and more intuitive.
Put simply, if driving pleasure is a high priority, you should definitely try the Ateca before buying.
Vauxhall Grandland X hatchback refinement
For a diesel, the 1.5 is pretty quiet, while the three-cylinder petrol thrums away when you rev it, but not in an unpleasant fashion. The petrol sends quite a few vibrations through the pedals and gearlever at certain revs, and while the diesel is better overall, you’ll still know it’s there, especially at higher revs.
From about 50mph upwards, you have to put up with some wind noise emanating from around the door mirrors and, on coarse surfaces, a degree of road noise, too. This isn’t overbearing, but, for refined progress, the Nissan Qashqai is noticeably quieter.
Similarly, while the gearshift is far from obstructive, the lever doesn’t snick through its gate with the precision that the Ateca’s does.