Driving

Vauxhall Grandland X review

Manufacturer price from:£22,755
What Car? Target Price:£19,964
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Vauxhall Grandland X
Review continues below...
18 Sep 2017 16:20 | Last updated: 18 Sep 2018 17:16

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

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.

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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

The ride isn’t as forgiving as a Nissan Qashqai’s but, on the whole, it isn't too bad. It certainly takes the edge off bumps and expansion joints that the firmer-riding Seat Ateca would thud over.

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

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.

 

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There are 6 trims available for the Grandland X hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
This is the most basically equipped version of the Grandland X, but you still get 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, high beam assist, cruise...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£19,964
Average Saving £3,166
View Trim
Design Line
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,889
Average Saving £3,241
View Trim
Sport Nav
The Sport Nav model is very similar to the Tech Line Nav, but features a different alloy wheel design and a higher asking price...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£22,027
Average Saving £3,333
View Trim
OUR PICK
Tech Line Nav
We’d recommend going for the Tech Line Nav model, which is still reasonably priced and adds a host of desirable features, including a bigger 8.0in touchscreen with built-in satellite navigation, 18...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£22,318
Average Saving £437
View Trim
Elite Nav
Elite Nav brings lots of luxuries, including leather upholstery, a powered driver's seat, heated front seats, adaptive LED headlights and 19in alloy wheels. Unfortunately, it's quite pricey, so we'...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£23,641
Average Saving £3,464
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Ultimate
Ultimate comes packed with every optional extra Vauxhall offers, featuring heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless mobile phone charging, a Denon premium sound system, a 360deg panoram...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£30,281
Average Saving £3,999
View Trim