What's the used Vauxhall Grandland X hatchback like?
Family cars have moved on from being humble hatchbacks. Buyers now class SUVs as being capable of dealing with all their needs: taking the children to school, picking up the weekly shop from the supermarket and taking the grandparents out at the weekend. Which is perhaps why Vauxhall has been busy adding pseudo off-roaders to its range in order to court family-car buyers. The Crossland X is the smallest, the Mokka X is the middle offering, but this Grandland X is its biggest.
The Grandland X competes with the likes of the award-winning Seat Ateca and the popular Nissan Qashqai. Just like its smaller Crossland X sibling, the Grandland X is based on an existing Peugeot platform. This time, it’s the Peugeot 3008.
The engine range starts with a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol, rises to a mid-range 1.6-litre diesel and finishes with a 2.0-litre diesel that’s reserved to top-spec models. The petrol engine copes surprisingly well with this heavy SUV, but if you are carrying passengers regularly, you may need one of the two diesel engines.
Comfort is what the Grandland X aims to deliver and, for the most part, it succeeds. If you avoid the bigger wheels, the soft suspension deals with bigger bumps better than the sportier Seat Ateca, although that does mean the Grandland rolls more in corners and has noticeably more squat under acceleration and dive under braking. The steering is slightly vague, to begin with, then becomes much quicker with a few more degrees of turning force. It can take a bit of getting used to and it isn’t as natural feeling as it is in some rivals. You may also find it takes a little while to learn to be smooth with the clutch because there isn’t a great deal of feel for the biting point, particularly in the petrol.
Equipment levels are good, though, with all Grandland Xs getting climate control, cruise control, alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers and rear parking sensors. Space inside is decent, with plenty of shoulder room in the front, ample leg space in the back and a big boot for shopping and a child’s pushchair.