Vauxhall Grandland review

Category: Family SUV

The Grandland is spacious and practical but there are much better family SUVs available

Vauxhall Grandland front cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland front cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland dashboard
  • Vauxhall Grandland boot open
  • Vauxhall Grandland driver display
  • Vauxhall Grandland right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland front driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland front right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland front badge
  • Vauxhall Grandland headlights
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear lights
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear badge
  • Vauxhall Grandland front seats
  • Vauxhall Grandland back seats
  • Vauxhall Grandland steering wheel detail
  • Vauxhall Grandland infotainment touchscreen
  • Vauxhall Grandland air-con controls
  • Vauxhall Grandland interior detail
  • Vauxhall Grandland interior detail
  • Vauxhall Grandland front cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland dashboard
  • Vauxhall Grandland boot open
  • Vauxhall Grandland driver display
  • Vauxhall Grandland right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland front driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland front right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear right driving
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear cornering
  • Vauxhall Grandland front badge
  • Vauxhall Grandland headlights
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear lights
  • Vauxhall Grandland rear badge
  • Vauxhall Grandland front seats
  • Vauxhall Grandland back seats
  • Vauxhall Grandland steering wheel detail
  • Vauxhall Grandland infotainment touchscreen
  • Vauxhall Grandland air-con controls
  • Vauxhall Grandland interior detail
  • Vauxhall Grandland interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

The Vauxhall Grandland is the biggest model in Vauxhall's range but was a rather late arrival to the family SUV party – turning up more than a decade after the Nissan Qashqai.

Previously known as the Grandland X, it gives you an elevated driving position and chunky bodywork, and sits above the Vauxhall Crossland and Vauxhall Mokka (which we class as small SUVs).

We’ll leave you to decide whether you like the Grandland's looks but there’s no denying that Vauxhall has done well to disguise the fact that it's closely related to the Peugeot 3008.

That's good news, but is it enough to help the Vauxhall Grandland hold its own against the best family SUVs including the Kia Sportage, the Qashqai and the Volvo XC40? Read on to find out...

Overview

The Vauxhall Grandland is well equipped and spacious enough for most families. However, it's hard to ignore the cheaper Skoda Karoq or more practical Kia Sportage – both of which have better interiors and are sharper to drive.

  • Generous standard equipment
  • Efficient engines
  • Physical controls for most functions
  • Noisier engines than rivals
  • Expensive to buy outright
  • Rivals are better to drive
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Our Pick

OurPicksRRP £35,395
Vauxhall Grandland 1.2 Turbo Ultimate 5dr review
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Performance & drive

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

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

There are two engines available for the Vauxhall Grandland, and our favourite is the entry-level one, a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol (badged 1.2 130PS Turbo). Producing a respectable 128bhp, it’s punchy enough for most situations and delivers a healthy amount of muscle in the middle of the rev range.

That said, the Kia Sportage comes with a 1.6-litre engine and is much quicker, managing to cover 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds in our tests, versus 9.9 seconds for the Grandland.

If you want more power, there's the Hybrid 1.2 136PS, which increases the output to 134bhp by introducing a 21kW electric motor. Thanks to the instant shove it gives you off the line, it feels more responsive than the standard engine, and overtaking is even easier.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Grandland isn’t as forgiving over poor road surfaces as the Sportage or the Skoda Karoq, especially around town, where larger abrasions can send a shudder through your seat.

That’s not helped by the standard-fit 19in wheels, which prevent the Grandland from ever settling down, gently tossing your head from side to side even on roads that appear relatively smooth. 

In the past, you could get lower trim levels with smaller wheels to help relieve the issue, but there's now only one trim, Ultimate, which comes with 19in alloys. If comfort is a priority to you, you’d be better off looking at other family SUVs.

Vauxhall Grandland rear cornering

Handling

If you want something that's fun to drive and dynamic on a country road, the Grandland is not the answer – ideally you'll want to take a look at the BMW X1.

While the Grandland's firm suspension does a decent job of containing body movements over undulating roads, it's not very involving. That’s largely due to the steering, which feels vague around the straight-ahead, leading to a rather dead feel on motorways. Once you turn the wheel past the first few degrees, the car starts to change direction quite quickly, and the inconsistency can take a while to get used to. 

Vauxhall GRANDLAND image
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As well as the X1, the Seat Ateca is a better choice if driving pleasure is important to you. It has more progressive steering and feels more intuitive than the Grandland.

Noise and vibration

The Grandland's three-cylinder petrol engine thrums away and sounds rather coarse at high revs, and there’s a constant whine at cruising speeds. It also sends quite a few vibrations through the pedals and gearlever. 

The entry-level engine's standard manual gearbox has a rather long throw to the gearshift, while the optional automatic gearbox shifts gently. The Hybrid version comes with a different, dual-clutch auto gearbox which is pretty slick and removes any hesitation to drop down whenever you need a burst of power.

From about 50mph and faster, you have to put up with some wind noise from around the door mirrors and, on coarse surfaces, a degree of road noise too. It’s not overwhelming but the Volvo XC40 is noticeably quieter.

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

The Vauxhall Grandland has a good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment, and the pedals are well aligned with the driver’s seat. Most people will find it easy enough to get comfortable and you sit reasonably high up (roughly in line with Hyundai Tucson drivers, but not quite as high up as in the Volvo XC40).

Ergonomic sports seats with adjustable lumbar support are included as standard. They’re supportive and offer plenty of adjustment, but can start to feel a little too firm on a long journey.

The dashboard is logically laid out, with separate climate control buttons that are easy to operate without getting distracted while you're driving. The Peugeot 3008 and the XC40 force you to delve into the infotainment screen just to change the interior temperature.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

You get a good forwards view in the Grandland but the shallow rear window doesn’t offer the best view backwards. The boxy Skoda Karoq is much easier to see out of. Fortunately, Vauxhall gives you front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera.

You’ll have plenty of visibility when driving at night thanks to every Grandland getting matrix LED headlights as standard. They can stay on full beam without dazzling other drivers.

Vauxhall Grandland dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

You get a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard in the Grandland. It comes with plenty of features, including DAB radio, Bluetooth, built-in sat nav, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.

The screen has reasonably crisp graphics – although not as good as in the Kia Sportage or the Karoq – but needs to be prodded quite firmly to get a response.

Some tasks, such as pairing your phone using Bluetooth, involve delving into the screen's sub-menus, which can be a little frustrating to navigate. The physical shortcut buttons under the touchscreen are a welcome touch, and there are audio controls on the steering wheel for convenience on the move.

Quality

The upper levels of the Grandland's dash have soft-touch plastics, with gloss-black and chrome-effect trim pieces to add visual interest. You also get Alcantara inserts on the seats.

Poking around, you quickly find that some of the rotary controls don’t feel particularly tactile, while the pull-down storage cubby below the headlight controls feels particularly cheap.

The Grandland’s interior doesn’t have the wow factor of the Tucson, the Peugeot 3008 or the XC40. Even the cheaper Karoq feels more sumptuous overall.

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

There’s more than enough head and leg room in the Vauxhall Grandland for taller adults, and the interior is wide enough to ensure that front-seat occupants won’t clash elbows.

If you’re well over 6ft and worried about space, make sure you take a look at the Hyundai Tucson – one of the largest models in the family SUV class.

As with the Peugeot 3008, the Grandland’s glove box is tiny, but unlike in the 3008, the central storage bin under the front armrest is small too and there are fewer storage cubbies.

Rear space

Rear leg room in the Grandland is reasonable, with a small amount of foot space under the front seats. Just bear in mind that the Tucson, Kia Sportage, Skoda Karoq and Volvo XC40 offer more.

Those models are slightly wider too, and better suited to carrying three adults abreast, although the Grandland’s near-flat floor does at least give the middle passenger plenty of foot space.

Vauxhall Grandland boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

Folding rear seats are standard in the Grandland, but they split 60/40, rather than the more versatile 40/20/40 arrangement some rivals offer. You do, however, get a handy ski hatch in the middle seat, allowing you to load long items without sacrificing either of the outer seats.

It’s easy to get the backrests down because there are handy quick-release levers right next to the tailgate opening.

The Grandland's rear seats don't recline, as they do in the Kia Sportage, or slide forwards and backwards, which they can in the Skoda Karoq from SE L trim and up, and in the VW Tiguan.

Boot space

The Grandland has a 514-litre boot, which is spacious enough to take a buggy or a couple of large suitcases with ease. It’s a practical shape, with no awkward intrusions.

We managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases below its tonneau cover, which is two more than we managed to fit in the back of a Honda HR-V but one less than a Sportage or Karoq took. 

All Grandlands get a powered tailgate that opens when you swipe your foot below the rear bumper (handy when your hands are full).

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Vauxhall Grandland price starts higher than most of its rivals, including the Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai. Indeed, it’ll even cost you around the same as the premium Volvo XC40. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure you get the best price through our new Vauxhall deals page.

The best choice of Grandland as a company car is the Hybrid because its lower CO2 emissions will help to reduce monthly benefit-in-kind (BIK) payments. That said, a plug-in hybrid or an electric SUV will reduce BIK tax even more.

No matter which Grandland engine you go for, fuel economy should be good, with the 1.2-litre petrol returning 39.7mpg on our mixed test route (an entry-level Sportage managed 36.1mpg). Officially, you should get about 51.3mpg from the Hybrid.

Equipment, options and extras

Due to the fact that the Grandland is being replaced with a newer model soon, the only trim level available is Ultimate. Unfortunately that's one of the expensive ones – although it does at least mean you get a fairly well-equipped car.

Standard kit includes dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated windscreen, keyless entry and start, wireless phone-charging and parking aids.

Vauxhall Grandland driver display

Reliability

In our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, Vauxhall as a brand finished 30th out of the 32 included manufacturers. That’s a pretty poor performance, placing it below all of its rivals.  

We don’t have data for the Grandland but the 2018-2021 Grandland X came 20th out of 34 family SUVs (see the full table here).

Like all Vauxhalls, the Grandland comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and a year of roadside assistance. That matches the cover provided by most manufacturers, but can’t beat the five-year warranty offered by Hyundai, Kia’s seven-year package or the (up to) 10 years warranty Toyota gives you.

Safety and security

The Grandland was awarded five stars when it was tested by the safety experts at Euro NCAP but that was back in 2017 and the score has since expired. 

That makes it hard to compare the score with rivals that were tested more recently, but it’s good to know that the Grandland gets plenty of standard safety kit. Indeed, every Grandland comes with lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking (AEB), a driver drowsiness alert, a blind-spot warning and Isofix child-seat mounts on the front passenger and outer rear seats.

Every Grandland comes with an alarm and engine immobiliser. Security experts Thatcham gave the model four out of five stars for its ability to resist being stolen from, but five stars for resisting being stolen altogether.


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FAQs

  • The Grandland is the biggest SUV in the Vauxhall car line-up so it's bigger than the Vauxhall Crossland (which we class as a small SUV).

  • While it offers two strong engines, lots of standard equipment and a practical interior, its rivals are far more appealing. That’s largely because they’re cheaper, more comfortable and better to drive. See our best family SUVs guide.

  • With the Grandland’s replacement right on the horizon, there’s only one trim level available – Ultimate. If you’re after the top-spec car, you’ll be happy to know that Ultimate used to be one of the highest trims, sitting below the sporty GSe.

At a glance
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Target Price from £30,014
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From £23,290
RRP price range £35,395 - £38,335
Number of trims (see all)1
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 44.1 - 51.3
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,132 / £2,350
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £4,264 / £4,700
Available colours