New Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate 2018 review

The Grandland X Ultimate is Vauxhall’s new range-topper, but can the flagship SUV live up to its name?

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Built for buyers who quite literally want the ultimate Vauxhall SUV, this Grandland X ticks almost all of the luxury, kit and quality boxes you’d expect from a range flagship. Vauxhall’s tempting finance deals make it an interesting proposition, but we’d save some cash and opt for one of the cheaper and better-value engine and spec combinations.

Ultimate: ‘The best or most extreme example of its kind’. That’s the mantra Vauxhall is working to with its latest iteration of the Grandland X, a kit-laden range-topper priced from £34,040.

This flagship spec is new for 2018 and is also available on the Astra hatch. You can’t argue with the equipment list, with every Ultimate model boasting an eight-inch touchscreen sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 360-degree parking camera and Vauxhall’s innovative OnStar service.

Vauxhall Grandland X gains 1.5-litre diesel engine

External highlights include 19-inch alloys, LED lights, a panoramic roof and gloss-black details as standard. It certainly looks the part, even alongside pimped-up rivals like the SEAT Ateca Xcellence or Peugeot 3008 GT Line.

Quality, on the whole, is very good. There are plenty of squidgy plastics on the dash and you’ll find leather covering the steering wheel, seats and centre console. The only slightly flimsy trim is the lid for the cubbyhole ahead of the gearlever. It’s a shame, because overall the car feels solidly built.

Being the range-topping Grandland X means it has a more powerful 2.0-litre Turbo D diesel engine. This isn’t available elsewhere in the SUV range, and it can only be ordered with an eight-speed auto box. It’s a strong performer, with plenty of torque and strong in-gear acceleration. The PSA-sourced gearbox swaps cogs smoothly, but the overactive stop/start system, which kicks in before you’ve come to a halt, is annoying in town. The grabby brakes prevents smooth progress, too.

However, the biggest issue is price. At over £34k, this Grandland X is £10,000 more than a well-specced Tech Line model. Vauxhall’s current zero per cent finance offers are attractive, though, providing you can afford the high monthly payments.

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