Vauxhall Grandland review
The Vauxhall Grandland is a sensible, spacious family SUV with the option of efficient plug-in hybrid power, but it can’t compete with the best in class
It might not be the most characterful or stylish family SUV we’ve tested, however the Vauxhall Grandland (formerly the Grandland X) offers bags of space and loads of kit, in a sensible and well built package. Thanks to an update in 2021, Vauxhall’s largest SUV now has a fresh face and better on-board tech, while the plug-in hybrid versions will be particularly appealing to company car drivers.
The problem is the Grandland’s highly accomplished rivals look sharper, feature slicker tech and, in some cases, are even more practical, resigning the Vauxhall to the back of the pack.
About the Vauxhall Grandland
The Grandland X was launched in 2017 as Vauxhall’s third and largest SUV to date, sitting above the Crossland X and even smaller Mokka X in the brand’s expansive range. It was the first car to be launched following the PSA (Peugeot Citroen) takeover of Opel-Vauxhall, and the Grandland shares its platform with the popular Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs.
While its Peugeot SUV cousins traded on a sense of style, the Grandland X suffered from something of an image problem. Although it fulfilled the brief of a practical, family SUV pretty well, its exterior styling was a little plain, while the lacklustre cabin and on-board technology lagged behind what was on offer in its rivals.
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Used car tests
A facelift in 2021 saw the Grandland drop the ‘X’ from its name – which the Crossland and Mokka had already done – and receive a sharper overall look, particularly at the front end with the addition of British brand’s Vizor grille design, carried over from the latest Mokka and Astra hatchback. Vauxhall’s Adaptive IntelliLux LED Pixel headlights are included on higher-spec models, while all but the base Design cars feature a 10-inch central touchscreen and 12-inch digital driver’s display.
Rivals in this crowded market include some of the UK’s best-selling cars, with the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Kuga all cracking last year’s top 10 best-sellers list. The Grandland also faces off against the Skoda Karoq, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, so it certainly has its work cut out.
There’s just one five-door bodystyle on offer, with no seven-seat option available, although buyers do have a choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrains. There’s the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines both producing 128bhp, while the Grandland Plug-in Hybrid delivers 222bhp, over 230mpg in official tests and, according to Vauxhall, up to 39 miles of pure-electric driving on a single charge. The Grandland GSe performance PHEV that arrived in 2023 adds another electric motor on the rear axle for all-wheel drive and boosts the power up to 295bhp.
Petrol cars come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with an eight-speed automatic transmission offered at extra cost. Meanwhile the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions are only available with the auto. If you're looking for a four-wheel drive SUV you'll probably need to look elsewhere, because the Grandland range is front-wheel drive only for the most part, the sportier GSe being the exception.
Vauxhall pared back trim levels for the Grandland at the same time as the facelift, with the line-up now consisting of Design, GS and top-of-the-range Ultimate. The regular plug-in Grandland PHEV does without the entry-level Design specification, while GSe serves as its own trim level.
For an alternative review of the Vauxhall Grandland, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Vauxhall Grandland is a sensible, spacious family SUV with the option of efficient plug-in hybrid power, but it can’t compete with the best in class
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Vauxhall Grandland feels safe and secure to drive, rather than particularly fun
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Grandland Plug-in Hybrid is more efficient than the regular petrol and diesel versions, but it’s more expensive to buy and insure
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Grandland's cabin isn’t the most glamorous to look at, but the build quality feels solid enough
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Grandland doesn’t have the biggest boot in its class, but it’s still a seriously spacious SUV
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Vauxhall Grandland uses a tried and tested platform, and was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating