Vauxhall Grandland X review - Engines, performance and drive

The Vauxhall Grandland X feels safe and secure to drive, rather than particularly fun

You’d be hard-pushed to call the Vauxhall Grandland X fun. Instead, it’s a safe and predictable car to drive, with exemplary urban manners and good motorway refinement. Engine choices are limited to single petrol and diesel offerings, but Vauxhall has at least introduced two plug-in hybrid units to the range.

Built on the same EMP2 platform as the Peugeot 3008, the Grandland X feels like a very similar car to drive. We love the turbo petrol powerplant; it's excellent in town but suitable for longer journeys, too. Those covering big annual mileages should look to the capable diesel engine, however. Every version offers reasonable performance and low running costs.

Each petrol and diesel model comes with the same light controls and vague steering, as well as a soft suspension set-up and a comfortable ride.

Vauxhall has fitted a set of firmer springs and dampers to the hybrid plug-in models in an effort to control the added bulk (up to 300kg) of the battery pack and electric motors. However, this has hurt the car’s ride quality. It’s very unsettled, even on smooth roads, while expansion joints and rumble strips send shudders through the cabin. The dampers struggle to cope with harsher imperfections, so they often bottom out over large potholes and road dips.

PSA Peugeot Citroen isn’t famed for its tight manual gearboxes, either, and unfortunately the Grandland X suffers the same fate. The long throw doesn’t make for a particularly satisfying shift.

There’s quite a bit of body roll, too, so you won’t want to barrel into too many corners at high speed. Those after a sweet-handling crossover should look at the excellent Toyota C-HR or SEAT Ateca

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Vauxhall Grandland X engine range is surprisingly small. While buyers have a long list of specs to choose from, there's only a single petrol or diesel unit on offer, and the greener plug-in hybrid models. 

The hybrid models are pricey, so it may come down to whether you want a petrol or a diesel car. Both of these engines are strong and relatively efficient, and both should be more than powerful enough for everyday needs.

The petrol engine is a PSA-sourced 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo with 128bhp. It’ll do 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds and hit 117mph flat out. It’s punchy and refined, too. Early diesel cars were fitted with a 1.6-litre engine, but a more modern 1.5-litre unit replaced it in late 2018, adding a bit more power and slightly improved performance. The 128bhp/300Nm diesel will do 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds (9.9 s with the auto 'box) and tops out at 119mph, feeling stronger in-gear than the tiny petrol motor.

Both the Hybrid and Hybrid4 models use a 1.6-litre petrol engine, coupled with a single electric motor for the 222bhp Hybrid front-wheel-drive version and two electric motors for the 296bhp all-wheel-drive variant. The 4x4 SUV dispatches the 0-62mph dash in a hot-hatch rivalling 5.9 seconds, while the two-wheel-drive car still manages a respectable 8.6 seconds over the same sprint.

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