In-depth reviews

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.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2T SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,010

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2T SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,010

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 Turbo Ultimate 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £34,110

Have you considered?

New Ford Mustang Mach-E 2020 review
Ford Mustang Mach-E - front tracking
Ford Mustang Mach-E

New Ford Mustang Mach-E 2020 review

We grab the reins of Ford's Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and come away impressed
15 Dec 2020
Vauxhall Grandland X review
Vauxhall Grandland X - front
Vauxhall Grandland X

Vauxhall Grandland X review

The Grandland X is Vauxhall’s largest SUV, it’s comfortable and roomy but lacks character and design flair
12 Jun 2020
New Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 2020 review
Vauxhall Grandland X SUV

New Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 2020 review

The new 296bhp Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 plug-in promises performance and economy, but is simply too expensive to justify
5 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers
Average speed camera
News

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers

UK drivers are in favour of average speed cameras on motorways despite the majority admitting to breaking 70mph limit
10 May 2021
Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5
Features

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke

Can the all-new Vauxhall Mokka make an impact in the small SUV market? We test it against the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke to find out
8 May 2021