In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Grandland review - Engines, performance and drive

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

You’d be hard-pushed to call the Vauxhall Grandland 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, along with a plug-in hybrid unit.

Built on the same EMP2 platform as the Peugeot 3008, the Grandland feels like a very similar car to drive. We love the turbo petrol powerplant; it's excellent in town and suitable for longer journeys, too. Those covering big annual mileages should probably look to the capable diesel engine, although 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, and we found it quite unsettled, even on smooth roads. 

PSA Peugeot Citroen isn’t famed for its tight manual gearboxes, either, and unfortunately the Grandland suffers the same fate. The long throw doesn’t make for a particularly satisfying shift, and 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 engine range is surprisingly small, with a single petrol or diesel unit on offer, and the greener plug-in hybrid model. 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 though, and both should be more than powerful enough for everyday needs.

The petrol engine is a punchy and refined, PSA-sourced 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo with 128bhp. It’ll do 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds in six-speed manual form, while the auto is a tenth quicker. 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 0-60mph in 12.3 seconds and tops out at 119mph, feeling stronger in-gear than the petrol motor.

Opting for the Hybrid models means you'll have a 1.6-litre petrol engine, coupled with a single electric motor delivering 222bhp. 0-60mph takes 8.9 seconds, with a 140mph maximum.

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