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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Grandland review - Interior, design and technology

The Grandland's cabin isn’t the most glamorous to look at, but the build quality feels solid enough

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.7 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.8 out of 5

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The Vauxhall Grandland is a practical and well built family SUV, but alongside more stylish models (including the Peugeot 3008, with which it shares a platform) it was looking a bit drab – both inside and out. A facelift in 2021 brought a sharper look, with the Grandland now featuring Vauxhall's signature 'Vizor' front end, along with new bumpers, body-coloured trim and upgraded technology.

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The exterior design can be livened up further by choosing one of the firm’s brighter paint colours, such as Dark Ruby Red or Cobalt Vertigo Blue, but spec your Grandland in white, grey or black and it’ll fade into the sea of SUVs that populate the UK’s roads.

The interior includes a dual-screen layout called ‘Pure Panel’ that feels much more modern that the pre-facelifted car's set-up. Entry-level Design models include two seven-inch displays, while a 12-inch digital instrument display and a 10-inch touchscreen are featured on GS and Ultimate cars, as well as on the plug-in hybrid Grandland GSe. It’s a bit of a shame the Grandland’s older steering wheel design wasn’t also updated, because it stands out against the modern tech. 

Buyers won't feel too short-changed in opting for the base Design trim, given that standard equipment includes 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, auto wipers, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. As mentioned above, GS spec cars get the bigger dual screen set-up, along with integrated sat-nav, and extras such as 18-inch black alloy wheels, privacy glass, a black roof and sports seats. GS trim also adds a rear-view camera, however during our testing we found the feed from the camera was very grainy – far from ideal when parking a car of this size.

Upgrading to Ultimate trim brings items such as bigger 19-inch rims, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charging pad, an automatic tailgate and upgraded upholstery.

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The top-of-the-range Grandland GSe gets all the bells and whistles, plus sporty styling tweaks, 19-inch alloy wheels inspired by the fully electric Manta GSe concept, Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, and a unique suspension set-up with firmer springs and Frequency-Selective Dampers from suspension manufacturer Koni.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

Every Vauxhall Grandland gets a colour touchscreen to go with the digital dash, which is also standard. It’s a seven-inch touchscreen in entry-level Design trim, with all other models getting a 10-inch display. 

Both the 10-inch central touchscreen and the 12-inch digital instrument cluster in our test car look sharp and colourful. The digital dials can show a range of driving and trip details, however the fonts are small and surrounded by lots of blank space.

What's more, if you turn on the headlights, both screens dim quite dramatically; this is fine at night, but they’re hard to read during the day. We also struggled to find a way of changing this in the settings, just one thing which evidenced that some of the sub-menus and functions aren’t very logically laid out once you dig into the system. 

We found it easier to just use the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto instead, both of which come as standard, along with DAB radio and Bluetooth. Vauxhall deserves praise for sticking with physical climate controls; the temperature knobs are quite small, but are still less fiddly than touch-sensitive keys. The most basic Grandlands miss out on sat-nav, while plug-in hybrid models feature Vauxhall Connect, which offers subscriptions to live traffic updates and road safety alerts.

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