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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Grandland review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Grandland doesn’t have the biggest boot in its class, but it’s still a seriously spacious SUV

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.7 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The Vauxhall Grandland is a practical family car, but it's not without its flaws. The mid-size SUV has a roomy interior and a big boot, and all-round visibility is excellent. You get a typically raised driving position and plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. 

There are lots of storage spaces, however we found that the bin at the base of dashboard is too small for the latest smartphones, so you'll need to keep your devices in the central cubby between the seats. Other spaces are compromised, too; for instance, the door pockets are small and the glovebox is tiny, with the fuse box hogging most of the space.

There's loads of space in the back for adults and children alike, plus the Grandland is also fitted with three ISOFIX points – two in the back and another on the front passenger seat. This’ll give families plenty of flexibility when installing a child seat. There’s no seven-seat option, however. Whereas Peugeot offers a seven-seat 5008, Vauxhall buyers seeking an additional two seats in the boot will need to look at the van-based Combo Life.

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The Grandland’s seats are approved by AGR, an organisation that promotes healthy posture. These are potentially good for those with back pain, although they are rather firm and take some getting used to.

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All cars have front and rear parking sensors, which helps with manoeuvring around town, while standard cruise control and automatic lights and wipers are a particular help on longer journeys.

Size 

The Vauxhall Grandland is 4,470mm long and 1,906mm wide (excluding side mirrors), meaning it’s longer and wider than most of its rivals, such as the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Karoq. The Grandland doesn’t feel like a cumbersome car on the road, but those after something a bit easier when parking or tackling tight city streets might be interested in the firm’s smaller SUVs, the Crossland or Mokka.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Space in the back of Vauxhall’s Grandland is very generous. The flat floor means there’s room for three across the rear bench, with plenty of head, leg and knee room. The large windows and light-colour headlinings mean it never feels dark, cramped or claustrophobic, either. 

That said, when we tested the Vauxhall Grandland against the Kia Sportage in our twin test, we measured up the cabins and found that knee and headroom is similar, but the Grandland loses out by a considerable gap on elbow room. 

Rear seat space comparison 

 

Knee room (min-max)

Headroom

Elbow room

Vauxhall Grandland

608-848mm

945mm

1,500mm

Kia Sportage

629-850mm

985mm

1,531mm

Boot

If you go for a petrol or diesel engine in the Grandland, you get 514 litres of boot space, and it’s easy to access, thanks to the big, wide, and square tailgate. In comparison, the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008 offer similar luggage capacities with the rear seats in place, however the Skoda Karoq and Kia Sportage are much more generous.

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But if you spring for the plug-in hybrid version the load space shrinks to a much less impressive 390 litres, because of the PHEV system’s battery and other gubbins – only a little more than a family hatchback offers.

At least there’s no load lip to lift heavy items over in the Vauxhall, and the moveable boot floor means that you can slide things in easily. There’s a loading hatch in the middle of the rear bench, which is useful for taking long items when you still have passengers in the back.

Fold the rear seats down and the load bay expands to 1,652 litres – two litres more than you’ll find in its Peugeot 3008 sister car, and almost as much as some cars in the class above. Once again, the Grandland Hybrid-e’s luggage capacity with the seats down can’t match what you get in the petrol or diesel models, at 1,528 litres.

Our measurements show that the Vauxhall Grandland has a similar sized load bay to the Kia Sportage as we discovered in our twin test, but the Grandland has a higher lip height which it easier to load bulky items and ultimately puts the Kia in front.

Boot space comparison                              

 

Length 

Width 

Lip height

Vauxhall Grandland

865mm

1,015mm

757mm

Kia Sportage

862mm

1,037mm

692mm

Towing

How much your Vauxhall Grandland can tow also depends on which powertrain you choose. The basic 1.2-litre (128bhp) turbo models will tow a 1,400kg braked trailer, which is reduced to 1,200kg if you go for the automatic model. Meanwhile, the 1.5-litre diesel boasts a 1,300kg maximum towing capacity, and the plug-in hybrid Grandland Hybrid-e can haul a 1,250kg braked trailer.

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