Open gallery Close by Andrew Frankel 18 September 2017 Follow @@autocar Share
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If Vauxhall has an issue it is that, far more often than not, it has been too keen to go with the popular flow. Instead of blazing a trail itself, it’s been happy simply putting its own take on concepts and classes that already exist.
Rarely, if ever, does a Vauxhall place you at the cutting edge of engineering endeavour, bringing you cars that do things that, in their category, have never been done before. And the only problem with this is that making your cars really stand out on grounds other than financial can be resultantly quite tricky.
We find that the Grandland X, while entirely inoffensive, comes to the party not only late but with too littleAndrew FrankelSenior contributing writer
This new Grandland X is just such an example. It brings Vauxhall to the mid-sized crossover SUV class fully ten years after the Nissan Qashqai turned it into a core category. It sits on the same platform as the Peugeot 3008 thanks to a joint venture agreed long before Peugeot’s PSA parent bought Vauxhall and Opel, is powered by PSA engines and is built, you guessed it, in a PSA factory in France.
Looking beyond the Grandland X’s origins
Actually, Vauxhall has done very well to disguise the Grandland’s origins. It may not look as distinctive as the 3008, but its lines are well proportioned, inoffensive and cleaner than most in this class.
Some may find grating the way the car’s stance, brightwork and cladding hint at an adventuring, off-road capability the car absolutely does not have – there is not even an all-wheel drive model and nor does Vauxhall talk of one to come – but it’s a game played to some extent or another by all its rivals and it is the Vauxhall way to join in.
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As for trim levels, there are four to choose from – SE, Tech Line Nav, Sport Nav and Elite Nav.
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SE models get 17in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, front foglights, lane departure warning and rear parking sensors as standard. Inside there is dual-zone climate control, cruise control and Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment system complete with a 7.0in touchscreen system, OnStar assistance and concierge, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Tech Line Nav models get 18in alloys, a powered tailgate, front parking sensors, keyless entry and start, flexible boot floor, ambient lighting, sat nav and an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. It also comes with Vauxhall’s Safety Pack, which includes blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and forward collision alert.
Upgrade to Sport Nav and the Grandland X gains sportier details, such as alloy-effect front and rear skid plates, and 18in alloy wheels. Topping the range is the Elite Nav model which gets adaptive LED headlights, 19in alloy wheels, a 360-degree camera system, front heated sports seats, a leather upholstery and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat.
Inside, the Peugeot’s flawed but funky i-Cockpit has been replaced by something altogether more sober and Vauxhall Astra-esque. In here and obligatory raised driving position aside, there is nothing to suggest you’re in any kind of SUV at all.
Its proportions continue to follow the class norm. I’d say its boot was perhaps a little larger than average and rear room maybe a touch tighter than the norm, but no one shopping in this class will find one a game changer any more than they will the other a deal breaker. Here, as is in so many other areas, it’s there or thereabouts.
That said, the car feels very solid and the choice of interior materials is determinedly plush so long as you don’t spend too much time scratching and prodding around below your natural eye line. It’s also conspicuously well equipped with a full suite of active safety measures including lane departure and driver drowsiness warnings, plus forward collision, pedestrian protection and autonomous braking features. When you’re not avoiding an accident, there’s Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge service, Apple and Android players and an eight-inch colour touchscreen for your children to cover in grubby paw prints.