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.
As for trim levels, there are four to choose from – SE, Tech Line Nav, Sport Nav and Elite Nav.
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Inside, the Peugeot’s flawed but funky i-Cockpit has been replaced by something altogether more sober and Astra-esque.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.
But well equipped it needs to be, with even the entry level Grandland X costing £22,310, over £3000 more than base Qashqai or £4000 more than the new and class-leading Seat Ateca.
Right now, there are just two engines from which to choose, each with a single power output, though Vauxhall is already making noises about a more powerful diesel. For now, your choice is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol motor turbo-boosted to 128bhp, or a 1.6-litre diesel with ten fewer horses but a slug more torque and, on paper, far better fuel consumption and commensurately lower emissions. Model for model, the diesel is £1355 more expensive to buy.
Testing the Grandland X’s overall composure
Lay no great demands on the 1.2 and all will be well in your Grandland, and given that’s how we imagine the vast majority will be driven for the vast majority of the time, it is a relevant comment to make. The interior functions predictably, as does Vauxhall’s touchscreen, once a little time has been invested learning its ways. The driving position is sound, the seats quite excellent, all round visibility every bit as good as you might hope.