What is it?
Our first impression of the Vauxhall Grandland X was of a crossover that was perfectly solid but did little to stand out. So we doubt many people were pondering what the ‘ultimate’ version of one would be.
Yet, here it is: the Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate, a new range-topping trim that essentially amounts to Vauxhall ticking all the option boxes so you don’t have to.
That means there’s plenty of extra kit over the previous top-level Elite Nav trim’s already decent spec, including heated rear seats, a Denon audio system, LED headlights and a raft of driver assistance features such as park assist, automatic cruise control and a panoramic camera.
More significantly, the Ultimate model also comes with a new engine: a 2.0-litre turbo diesel with 175bhp and 295lb ft of torque, driven through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Given neither of the two existing Grandland X engines — a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel — offers much in the way of dynamic excitement, the extra performance should be welcome.
But can that bigger engine and upgraded spec make the Grandland X stand out in the increasingly complicated crossover class?
What's it like?
The Grandland X is based on the Peugeot 3008 — in a deal done before the PSA Group bought Vauxhall — and, while arguably not as stylish as its French cousin, its well-proportioned exterior is a welcome addition to a class not known for outright style.
Inside, it’s a different story, with Peugeot’s i-Cockpit replaced with a far more standard design — a move that will please or disappoint, depending on your view of the French’s firm’s dash. That said, it’s hard to find much to complain about; it’s clear and well laid out, relatively comfortable and all solidly built, if not the last word in interior luxury.
Our previous experiences with the Grandland X revealed that the 1.6 diesel was a welcome step up from the smaller petrol unit, albeit still lacking in particular dynamic pep. The good news is that this 2.0 diesel is another step forward and is well suited to the crossover.
The engine adds a welcome note of dynamism to the car’s performance and is rarely found lacking for drive or torque when called upon. You wouldn’t get a truly sporting experience, but that’s hardly at the top of the priority list for most crossover buyers. Peppy, smooth performance in traffic, effortless long journey cruising and decent fuel economy are and, on those counts, the engine delivers what is required — if little else.