What is it?
Mid-life refreshes can be simple affairs: new paint options, new alloys, job done. Or they can be something altogether more ambitious. The overhauled Vauxhall Grandland feels like one of the latter.
It follows the Vauxhall Mokka compact crossover in ditching the X from its name and becomes the latest model to inherit Vauxhall’s new Vizor front-end styling. The way it contains the headlights and hides the ADAS systems has (to these eyes, at least) turned what was a fairly bland crossover into something altogether more striking.
The Grandland’s arrival coincides with a major streamlining of Vauxhall’s model range, simplifying powertrain options and reducing trim levels to a choice of three. The entry-point is now Design, which covers the basics, while GS Line adds sporty styling and Ultimate has the best tech. For the Grandland, that includes matrix LED headlights, still a rarity at this end of the market. There’s even optional night vision.
GS Line is the starting point for the plug-in hybrid, which comes with 18in alloy wheels, black exterior trim elements, a 180deg reversing camera and adaptive cruise control, as well as the LED lights, traffic-sign recognition and automatic emergency braking found on Design-spec cars.
You still have the choice of petrol or diesel power, but Vauxhall has worked hard to make the PHEV the most appealing choice. The on-the-road price has been slashed relative to the outgoing version, which should please private buyers as much as the 11% BIK tax rate will to business customers. It’s the current top tier in performance terms, too - at least until the 296bhp four-wheel-drive range-topper reappears later this year.