Another day, another new SUV. British car buyers’ appetite for these high-riding 4×4 lookalikes shows no sign of diminishing.
This one’s from Vauxhall. The British arm of General Motors comes late to the mid size SUV party with the Grandland X. The company has already enjoyed success with its smaller SUVs, the Crossland X and Mokka X. This one takes on the toughest marketplace of all, though – rivals include the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Seat Ateca.
The Grandland X was developed jointly with Peugeot and shares a platform with the 3008.
As is the case with the Peugeot the Grandland X is not available with four-wheel drive. Few SUV buyers really need it though, and there’s a Grip Control system that uses electronic cleverness to enhance traction in slippery conditions. That ought to be enough to deal with wet roads or a small amount of snow.
Prices start around the £21,000 mark and buyers have the choice of a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.6 litre diesel, as well as a range topping 177bhp 2.0 litre diesel that’s just been added to the range and is combined with an eight-speed auto. I drove the petrol version. It’s never going to win any drag races but it’s quiet and refined. It’s also the cheapest engine and it insulates you from any further backlash against diesel power.
The Grandland X is a roomy beast. There’s plenty of space front and back and the boot’s a capacious 514 litres. Drop the rear seats and that expands to 1,652 litres – 48 more than the Peugeot 3008 and as much as some cars a class bigger (for example the Hyundai Santa Fe has 1,680 litres, rear seats folded).
So it takes top marks for practicality. On a jaunt along the A92 to Arbroath I discovered a car that’s also refined and comfortable.
It’s not as dynamic to drive as class leaders such as the Mazda CX-5 or Seat Ateca, but not every SUV buyer wants a car that’s great to chuck around corners.
I drove a top spec Elite Nav version but even entry level models have a good level of kit that includes a 7.0in touchscreen with smartphone connectivity.
Another pleasing touch is the decision to use buttons and dials for basic controls. In the Peugeot 3008 you have to delve into several touchscreen menu options if you want to turn the heating up, which is neither easy nor safe on the move.
If you’re after a spacious and comfortable mid size SUV the Grandland X should be on your shopping list.