Reviewed the Vauxhall Grandland X SUV

In Car Reviews, Vauxhall by Neil Lyndon

Looking out of our windows at the new Vauxhall Grandland X standing outside the house, I was taken aback to notice that its twin exhaust tailpipes were integrated in a line of unpolished metal below the rear bumper which ended on each side in an aetiolated ovoid shape. “That’s rather cool,” I heard myself say, to my surprise.


Its natty design, glorious interior, rock-solid build-quality and stirring performance have made it Car of the Year in a hatful of competitions (including my vote in both awards where I have a voice).

Neil Lyndon drives the latest family SUV from Vauxhall

When was the last time anything about a Vauxhall struck you as cool? I can’t remember a single moment since the VX220 – which is going back almost 20 years.

Those tailpipes aren’t, of course, entirely original. They bear a distinct resemblance to the arrangement on the rear end of the latest generation of McLarens. Even so, they give you a little jolt and make you wonder if there might be more to this Vauxhall than a belated attempt to get in on the mid-size SUV market which the company has, until now, neglected. They have had the Crossland X and the Mokka X but nothing to rival market leaders like Nissan’s Qashqai, Kia’s Sportage and Seat’s Ateca.

Developed jointly with Peugeot, the Grandland X is based upon the 3008 platform and has acquired a number of features, like the tailpipes, with a touch of pizzazz. The stylish authority of the C-pillars, for instance, certainly seem more Gallic than Luton in their origin, as do the swept-back headlights, sculpted wheel arches and concave rear light assemblies.

Like the 3008, the Grandland X does not offer four-wheel drive in any of its versions but does have an IntelliGrip traction control system with Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP-off settings which were more than adequate to surmount the post-Easter snowfalls at our house.

Starting around £21000, the Grandland has no distinct competitive edge in the market-place so far as pricing is concerned. Our 1.2 litre, 130PS turbocharged petrol test car topped out at £27895, including extras like a Winter Pack with heated seats and steering wheel which we certainly appreciated as winter extended into April in Scotland. Also on offer are 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesels for which the price of the highest-spec version is £33395 - enough to make you press your legs firmly together to staunch the pain.

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It is, however, outstandingly roomy with a 514 litre bootspace that expands to 1652 litres when the rear seats are lowered. I had to shift a bath panel during the week the Grandland X was with us and found it to be just the job.

How cool is that?

Overall, then, far from breeding contempt, my week with the XC40 endeared it so deeply to my heart that I now want one not just for my wife but, primarily, for myself

Car reviewed: Vauxhall Grandland X Elite Nav 1.2 130PS Turbo S/S  - On the road £26,660  0-62mph 11.1 secs Top speed 117mph Fuel Economy combined 52.3mpg CO2 emissions 1242g/km Engine 1.2 litre 4-cylinder unleaded EU6 Max Power Engine 130PS@5500rpm Engine Torque 230Nm@1750rpm Transmission 6-speed manual

  • One of the new cool Vauxhall's

  • Well specced

  • Outstandingly roomy

  • Not that much fun to drive

What the others say about the Vauxhall Grandland X on YouTube...

About the author

Neil Lyndon


Neil Lyndon has been a journalist, broadcaster and writer on the UK's national stage for 40 years, writing for every "quality" newspaper on Fleet Street. He started writing about cars and motorbikes for The Sunday Times in the 1980s and was Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph for 20 years, having previously written a column on motorbikes for Esquire. He is also recognised as a leading commentator on gender politics, having published No More Sex War in 1992 - the first ever critique of feminism from a radical, egalitarian point of view.

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