In Partnership With: North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The Vauxhall Crossland X is the the first fruit of the Vauxhall Opel PSA partnership. Designed long before the eventual takeover by PSA, the Crossland X sits slightly higher in the pecking order to the established and highly successful Mokka X.
I found it to be a bitter sweet taste of things to come…
Now the dust has settled over the whole GM / PSA affair, we have to move on. Vauxhall has quite rightly stated that it’s business as usual – and can it be any other way? The Crossland X is an SUV built on a Peugeot 2008 platform with a Vauxhall accent injected into its DNA and overall package. As mentioned above, the car was agreed upon by both parties and signed off some time before the ownership changes commenced. so forget any thoughts you may have about this being a knee-jerk quick response in honour of Vauxhalls new parent company.
Worryingly, Vauxhall have been a bit “Johnny come lately” towards the craze of SUV type vehicles. For sure they have had the Mokka on the menu for some time, but for competing against rivals like the Juke, Kuga and Qashqai, its almost like Vauxhall have come to the party all flustered and out of breath just as the guests are booking their taxi’s home. This is no real fault of Vauxhall but more due to lack of investment / interest* from the outgoing incumbent General Motors. So we now have the Grandland X and smaller Crossland X – they have some catching up to do for sure.
* delete as applicable!
“Vauxhall have used their know how and input to create a familiar surrounding for loyal brand customers. The column stalks, dial fonts and switches have a reassurance to them that will please anyone who has leapt from an Astra or Corsa – its much more than a Peugeot in a new frock“
So what have we got then with the Crossland X? Well it’s a compact five door SUV kind of car that impresses by having a rather large amount of room inside for people and clutter. The car is only slightly longer than the established Mokka X but roundly trounces it for space. Having a lofty stance its also very easy to slide in and out of too – family or elderly owners will truly appreciate this. Styling wise, Crossland has managed to distance itself from the Peugeot 2008 its based upon. Sadly in my opinion, this is the most polite and kindest way I can think of for stating its not the prettiest of designs.
The chrome swoop that runs from the rear up into the roof area reminds of those silvercross prams you used to see and the nose is too blunt looking for my tastes. Things improve once you hop inside. Vauxhall have used their know how and input to create a familiar surrounding for loyal brand customers. The column stalks, dial fonts and switches have a reassurance to them that will please anyone who has leapt from an Astra or Corsa – its much more than a Peugeot in a new frock. The seats are firmer and more supportive than something French, as is the ride comfort too.
“All in all this drive-line is one of the most pleasing I have come across in a while for its balance of performance and thrift“
For most of the time the Crossland X is refined and smooth but it all falls apart on a poor road. The suspension is noisy – especially in the rear, the steering is arcade game lifeless and side winds seem to knock the car off kilter too readily. On the upside though there’s good brakes, good visibility, a nice driving position and a decent gearshift quality – even if the lever seems rather long. The 130PS 1.2 petrol triple really performs brilliantly in this car thanks to well matched gear ratios and a decent belt of 230NM torque that builds up commendably low in the rev range with only a mere hint of turbo lag.
The engine is well insulated too. As with the case of many small three pot engines, they are fixed so softly on their mountings that components on view under the bonnet bounce around like a bingo machine. Not so in the Crossland X however, the PSA sourced 1199cc unit appears to be well balanced although it has a metallic clatter to it on idle that caused one colleague to say: “is that broken?“. Once on the move its thrums along happily and only makes its presence felt if you really crack on hard. All in all this drive-line is one of the most pleasing I have come across in a while for its balance of performance and thrift.
“Sadly its bereft of any kind of pershwing, pzazz, funk or flair – the Mokka X and notable rivals for that matter thrashes it on character and style“
Rear occupants have a good amount of room in all directions and you can slide the back seat fore and aft to compromise between boot and passenger space. The Flexfloor feature means you can stow away your valuable goods and chattels under the floor and space is further increased thanks to an easy fold 60/40 backrest split. My biggest complaints about the interior are the notably cheap feeling plastics around the fascia and the plain and simple fact that inside it just looks too… erm… plain and simple. Sadly its bereft of any kind of pershwing, pzazz, funk or flair – the Mokka X and notable rivals for that matter thrashes it on character and style.
But having said all of the aforementioned, I recently spoke to a veteran time served Vauxhall salesman who agreed with 90% of my thoughts… but was also keen to say the customer take up has been impressive since launch – so am I wrong or right?
AUTOBRITANNIA.NET RATING: 6/10
THE HUMBLE OPINION:
“I cannot get my head around this one. It look odd, feels cheap and has no real USP in the range but manages to drive well enough compared to the opposition. The Peugeot 2008 has bags of style and flair whereby Vauxhall have taken virtually all of it out in order to put their stamp of identity onto it.
On the plus side its well equipped, features OnStar and, if you go for the LED headlamp option, literally turns night into day. Performance and economy is decent too but my opinion I cannot help but say the Mokka X is a better car if rear legroom is not your priority.
The Crossland X feels like its been hurried into production and badly needs a nip and tuck in terms of interior fit and finish. What it lacks more than anything is a dash of style that its 2008 relative has in abundance. Recently launched Vauxhall’s such as the Astra and Insignia have been great cars.
BUT… If the Crossland X is to be a sign of all things to come, then I’m a little bit worried. It lacks polish, character and deep rooted quality – it needs to offer so much more in the face of a growing number of well established rivals”
Model Tested: Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2T 130PS Elite
Price: £19,395 excluding options
Power Unit: 1199cc turbocharged three cylinder petrol
Driveline: FWD with six speed manual gearbox
Power / Torque: 130PS / 230Nm
Performance: *0-62 in 9.1 seconds with 128mph max
Fuel Economy: *55.4mpg combined (49.5mpg on actual test)
Co2 Output & VED: 116G/Km = £160 for year one & £140 for year two
- Superb performance
- Easy to drive especially around town
- Impressive driveline
- Well equipped
- OnStar makes it a safe and secure purchase for the family buyer
- Good all round value for money
- Interior and boot space balance is just right
AND WHAT GRATES:
- Lacks flair, style or character
- Some dash area trim feels very cheap
- Suspension noise on poor roads
- Steering is lifeless
- Annoying because it could… and should… be so much better
For more information on the Crossland X: CLICK HERE