Tested: Vauxhall Grandland X 1.5 TD Blue-Injection (130ps) – 7/10

Mike Humble

 

On paper, its a bit hard to find a unique selling point that makes the Grandland X stand head and shoulders above the established rivals, that is, until you have settled in, racked off some miles and start to appreciate what a pleasant all round package it really is…

The Grandland X – its done reasonably well for Vauxhall in the past two years since launch. Slowly but surely as Vauxhall integrates with its parent company PSA, the engineering is starting to echo drivelines found in current Citroen, DS and Peugeot models – this recent model tested is no exception. Gone is the GM / Opel sourced whisper diesel 1.6 engine to be replaced by a PSA built 1499cc unit. The car in question came with the 130ps / 300Nm engine in range topping “Elite Nav” trim level.

Driveline aside, nothing much else has changed with the Grandland since launch. One thing I have noticed though after following the car from the original launch is the quality. Overall fit and finish has now got to a level that you would expect to find from German rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan. Even though its based on the current Peugeot 3008, I applaud the way engineers have kept the car more traditional and conservative compared to the “in your face” sci-fi approach of the Peugeot. It must be said however that the Grandland X doesn’t really excite or stir the soul.

But is a car you quickly come to respect and enjoy after a short period of time – which is a good thing. Rivals such as the Qashqai for example are pretty much a by-word for this class of SUV car while others like the Seat Arona promise some Spanish sporting flair. On paper, its a bit hard to find a unique selling point that makes the Grandland X stand head and shoulders above the established rivals, that is, until you have settled in, racked off some miles and started to appreciate what a pleasant all round package it really is.

The 1.5 130ps diesel is PSA sourced. Not quite as refined as the old GM unit but power delivery is better through the range with the exception of low revs. Very smooth and refined when cruising but vocal when hurried.

“torque drops off like a stone if you let the revs drop much below 1500rpm – which can alarm and frustrate the driver if caught off guard”

Performance and economy are right on class with a claimed combined mpg of 53.3 and a zero to 60 sprint taking a claimed 10.2 seconds. Driving in a urban environment and when cruising demonstrated a well insulated engine that’s refined and smooth. Its only when you press on harder does the engine take on a crackly sounding gruff noise – something that’s generally symptomatic of most French diesel engines. Mid range thrust is urgent and almost instant but its worth mentioning that the torque drops off like a stone if you let the revs drop much below 1500rpm – which can alarm and frustrate the driver if caught off guard.

General refinement and cruising ability is up there with the best. I have mentioned before how comfortable the seats are in previous reporting. Long journeys are soaked up nicely, aided by good noise insulation, aforementioned comfort and a really long-legged 6th gear that keeps the engine revs low but still in its power sweet spot. There isn’t a great deal to grumble about when it comes to driving with the exception of a slightly vague / notchy gear-change feel and a clutch pedal that’s slightly heavy in action. I can report though that the climate control and ventilation is very effective and way better than its biggest rival – the Nissan Qashqai.

Gear ratios are well spaced and features a really long 6th for supreme touring refinement. Spoilt slightly by a vaugue and clunky shift action and heavier than average clutch pedal.

“overall the car is a decent family tool with loads of space, a nice feeling of solidity and in Elite Nav trim – is very well equipped”

Do does this new engine really shine in the Grandland X? Well, its shows a better result in terms of Co2 (113g/km) and overall fuel consumption too, also, its cruising refinement is that little bit better too over the outgoing GM developed oil burner. I found the power drop off at low revs a little disappointing along with the level of noise when driving hard too but overall the car is a decent family tool with loads of space, a nice feeling of solidity and in Elite Nav trim – is very well equipped. If Vauxhall can address the clumsy feeling gearchange and take a bit of weight from the clutch pedal, they’ve got themselves a really up-market feeling SUV.

Previous full Grandland X Elite (petrol) review can be seen by CLICKING HERE

autobritannia.net rating – 7/10

 

The Humble Opinion:

“Even better build quality and still a decent, if slightly lacklustre all round package. Better overall performance than the old 1.6 diesel and a hybrid version coming soon.

Unashamedly based on the Peugeot 3008* but like chalk and cheese to compare. If you appreciate a more conservative approach to your family car, the quality and comfort alone should make you consider the Grandland X.

A couple of minor engineering tweaks will turn this good car into a bloody good car. In this Elite trim level it feels and smells good too.

Not the most sexy package by any stretch of the imagination, but sensible, enjoyable and oh so comfortable”

(*Comparable 3008 test coming soon)

 

WHAT’S GREAT?

  • Good performance and economy
  • Cruising refinement
  • Oh so comfortable to travel in
  • Excellent heating and ventilation
  • Well equipped
  • Feels almost premium compared to some rivals
  • Decent value for money

WHAT GRATES?

  • Noisy engine when hurried
  • Gearshift quality and clutch weight needs addressing
  • Lack a little soul and charisma
  • Lifeless steering
  • Still no 4wd model

 

Model Tested: Vauxhall Grandland X Elite Nav 1.5D

Driveline: 1499cc 16v diesel with 6 speed manual gearbox

Price: £29,475 excluding options OTR

Power: 130Ps / 300Nm of torque

*Performance: O- 60 in 10.2 seconds with 119mph max

*Economy / Emissions: 53.3mpg combined (50.1mpg on actual test) 113G/km Co2

 

For further Vauxhall Grandland X information CLICK HERE

 

One comment

  1. Love mine, a 1.2 petrol Elite. Have to agree with the gearbox it’s notchy and imprecise but otherwise can’t fault the car.

    A fair review I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s