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Car Review

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster review

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Published: 18 May 2024
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The Grenadier Quartermaster is unique in the UK pickup market. It’s hugely expensive, but it also has bags of character

Good stuff

Tough as old boots, full of character, powertrains are perfectly judged

Bad stuff

Extremely expensive compared to rivals, large and not that easy to manoeuvre

Overview

What is it?

It’s a variation on the Ineos Grenadier theme. No doubt you’ll know all about the Grenadier by now, but let’s have a little recap just for fun, because it’s not often we get a whole new car company these days that isn’t selling an EV with 1,000bhp and a tablet stuck to the dashboard. In fact, this thing is the absolute antithesis of that.

The Grenadier is Ineos Group CEO Sir Jim Ratclife’s pet project: a car that he dreamt up in a pub in London (the pub was called The Grenadier, hence the name) to fill the gap in the market that opened up when Land Rover killed off the original Defender.

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Before that, Sir Jim tried to buy the rights and tooling to the Defender but was told that Land Rover wouldn’t be selling. Once the boxy Grenadier had been unveiled, JLR then tried to stick the knife in by suing Ineos, claiming that the two looked too similar. It lost.

So, after setting up Ineos Automotive (the Ineos Group’s main dealings are in chemicals with a side-line in fuel, pharmaceuticals, and professional sports), buying an old Mercedes factory in north-eastern France, and getting Grenadier Station Wagon production up and running, it’s time for Sir Jim to diversify the Grenadier range…

So, how is this different to the SUV?

Well, it’s got a different name for a start. Sticking with the military theme, this is the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster, and in case it wasn’t already obvious from the pictures it’s a standard Grenadier that has been transformed into a pickup truck.

Ineos hasn’t just chopped the rear section of roof off a Grenadier Station Wagon, though. The Quartermaster has an extended chassis with a wheelbase that’s 305mm longer than the Station Wagon, meaning it’s 5.44m long in total with a hefty kerbweight of around 2.7 tonnes. The bed space is 1.56m in length, 1.62m wide and 48cm in height, meaning there’s plenty of room for a standard Euro pallet, and you can only have the Quartermaster as a double cab with five seats.

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There’s a payload of up to 835kg, the same 3,500kg towing capacity as the Station Wagon and the dropped down tailgate can support 225kg for wild picnicking.

What engines can I have?

Ah, now those are exactly the same as the Station Wagon. They’re great engines though: you can have a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol from BMW, or a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six diesel… also from BMW. 

The petrol makes 283bhp and 332lb ft of torque, while the diesel makes do with 248bhp but generates 405lb ft. Both are paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and before you ask no, you can’t have a manual.

What else is underneath?

Well, the ladder frame chassis is simple and super strong, and you get heavy-duty axles from Carraro, a two-speed transfer case from Tremec with a locking central differential (extra front and rear lockers are optional), recirculating ball steering, Brembo brakes, Bilstein shocks and Eibach coil springs all round. Yep, there’s no leaf spring action here.

So, is it priced to be a workhorse commercial vehicle?

It’s really not. Ineos has launched a new van-like Grenadier Commercial in the UK to allow buyers to claim the VAT back on their purchase. That starts at £51,931.

But because of our complicated tax laws, you will likely have to pay VAT on a Grenadier Quartermaster, meaning prices start at £66,215. Ouch.

There’s more detail over on the Buying tab but at that price the Quartermaster’s only real rival in the UK would be the Ford Ranger Raptor, although you may also find people cross-shopping with posh Volkswagen Amaroks and perhaps even the new Land Rover Defender Commercial.

What's the verdict?

With a near-£70k start price this is very much a “premium lifestyle vehicle” as opposed to a proper work truck

Ineos freely admits that this is pretty much the same car as the Grenadier Station Wagon up until the rear bulkhead: it’s done that to make the tooling easier and the manufacturing process more efficient. 

It also knows that with a near-£70k start price this is very much a “premium lifestyle vehicle” as opposed to a proper work truck, and we do have slight reservations about how gawky it looks from the rear. And yet, the Quartermaster is so different from anything else on sale we can’t help but feel a fondness for it.

Yes, it probably won’t find too many homes here in the UK, but those who do splash the cash on a weekend adventure vehicle will probably fall quite hard for it.

The Rivals

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