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The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Grandland X
For:Comfortable ride, roomy interior
Against:Driving experience isn’t as polished as many of its rivals
What is it?
The last time Vauxhall tried to make an SUV, we got the entirely forgettable Antara. But now it’s back in the game with the all-new Grandland X. In development since 2013, the new car shares most of its mechanical underpinnings with the current Peugeot 3008, which is no bad thing, as the 3008 is a decent car.
If you’re not a fan of French cars, fear not; there aren’t many visible parts shared with the Peugeot, aside from the engine start button and some dashboard warning lights. Under the bonnet the engines are the same, not that there are many to choose from, with just a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol option and 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel on offer to begin with. Buyers can have automatic or manual transmissions, though.
Despite the move back towards petrol and all the diesel-bashing going on in the media, in this part of the market, diesel still rules. The 1.6-litre unit has sufficient power, in the same way that a 32-inch telly is sufficient for watching blockbuster movies on – it’s OK, but not that exciting. By sticking to front-wheel drive on both models, emissions are low and official fuel consumption is good, making it a bit easier on the monthly motoring budget.
Compared to Vauxhall’s other SUV-themed models, the Crossland X and Mokka X, the Grandland X looks the least awkward of the bunch. It gets the company’s latest face with distinctive LED daytime running lights that are in vogue right now. The rest of it isn’t bad, either. Emphasising its flanks are sharp lines running upwards from the rear wheels and bonnet.
The use of a ‘floating’ roof and painted C-pillars that flick the opposite way help to give the impression that the Grandland X is lower than it really is, and a contrasting black roof colour on higher grade models really showcases this. If you get your measuring tape out (we all carry one of those around, right?), you’ll find that the Vauxhall comes in on par with most of the other players in the segment.