What did we drive?
Vauxhall Grandland X PHEV
Engine: 1.6 litre Direct Injection Turbo/Electric
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Performance: 300 PS
Acceleration 0-62: 6.1 seconds
Colour: Topaz Blue Metallic
Wheels: 19-inch diamond cut, bi-colour, multi-spoke alloy wheels: 205/55 R19 tyres
Upholstery: Black Sienna perforated Leather
The Grandland X is available in your standard petrol and diesel engines; a 1.2 litre petrol and a 1.5 litre diesel. However, it’s the Plug-in Hybrid that we’re driving and are therefore here to talk about.
There are two plug-in hybrids available. Both have a 1.6 litre petrol engine and two electric motors.
The first is Front-Wheel Drive and has an output of 225PS. The second, and the car we’re testing, is All-Wheel Drive and produces 300PS (nearly 300 horsepower to you and me). That means a 0-62 time of just 6.1 seconds. Quite staggering for a car like this even if we do say so ourselves.
Driving and charging the Grandland X Hybrid
The 13.2kWh battery offers a purely electric range of up to 35 miles, and depending on the charging method, will go from empty to full in between 2-6 hours. All customers get a 3.7kW on-board charger as standard, but have the option to go for a 7.4kW charger as an optional extra that costs about £500.
The Hybrid adapts to suit your driving needs, allowing you to switch between full electric for shorter commutes, hybrid mode and back to combustion when the car is needed for longer trips. So by keeping the battery charged and the petrol tank topped up, any journey is possible. You can even go off-road if you really want to.
The consensus is that the Grandland X is a really nice looking car, and as we mentioned, is similar in stature to the popular Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Karoq. It especially looked good in this metallic Topaz Blue paint, with the contrast black roof and door mirror casings.
In a slightly off-piste twist you can also opt for a black bonnet if you, well, like the idea of a car with a black bonnet. It’ll be an extra £400 though. Steering is fine and the driving position is nice. I find with Vauxhalls that the visibility isn’t always the best, but there’s a helpful blindspot assistant as well as a lane keeping aid.
The cabin is quite nice; soft touch but potentially lacking a little bit in quality if you were to compare it with say, the equivalent Skoda or Volkswagen. There’s comfortable perforated leather seats, and grey gloss inserts and matt finishing. One thing we did not, and again not the end of the world, but the cup holders don’t actually fit a standard takeaway coffee cup properly - it warps the cup a little to be able to fit. An annoyance that I need to get over.
The screen is at a nice angle for the driver and front passenger, with chrome surrounds that tie in with the rest of the cabin. Everything is simple and easy to use. However it took me far too long to realise that the fuel cap had to be opened with a button on the centre console, and I only did so after a few painfully embarrassing minutes at the petrol station which left me very red faced!
Technology and Connectivity
As far as specifications go, this car is the best of the best. Ultimate Nav models have almost every piece of kit and safety equipment that Vauxhall has to offer.
Keyless entry and start? Yes. Dual-zone climate control. Yes. LED front fog lights. Yes. Panoramic camera? No. Oh wait, yes!
The point is, this car is full to the brim with features to make the driving experience all the more comfortable and hassle-free. Standard features on all Hybrid models also include a blind spot assistant and lane departure warning, electrically foldable door mirrors with puddle lights and traffic sign recognition.
Space and Practicality
In terms of space and practicality, the Grandland X offers a large, 514 litre boot. For comparison, this is more than that of the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai and just slightly less than the Skoda Karoq. It also features a powered tailgate for easy access.
The rear seats fold down in a 60:40 configuration, and passengers in the back also benefit from a centre armrest with a ski hatch access to the boot. There’s also two Isofix points in the back as well as the front passenger seat, which is a great bonus for those with a family of young children.
Upfront there's heated sports seats with electrical operation and memory function (for the driver) as well as a premium sound system that will keep the whole family entertained. As we mentioned this model gets a pano reversing camera, but for added ease there’s also front and rear sensors and advanced park assist. In all honesty we didn’t use the camera much, but the parking sensors will be a real benefit for anyone who gets a bit nervous manouvering a bigger car.
From the outside, the Grandland X looks just as premium as the Peugeot 3008 or SEAT Ateca, and was remarkably quiet. Inside, it was spacious and comfortable in the front and back. Where it is not quite as well put together as its competitors is the infotainment system, which is a bit laggy. However, nothing that would annoy you too much.
Various expletives (that we won’t repeat on here) were used by the team to describe the moment when they first experienced how quick the car was. Unexpectedly quick, to put it mildly. The Hybrid4 makes you smile, and if it can make you smile, that makes it a good car in our book.