THE takeover of Vauxhall by the company behind Peugeot and Citroen should be no surprise for the two have been in cahoots for a while.
First to reap the rewards of the new-found alliance is the Vauxhall Crossland X - a compact SUV that will share its underpinnings with the soon-to-come new Citroen C3 Picasso.
Built in Spain alongside Vauxhall's slightly larger Mokka X, the new Crossland is nicely poised to exploit the current boom in smaller SUVs.
Vauxhall topped the UK SUV sales charts in April with the Mokka so it seems to know what's wanted.
The Crossland may be the Mokka's little brother but it's only a couple of inches shorter and has a boot that in everyday use is actually bigger.
That's all down to some clever packaging which makes the Crossland family-friendly and it's also a couple of grand cheaper than the Mokka.
Crossland prices start from Â£16,555 for a 1.2-litre petrol model and top out at Â£21,380 for a 1.6-litre diesel with plenty of bells and whistles. It's due to arrive in July.
Options include two-tone paint finishes, full LED lighting and even a head up display so you can expect to add at least £1,000 to the list price. A proper spare wheel to replace the standard tyre repair kit is also an extra costing £110.
However, all versions of the Crossland come with Vauxhall's OnStar SOS and concierge connectivity system plus Wi-Fi hotspots and full smartphone integration, a seven-inch touchscreen and dual zone climate control. There's also a full set of safety aids including lane departure warning and emergency braking.
Those in the know will spot that a lot of the software has come from the PSA camp - no bad thing - while under the bonnet the engines in the Crossland are straight out of the Peugeot/Citroen range.
They include the award winning 1.2-litre three cylinder PureTech petrol engines which Vauxhall is calling ecoTEC and a pair of 1.6-litre diesels which are nicely frugal.
Power ranges from 81 to 130ps on the petrol front and 99 to 120ps with the diesels and from our initial drives the Crossland gets better the more punch it has.
The 130ps turbo petrol with its 9.1 seconds 0 to 60 time is the quickest of the bunch and the engine suits the car to a tee. Free revving and appropriately potent there's good range acceleration and a claimed fuel return of 55.4mpg with emissions of 116g/km.
We recorded an average of 45.6mpg which was similar to that we managed with the 110ps engine but the extra power was noticeably sweeter to drive.
No complaints either from the 120ps diesel which returned almost 60 to the gallon over a similar drive and at 9.9 seconds 0 to 60 is almost as quick out of the blocks.
Officially it is rated at 70.6mpg with a CO2 figure of 105g/km while the 99ps diesel is rated at 78.5mpg with emissions down to 93g/km.
The cars we drove were in higher grade Elite trim and with extras including Vauxhall's advanced Navi 5.0 Intellilink sat nav system, a rear view parking camera and keyless entry cost Â£22,375 for the petrol and Â£23,660 for the diesel.
The Crossland is front wheel drive only and as the name suggests it's right in the crossover groove, positioned against the likes of the Renault Captur and Mazda CX-3.
The Mokka is more suited for those needing 4x4 performance and realistic towing capacity but for most the Crossland will tick all the boxes.
The cabin is nicely roomy, well laid out, there's a fold-down armrest on the side of the driver's seat on higher grade models and the rear seat can slide six inches forward increasing minimum boot capacity from 410 to 525 litres.
In a car of this class that's large and maximum capacity is a useful 1,255 litres. If there is a gripe it's with the design of the handbrake which is ratchet-shaped with a release button on the top and may not be to everyone's liking.
Overall, the Crossland X makes a fine fist of all that is required on the current compact SUV scene.
It bodes well for the new alliance and next to come for Vauxhall is the bigger Grandland X. That's based on the new Peugeot 3008, the car which has been voted the best in Europe in 2017 - and you can't get better than that.