Vauxhall takes a

practical turn

Vauxhall Crossland X, action front 2
Vauxhall Crossland X, side action
Vauxhall Crossland X, full front static
Vauxhall Crossland X, front static
Vauxhall Crossland X, rear action
Vauxhall Crossland X, action front
Vauxhall Crossland X, rear static
Vauxhall Crossland X, dashboard
Vauxhall Crossland X, rear light
Vauxhall Crossland X, headlight
Vauxhall Crossland X, boot
Vauxhall Crossland X, boot floor
Vauxhall Crossland X, dash detail
Vauxhall Crossland X, rear seat
Vauxhall Crossland X, engine

VAUXHALL is keen to tell you what its new Crossland X is not - and it's not a mildly macho four-wheel driver for people with adventurous tastes.

No, that task is filled in the range by the nearly-as-new Mokka X, a mere finger's length longer, but aimed at different buyers.

The Crossland X is as more down to earth machine (literally; it lacks the Mokka's rock defying ground clearance and 4WD availability) and is aimed at filling the more practical needs of its buyers.

And these, Vauxhall thinks, will be either younger couples who need the Crossland's space for people and their bits and bobs or older types who relish the car's raised seating and the way it makes for easier entry and exit as the joints begin to creak a little.

Either group will be taking on a car that looks crisply neat outside and in and starts at a family friendly £16,555 - although Vauxhall is following the industry trend and offers only a single colour (blue) that doesn't mean another £550 for metallic paint.

The range tops out at £21,380, heading a line up that borrows heavily from the Peugeot group for the bits you can't see, from body platform to engines and gearboxes.

That deal was struck years before the recent takeover of Vauxhall by the Peugeot empire and there's another joint venture due later this year with the larger Grandland X, which shares bits with the French firm's 3008.

It's no surprise that Vauxhall is keen to ramp up its offerings in the SUV part of the market, growing at a phenomenal pace as buyers shun the more traditional small hatchback.

They'll enjoy the sense of space in the Crossland X, with loads of headroom front and back and a rear seat (which for £300 can optionally slide forward to favour boot room) that is adult friendly too.

That means a useful increase in the already generous boot capacity, from 410 litres to 520 litres, or a van-like 1,255 litres with the rear seat folded flat.

The entry-level engine is the 1.2-litre petrol with 81bhp (54.3mpg combined; 116g/km CO2). Elsewhere in the range, the 1.2 Turbo with petrol direct injection is available in three variants.

The ecoTEC engine is equipped with the five-speed manual transmission (58.9mpg combined; 111-109 g/km CO2) and delivers 108bhp, while the 1.2-litre combined with the six-speed automatic gearbox manages 57.3mpg combined and 123g/km CO2).

The top-of-the-line petrol engine is the 1.2 Turbo with 128bhp (55.4mpg combined; 116g/km CO2) and six-speed manual transmission. This takes the Vauxhall Crossland X from zero to 62mph in 9.1 seconds and to a maximum speed of 128mph.

The line-up also includes two turbocharged diesel engines, including the 1.6 diesel with 98bhp. The diesel variant, with start/stop, emits as little as 93g/km CO2 and achieves up to 78.5mpg combined.

The most powerful diesel is the 1.6 with 118bhp (70.6mpg combined; 105g/km CO2) and a top speed of 116mph.

Standard kit across the range includes climate control, alloy wheels, cruise control and LED daytime running lights. Depending on grade or options, your Crossland X can park itself without the driver touching the steering wheel (which can be heated) and will beat winter frosts with a heated windscreen.

Opt for Vauxhall's OnStar system and your car becomes a Wi-Fi hotspot, with the chance to hook up seven mobile devices. So the kids will stay silently glued to their iPads in the back seat.

The way the Crossland X feels on the road depends greatly on what's under the bonnet.

They all share a ride that prefers smoother roads and turns a bit sharp on bad ones and the likely most popular version, with 110 horsepower petrol power lacks sparkle when provoked, although 45mpg on the route was some compensation.

The more powerful 128bhp petrol model was very much livelier (and its six-speed gearbox sweeter) and returned an identical 45mpg. It felt a transformed vehicle.

Much more economical (58mpg on test) was the more powerful of the diesel Crosslands, which felt as swift as the better petrol and makes sense for the business user (a minority of buyers here) who won't mind the higher purchase price.


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