Vauxhall Grandland X

1.2 SRi Nav

Vauxhall Grandland, front
Vauxhall Grandland, front
Vauxhall Grandland, front
Vauxhall Grandland, rear
Vauxhall Grandland, rear
Vauxhall Grandland, rear seats
Vauxhall Grandland, boot
Vauxhall Grandland, rear
Vauxhall Grandland, interior

SIFTING through the vast array of SUVs in search of the right fit is an uphill struggle.

Just about every manufacturer has a representative here. Wind the clock back a decade or so, and it was Nissan with the now ubiquitous Qashqai that paved a rather lonely path.

One of the late entries into the mid-sized fray was Vauxhall with the Grandland X, which is really a Peugeot 3008 in different clothes and sporting the griffin badge.

It took its bow some two years before the giant PSA group bought Vauxhall Opel and is built in the French firm's factory.

From the outside, you wouldn't easily know its origins - pleasing, well proportioned lines, a family grille and acceptably chunky stance without being too macho. Perhaps less confident than the bold 3008, it nevertheless is unlikely to irritate or offend.

Beneath the anodyne exterior are Peugeot workings and engine, which is no bad thing. The version we drove is powered by a neat 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo engine which works a treat providing ample toque together with decent economy that sees close to 40 miles regularly being squeezed out of a gallon of unleaded.

The SRi Nav version gets some nice racy touches such as alloy effect front and rear skid plates, black roof with matching door mirrors, 18-inch alloys and there's an eight-inch touchscreen. Rear parking sensors are standard but there's no rear view camera. Dual climate control and leather covered multi-function steering wheel are also standard issue.

An eyebrow may be raised at such a small engine being tasked with hauling a relatively large five door body. But in actuality, it's more than up to the job and emits a pleasantly throaty growl when pulling hard and remains refined and muted at motorway cruising speeds.

Acceleration is in line with the average 1.6-litre diesel or petrol rather than a 1.2-litre and the six-speed gearbox is precise and light.

The two wheel drive Grandland X - don't be fooled that the X might mean 4WD - rides well over most surfaces but feels a little more firm than its French counterpart. Cornering is safe and composed rather than sporty with little road feel being passed back to the helm.

When it comes to accommodation, there's more space than most rivals. Despite having a generous 514 litre boot, there remains ample rear leg and shoulder room and those up front are also well catered for. In usual fashion the rear seats fold to further expand capacity.

The facia and dash design is less radical than the Peugeot which sports its own novel icockpit. There's an abundance e of dark plastic, much of which is soft-touch and user-friendly and the dials are clear and easy to read. Unusually, these days, it has an ignition key starter rather than a button.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 SRi Nav

Price: £28,380

Mechanical:128bhp, 1,198cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph: 10.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 45.6

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 146g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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