12 May 2018

REVIEW: Vauxhall Grandland X

A grand day out

These days it feels like new cars are essentially huge gadgets in their own right. Therefore it makes total sense for us to recently have taken delivery of Vauxhall's latest SUV; a car so packed with tech it could put the starship Enterprise to shame. We check out the Vauxhall Grandland X.

To be more precise, we had the Vauxhall Grandland X Elite Nav edition, as there are several versions of the Grandland X depending on what kind of tech package you opt for. This beast also now holds the title for most expensive thing we've yet reviewed, costing a not insignificant £27,105.

The car itself is a sleek SUV, which although being an American term for a beefy saloon car, we actually found it to be refreshingly compact, despite those 19 inch alloys. It seats five, boasts a fairly spacious boot, and comes in a tonne of colours (ours was gold. Gangsta!).

The Vauxhall Grandland X feels like the emphasis has been placed very firmly on comfort and practicality. The leather interior was a delight to park a bum on, and the heated seats and steering wheel made long drives at night a pleasure. In terms of the handling, it always felt very securely anchored to the road, and although not an overly speedy vehicle, it had a luxurious sense to it, as if it wasn't an SUV at all, but rather a sleeker coupe.

However, our real interest in reviewing this thing was for the gadgets. The Vauxhall Grandland X uses the same OnStar In-Car info and entertainment system that we reviewed a couple of years ago in an Astra Sports Tourer. Do check out that review to get the full details, but the headlines remain that the system works incredibly well at keeping you entertained and safe. The OnStar can project a WiFi hotspot, uses Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to connect to your phone, as well as being an eight inch touch screen for navigation, environment controls, and a screen for the cameras.

Yep, this car has cameras. There is a very handy rear parking cam to make backing up easier (it springs to life automatically as soon as you engage reverse), and also a 360 immersive cam to give you a top-down view of the obstacles around you. It's awesome, and genuinely helpful.

You're also well placed for charging options, because as well as the standard 12V car power sockets, you get two USB ports up front, two more in the back, and also a full-sized UK three-pin plug socket. Wasn't expecting that. In the Elite Nav edition you also get a unique wireless phone charger in the divider between driver and passenger. It seems like a standard Qi-enabled charger, and worked with all the phones we tested it with (that have wireless charging built-in). It was nice to be able to simply drop a phone into it at the start of the journey, knowing it would be juiced up by the time we arrived.

Outside the car you get adaptive LED lighting, which will automatically change intensity depending on your driving conditions, and driver assistance such as lane departure and forward-collision warnings. It all just works, which is reassuring.

Reassuring is a feeling we got throughout our time with the Vauxhall Grandland X, with the beefy frame and clever tech working together to keep you feeling safe. You simply get the impression that you're safer in this car, and we enjoyed every moment in it.


Visit www.vauxhall.co.uk

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