Opel’s latest entry to the Sports Utility segment arrives with an immediate confidence in its talents. The Grandland X, while not a full-blown 4x4, enters a segment occupied by players with no illusions about their form and function.
With Opel now a member of the Peugeot Citroen family, the Grandland X stands on 3008/C4 Space Tourer architecture and also their engine range. The future for the brand now flavoured with more than a hint of French fancy.
Picking a name for a new model must be a real pain for manufacturers. To the consumer, it can either be totally appropriate or off-centre to the point of being spot on, or they can resort to numerics, with the intention of being easy to remember and fitting their intent.
Whereas the Mokka X and Crossland X sit in the Crossover category, the Grandland X aims at those looking for the more robust SUV persona. My test car came in Elite trim and wore a very pleasing colour combination of metallic Golden Sandstone and black roof, it proved itself to be a capable and very comfortable companion, especially as we were ‘enduring’ a heat wave and not the normal liquid sunshine our summers bestow on us.
Powered by a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel, the Grandland X in Elite trim came with great seating, a good driving position and equipped to the point of requiring night classes. The liveability of the Grandland X is really good, its delivery on comfort and convenience a major attraction, and while it may lack a sportier road dynamic, it is well worth the exchange.
Definitely a car to test drive, the Opel Grandland X may never see an off-road track, its prowess amid the giggle-weeds best left to parking on the grass verge. It does come with Grip Control and tyres that will cope admirably with iffy winter road conditions, its primary talent being that of providing harmonious road transport.
There are great choices in this segment, your test list a happy difficulty that has to include the Grandland X.
Model: GrandLand X
Format: Sports Utility Vehicle
Trim Levels: SC; Sri: Elite & Ultimate
Accommodation: 5-seater, 5-door
Drive: Front wheel drive
Engine: 1.6 CDTi
Transmission: 6-speed manual
CO2 emissions: 104g/km
Road Tax band: A3
Annual Road Tax: €190
Ground Clearance: 20cm
Boot space: 514 litres - 1,652 litres with 60/40 seats folded
Elite Introductory Price: €34,095
Test car Price: €36,575
Some of the competition
Peugeot 3008, Nissan Qashqai, KIA Sportage, Renault Kadjar, Skoda Karoq, SEAT Ateca, VW T-Roc, BMW X1, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, Citroen C4 Space Tourer, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Kuga
Parked on its own the Grandland X doesn’t look to be as substantial as it truly is, the arrival of a mid-range family saloon car to the adjacent parking spot putting a perspective on Opel’s SUV offering. Now a family member of Peugeot/Citroen, the Grandland X shares the underpinnings and engines of Peugeots 3008, the new future of Opel utilising the wide-ranging talents and success of its new French owners.
While it now has a French flavour, its Germanic lineage is forefront and exudes a conservative confidence. My test car came with leather seats, heated and cooled in front, heated only in the back, and carrying the anagram AGR, indicating that they have passed very stringent testing as to their support and friendliness to our back and nether regions. The front passenger seat and the two outer rear seats come with ISOFIX child seat anchors, while the bigger siblings will delight in the Grandland X having USB’s for both rows and its own WiFi hotspot.
The driver and centre console are well laid out, gone are the plethora of buttons so abundant some years ago, the information required now available via voce, steering wheel controls, or touchscreen. All in all, I found the interior well put together, with a visual and touch-pleasing array of materials.
Safety and convenience systems abound on the Grandland X, where everything from adaptive cruise control, with an auto feature, pedestrian detection, adaptive LED headlights, to a 360-degree camera scanning when reversing, are all very easy to live with.
On the Road
My test car had the 120bhp turbo-diesel for propulsion, its 1.6-litre capacity proving capable and economical during my various sortees through the city and across the country. Being a substantial car and riding high as a flag-flying SUV, the Grandland X was secure in all I asked of it and as long as I remembered its design focus, all was well in the world. Shuffling an SUV like it’s a sports car is fraught with laundry problems, so best avoided. It can still be pointed quite enthusiastically at the horizon, so long as you remember it needs time to regain its composure before you quickly ask it another awkward question.
Although the Grandland X does not come as a full-blown 4x4, it hides within its metal an electronic voodoo assistant called ‘Intelligrip.’ This black magic comes with tyres to complement its wizardry, where the driver can, via a rotary dial, select one of five modes, Normal, Mid, Snow, Sand and ESP Off, whereon the Grandland X’s engine and braking systems optimise the engine torque and wheel speed to get you through all bar stuff polar bears baulk at.
In the crowded and talented segment, it now plies its trade, the Grandland X will have to fight for every sale, its biggest rival that of its now-cousin, the Peugeot 3008. It is most definitely worth a place on your test car list.
Tony Toner -Motoring Correspondent for BeepBeep.ie