Vauxhall Grandland X, for proper men who want a proper, good looking, French car. If it were a food, it would be a double cheeseburger baguette. If it were a person, it would be Shaq – looks tough and American on the outside, but on the inside he’s like a Frenchman. Hashtag no homo.
Out of the entire family, the Vauxhall Grandland X is the most utilitarian, the cheapest and the most boring member of it’s quite extended. Mainly because the design for Grandland was conceived by the Americans in 2012, around the time when the French took over Vauxhall / Opel. And the French thought that it’s a shame to put a screw where you can solve it with a wire and if since the design is finished, let’s launch it like this now and french beam it with the 2021 facelift.
How big is the family?
We take a deep breath and start. Peugeot 3008, Peugeot 5008, Vauxhall Grandland, Citroen C5 AirCross and DS7 Crossback. And this helped the Grandland enormously, because it passed the class along with the group and did great because it was a class project, much like how the C4 AirCross did. Opel Grandland I received all the technology of the new French parents and kept the American appearance, which helped it both in appearance and especially in the lower price. And this situation made Grandland a success for Vauxhall, being one of the manufacturer’s best-selling cars.
Why buy a Grandland and not something else from the family?
- As I said in the intro, the Vauxhall Grandland X is the cheapest of the whole family, cheaper even than the Peugeot 3008, with which it is comparable in size. Of course, for this money you get an entry-level petrol or diesel, manual gearbox and a picture of Her Majesty, but for 13-14,000 pounds (what it’s worth at the time I wrote this…thing?) you can buy a medium size crossover from 2018-2019. And this puts Vauxhall Grandland in the best buy area, along with Vitara and Duster, and honestly it’s a car comparable to these two bargains in the cross-over world.
- Second reason – THREE HUNDRED HORSEPOWER AND ALL-WHEEL DRIVE. Well, only on the hybrid version, but it’s the only one in the family that comes with 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive, apart from the blue blooded DS7 Crossback. What is at least funny is that they put the most expensive hybrid only on the most expensive and the cheapest car in the family, nothing for the middle class. It’s as if in the airport at the VIP lounge you only give access to those with a VIP card and those flying economy, everybody else is kept outside.
What’s the difference between the Grandland and the Grandland X?
None. Initially it was called Opel Grandland X, and in 2021 when the facelift arrived, they decided to give up X and only Vauxhall Grandland remained, without the X factor.
Vauxhall Grandland X Engines
- 1.2 Turbo EB2DTS 130 hp – The base engine and the only petrol engine you will realistically find in the classifieds, so I would look at it with the same intensity as Michael Scott looked at Toby and have an equally shady oppinion about it, because this engine it may have timing chain premature wear, oil consumption issues and the fact that it needs quality petrol. Especially the earlier models.
- 1.6 Turbo EP6FDT of 180 horses – Yes, it’s the same 1.6 Turbo affectionately called “Little Prince” and which caused chaos at Mini, Peugeot, Citroen and everywhere it went because the timing chain went for a walk in the engine too often. But who am I lying here, at the time I wrote this article there was actually only one Grandland 1.6 Turbo for sale on autotrader. One. That many. At least for this generation of engine the timing chain doesn’t fly by as time does when you realise you’ve hit 30 and you’ve done essentially nothing with your life.
- 1.5D BlueHDi DV5 of 130 horses – The DV5 engine is an evolution of the 1.6D DV6F engine and is the internal combustion equivalent of potato soup. It does its job decently, keeps you full, but it won’t impress you with anything in particular.
- 1.6D BlueHDi DV6F of 120 horses – Just like the DV5 that replaced it, today the ancient 1.6 diesel no longer has the issues with the injectors and the turbo failures of the olden days, and only remains with the AdBlue installation which must always have AdBlue otherwise the engine won’t start. Oh and don’t potter about town with it. Don’t buy it for home-school-work-school-mall-home duty.
- 2.0D DW10 of 180 horses – This engine has neither AdBlue nor it was particularly popular on the Vauxhall Grandland X. Because no one flocked to buy it because there was no queue for such a thing and it was only bought occasionally. I mean, it’s a decent engine overall, but it’s not cheap and that’s the whole idea of Grandland, to be an affordable cross-over. And for most people the 1.5 and 1.6 diesel engines do roughly the same thing.
1.6 Turbo Hybrid EP6FDT and EP6CDTX of 200, 224 and 300 horses – Vauxhall has a history of cars that are a few injectors off a full engine and there has always been a version worthy of the Solihull Mental Ward. Whether we’re talking about the Astra H or the Insignia and their 260 horsepower 2.0 Turbo petrols or we go further back in time to the Calibra, there has always been something for adrenaline junkies. And on the Grandland, which was pretty much the final hurrah for the General Motors era for Vauxhall / Opel, we have a 1.6 Turbocharged petrol hybrid 4×4 which develops a massive 300 horsepower (the only one with 4×4). But most will not look at the 300 horse version, they will look at the 200 and 224 horsepower ones. The hybrid system is good in itself, but at low temperatures the autonomy falls like a sack of potatoes from the attic, and the second argument is that at the time I wrote this, the hybrid costs 10,000 pounds more than a basic 1.2 Turbo petrol and I don’t know if it’s necessarily worth the difference. For the average Vauxhall Grandland owner, it certainly isn’t.
Vauxhall Grandland X Reliability Issues
- You can see that it’s an American car because they forgot to put a place where you can rest your foot while you’re not stepping on the clutch. It’s very close to the clutch pedal, so if you’re a “budget conscious” person (as i’m not allowed to use the “P” word) with a manual transmission, I hope you have small feet. But fortunately only the entry level 1.2 Turbo petrol engine, aka the engine for the “budget conscious”, has a manual gearbox, the rest of them being automatic.
- The Start/Stop system eats the battery just as ElectroBOOM eats anything electricity related. Might aswell just turn off the Start / Stop.
- The interior looks and feels like it was designed in 2012 and launched in 2017, because it is far behind its french brothers in the looks department. Also, the infotainment is probably carried over from the Calibra.
Vauxhall Grandland X Verdict
A very interesting choice that is sloted between Vitara and Duster. It may not be as successful as the Mokka, but the Grandland is definitely worth seeing and test driving, because it is no longer a social waste with reliability problems, it is just a technological outdated car on the outside. But if you don’t necessarily care about the appearance and want a simple and quite good car, the Vauxhall Grandland X is worth a test drive. Maybe even your money.
What engines do I recommend? For petrol power the entry level 130 horsepower 1.2 Turbo is enough, for as are the 1.5D and 1.6D enough for the diesel options, but what I want to say is that the 1.6 Turbo 224 hp hybrid can be worth it if you go around town a lot. In this scenario those 10,000 pounds extra compared to the 1.2 Turbo petrol may be worth it.