Opel's new crossover tested on Irish roads
Pros: Efficient diesel engines, space and practicality, optional LED lighting
Cons: Lacks driver engagement, no four-wheel drive option
Sales of new SUVs in Ireland have surpassed the humble hatchback, and Opel is keen to capitalise with a new crossover offering for 2018. The Grandland X is the newest model in the German brand's crossover stable, which includes the Mokka X and Crossland X. The Grandland should prove popular in Ireland too, as it is based on the same platform as the Peugeot 3008 and boasts chunky off-road-inspired looks with economical running costs. The question remains though, is it distinctive enough to compete with best sellers in the space including the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson? We spent a week driving it on Irish and Welsh roads to find out.
What is it like?
The Grandland X takes styling inspiration from the Opel Insignia with a large front grille and vibrant LED lights. High-placed bumpers, skid plates and a tall ride height all lend the Grandland X a ruggedl look, and it is undoubthedly the most stylish of Opel's current crossover models. It isn't the most distinctive SUV in its class however and is rather conservative next to its stablemate, the Peugeot 3008. Our test car is a mid-range SRI specification model and it has upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and alloy effect skid plates.
Stepping inside, the Grandland X is spacious with enough room to ferry five adults in comfort and there’s plenty of room in the boot with 514 litres of space and a flat floor which is ideal for loading bulky items. There's an appropriate range of adjustment available in the driver's seat and lots of areas to stow away items with large door bins and cubby holes. The dashboard design is unfussy and our SRI test car has an eight-inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The touch screen system is easy to use on the move, with onboard WIFI and concierge service available through Opel’s OnStar system. All of this means the Grandland X is a well-connected machine. Fit and finish throughout the cabin is good, if somewhat shy of its rivals such as the SEAT Ateca. The optional panoramic sunroof in our test car floods the cabin with light and it’s a lovely upgrade, but costs and additional €700 on the options list.
The Grandland X is available with a host of petrol and diesel engines that are well-suited to Irish roads. We drove the 120bhp 1.6-litre diesel model which is a great all-round performer with fuel economy returns. Although the diesel covers 0-100km/h in reserved fashion (11.8 seconds), it offers plenty of low-down grunt and usable power throughout the rev range. Our test car has a six-speed manual gearbox, which is a little notchy on downshifts, but there's an automatic version available too.
In terms of economy, we achieved 5 litres/100 kilometres of driving during mixed conditions and annual road tax is listed at €190, so running costs are unquestionably low. Out on the road, the Grandland X is refined with light steering that makes it incredibly easy to park and manoeuvre. Although it grips well, there’s lots of body roll in tight turns and it isn’t as fun to drive as some of its rivals. Despite the 'X' in its name, the Grandland X isn't available with all-wheel drive, not that you’ll need it for daily driving anyway. It is available with Opel's IntelliGrip system which copes well with loose terrain.
Prices for the new Opel Grandland X start from €27.995 in base SC specification, which puts it in similar territory to the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008. It’s very well equipped from standard with a seven-inch touchscreen system, Opel OnStar with WIFI, dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Prices for the SRI model that we tested start from €30,959, with an upgraded 8-inch touch screen system, electric tailgate, keyless entry, front parking sensors and larger 18-inch alloy wheels included. Our test car also has Opel’s optional Premium LED Adaptive Forward lighting pack which is superb on dark back roads and adapts to different driving situations continually.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The Grandland X is Opel’s best crossover offering to date, thanks to a spacious and family-friendly cabin, a strong line-up of engines and a pleasant drive. In diesel guise, the Grandland X is a particularly frugal choice, and it is very well equipped in base specification in comparison to its rivals. While it isn’t as fun to drive as many alternatives in the class, and is a tad conservative in terms of styling, we can see the Grandland X being a popular choice in an increasingly saturated corner of the market.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Opel Grandland X SRi
Prices from: €27,995
Price as tested: €34,180
Annual Motor Tax: €190
Engine: 1560cc four-cylinder diesel
Top Speed: 188km/h
0-100km/h: 11.8 seconds
Transmission: Six-speed Manual
Body style: SUV
Boot Space: 514 litres