Vauxhall Grandland X Sport Nav: long-term test review

Update: Grinding noise in our Vauxhall Grandland X Sport Nav means impromptu visit to dealer


Mileage: 6,258
Economy: 32.1mpg

A grinding noise is never a good thing to hear in a car; much less when it comes from somewhere in the vicinity of the front wheels or suspension. That’s what’s been happening to my Grandland X recently, so it’s been to a Vauxhall dealer to be checked out.

• Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate 2018 review

The grinding was slightly unusual – as it would only happen when reversing at low speed, such as when backing into a parking space and even then, only some of the time. It wasn’t affected by steering lock, nor load on the suspension when reversing on an incline.

So I made a quick call to Toomey Vauxhall in Southend, Essex, and booked it in. I was impressed with the service offered. Small things really do make a difference, and I was pleased that the call was answered quickly, a description of the fault was taken and the car was booked in a few days later. A courtesy car wasn’t available, although I had the option of using one if I waited a few weeks for the work to be carried out. I decided that getting the noise investigated sooner rather than later was best.

Within a couple of hours of dropping the car off, I had been sent a link to a Vehicle Health Check video, where the technician gave a quick overview of the state of the Grandland X’s belly while elevated on ramps. Then my technician went on to show the brake discs. Although he wasn’t able to replicate the grinding sound, he diagnosed it as a small amount of corrosion on the front discs, which strangely wasn’t affecting the car when driving forward. I was a little surprised given the brakes should have bedded in by now, and the car is used frequently enough for corrosion not to build up.

Second Report: Vauxhall Grandland X Sport Nav

The multi-adjustable seats in our Vauxhall Grandland X are making it supremely comfortable to drive

Mileage: 5,138
Economy: 39.0mpg

Seats are one of the most overlooked parts of any new car. It’s not helped by most dealer test drives lasting less than an hour, so the first time buyers can tell if their seats offer enough support, or are a pain in the proverbial, is after completing the maiden long journey.

Fortunately for me, the front seats in my Grandland X have been certified by Germany’s Campaign for Healthier Backs. It assesses seats on criteria such as the firmness of the foam, a supportive and well-padded backrest, individual seatback adjustment, base and seat materials, and the ability to ensure the driver isn’t too hot or cold. So far, only some models from Vauxhall, Mercedes, DS, Hyundai, Peugeot and Volkswagen, plus some Recaro seats, have accreditation.

My Grandland X is a 2018 model, so the seats were a £425 option but, as part of a series of spec tweaks for 2019 cars, they’re now standard on Tech Line Nav and Sport Nav versions.

Over the past 1,500 miles, I’ve made a few long journeys and the seats’ accreditation holds water. On a round trip from Essex to Wiltshire and back, I got out of the car without aching, and I’ve had no complaints from passengers.

The seat adjusts in 16 ways – twice as many as the standard versions – which means it takes a while to set up. Extending the seatbase to provide extra thigh support feels odd initially, but it’s well worth experimenting with because it makes a difference. However, where two or more people drive, the myriad adjustment options could mean it takes a while to regain the optimum set-up each time.

The driving position is aided by pedals that are well placed, and a steering wheel that adjusts for reach as well as rake.

First report: Vauxhall Grandland X Sport Nav

We’ve grabbed the keys to Vauxhall’s much-needed new Grandland X crossover to see how it copes with family life

Mileage: 4,645
Economy: 38.9mpg

Does Vauxhall’s latest and largest SUV really have X-appeal? That’s the big question I’ll be trying to answer over the coming months at the wheel of a Grandland X.

It’s safe to say that Vauxhall has been slow to embrace the SUV phenomenon. The Antara lumbered on for several years past its sell-by date, and the big-selling Mokka X arguably majors on value more than it does mechanical appeal. Yet Vauxhall set out its stall a few years ago by revealing all its SUVs would be suffixed by an X, hence the name of my latest long termer.

The Grandland X shares its platform and engines with the Peugeot 3008; it’s a good start, as that model has picked up a string of Auto Express and Carbuyer awards. Yet with a few exceptions, everything you can see and touch is all Vauxhall.

From the outside, the Grandland X is handsome, yet inoffensively designed. For me, the design highlights are the shark fin-shaped C-pillars and the aggressive front end. Those 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, standard on Sport Nav models, look neat, too.

The interior is smartly styled, if predictably Vauxhall. Storage space is good, and rear legroom is far better than it appears at first glance. The lack of a transmission tunnel creates impressive space in the back, but whether it’s enough for three adults is yet to be discovered. The boot is large – at 514 litres it’s fractionally larger than the 3008’s.

There’s no shortage of kit, either, which is something we discovered when we collected the Grandland X from GO Vauxhall Croydon’s new showroom on its official opening day.

GO Vauxhall’s Ella Harvey showed me around our new Topaz Blue Grandland X. This is a £565 paint option that to my eyes is the pick of the colour palette. On the drive home, I was able to get acquainted with the Sport Nav trim, which is the third of five and is very well appointed. Standard kit includes a speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, Vauxhall’s slick Navi 5.0 IntelliLink infotainment system and OnStar concierge service.

The Grandland X is well equipped in Sport Nav trim, but there’s still plenty to be found on the options list, as our £1,655 of extras confirms.

One option that’s well worth investigating are the ergonomic ‘sports style’ front seats. They’ve been certified by Germany’s Campaign for Healthier Backs, and although I’m yet to put that accolade to the test on a long journey, I’m initially very happy. The seat fabric has a diamond pattern called Harlekin, but time will tell how well the beige upholstery stands up to family life. The inclusion of Isofix mounting points in the front passenger seat is a helpful addition, although you still need to manually deactivate the airbag.

The silver-effect roof rails are well priced at £150, and the £160 wireless phone charger should future-proof the car, when the time comes to upgrade my ageing mobile phone. Finally, the cryptically named £355 Winter Pack One will come into its own later in the year, with its heated front seats and steering wheel.

The Grandland X’s engine line-up comprises a pair of diesels in 1.5- and 2.0-litre capacities, plus a 1.2 three-cylinder turbo petrol. And it’s this triple that powers our car. It’s early days, but the engine seems eager and nippy enough around town, although with maximum torque arriving low down at a diesel-like 1,750rpm, there’s little reward in revving it out. Even so, it’s been averaging 38.9mpg so far, but managed more than 45mpg on a long motorway run with cruise control set.

It’s at moderate speeds where the Grandland X feels happiest. The suspension is fairly soft, and the steering is light, meaning the emphasis is firmly on comfort rather than speed.

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

Key specs

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