We were recently given the brand new Vauxhall Crossland X to test drive for a week. You may have seen the crazy TV adverts, featuring a bunch of kick-ass “Pyjama Mamas”, with a feisty attitude. The Crossland X is Vauxhall’s newest crossover, which is a cross between a compact family car and an SUV and deemed “swagger on four wheels”. We were test driving the manual elite model with a 1.2 petrol turbo engine and start stop technology. The SE is the most basic model, the Ultimate is the highest and the Elite is somewhere in the middle. And whilst I wasn’t about to go out in my pyjama’s, this is definitely a review from a “mama’s” point of view. My husband’s opinions of the car were somewhat different to mine. Whilst he prefers a sporty little number with some speed behind it, I look more for comfort and family practicality in a car.
I have four children, one in an infant car seat, two in high backed booster style car seats and one who is over the height limit and no longer requires a car seat by law. The back of the Crossland X only really has two and a half seats, as the middle seat is not a full sized seat. I’m used to driving a car with seven full sized captain chair’s, so my instant reaction was, that I would not be able to take all four children out with me in the Crossland X. However, we actually DID manage to get all four children in. With the baby in the front (airbag disabled of course), we were able to fit my oldest in the middle seat in the back, between the twins. Despite looking a bit squished, she assured us that actually, she was pretty comfortable.
The children loved the novelty of being in a brand new car with many more gadgets that Mummy’s car has. One of the highlights for me, was the child locks. Instead of having to get out of the car, open the back door and use a key to enable or disable the child locks, in the Vauxhall Crossland X, child locks can be both enabled and disabled just from one button in the front of the car. This gave me a great deal of peace of mind and a little light told me whether they were on or off.
Another feature I particularly liked, was the 180 degree reversing camera, “cause mama’s need eyes in the back of their heads”. In particular, I liked that the car offered a split screen, showing different angles, including a birds eye view. This made it much easier reversing the car into smaller parking spaces and gave me a far better indication of how far away I was from other vehicles, than the usual rear view screen.
The Crossland X also features SatNav, Bluetooth connectivity and it’s own WiFi. This made going handsfree whilst driving, much simpler. There’s also the Vauxhall OnStar system, which includes an SOS button if you find yourself in an emergency situation and need immediate assistance. Keyless entry, meant I didn’t have to rummage around in my handbag to find the car keys. I could just get in the car and press start, with the keys still safely in the bottom of my bag.
Lane assist, whilst helpful on motorways and dual carriageways, is extremely irritating on minor roads, when you’re trying to avoid potholes or go around roadworks. The car kept beeping at me for trying to avoid potholes in the Gloucestershire roads and I ended up turning this feature off. My reason for needing to avoid potholes, was that even small bumps in the road, knock the steering off quite dramatically. In general, I found the steering great and the car sailed smoothly around corners, but neither the steering now the suspension coped particularly well with bumpy roads.
There was a reasonably sized boot, but once my son’s pushchair was in, there wasn’t a lot of room for much else. A spot of shopping later and the boot was full.
I like the look and style of the car, with the silver body, black glossy roof, tinted windows and LED lights. It was very easy to drive, easy to park, very comfortable and accelerates surprisingly quickly. I didn’t use cruise control or speed limiter, but those features were both there if I had wanted to. Autolights and autowipers were also very handy functions. As I’ve been driving for 13 years, one thing I did find extremely irritating, was the car telling me when it wanted me to change gear. If I want a car to change gear for me, I’ll buy an automatic. If I’m driving a manual, I’m the driver and I will change gear when I want to, not when a computer tells me to. I realise that this function is there to preserve fuel economy, but I’m quite a fuel efficient driver anyway and it simply annoyed me. I felt like I had to rebel against it in order to retain some authority as a driver (and a feisty Pyjama Mama in charge).
I think the Vauxhall Crossland X would be the perfect car for a family with two children, but the likelihood of squishing a third child seat in the back is slim to nil. If your children are all over the height limit for car seats, then this would also suit couples with three children or a single “mama” of four. If this car were a 7 seater and slightly sturdier over bumps, I’d be buying one, with very little hesitation. I also think if I were considering buying the Crossland X, I’d opt for the 1.2 6-speed automatic, rather than the manual. Whilst the Elite was great, I’d upgrade further and go for the “ultimate” trim. In the crossover style of car, I’ve also recently driven a Vauxhall Mokka and a Nissan Juke and can confidently say that I preferred the Crossland X by a long shot. Vauxhall is also bringing out the Grandland X soon, which looks bigger, sportier and in my opinion, even better.