Over the half term holidays, we spent 6 days testing out and reviewing the Vauxhall Grandland X. I’ve always been a Vauxhall fan. I learnt to drive in a Vectra and an Astra. My first car was an Agila and I’ve also owned a Zafira. I just find Vauxhall’s really easy to drive, pretty comfy, good value and ideal for family life.
I previously reviewed the Grandland X’s little sister, the Vauxhall Crossland X.
The two cars are actually very VERY similar, with the most obvious difference being that the Vauxhall Grandland X is significantly bigger than the Crossland X. I like bigger cars. I feel safer in bigger cars. So before I even started the engine, I preferred the Grandland X to the Crossland X.
Vauxhall Grandland X Review
The most basic model of the Grandland X is the SE, weighing in it’s starting price at £23,785*. Although for some reason the Tech Line Nav model, which contains satellite navigation and a few additional features, actually has a slightly lower starting price on the Vauxhall website, at £23,415*. Next up in specification and ascending prices we have the Sport Nav, followed by the Elite Nav and the top of the range model is called the Ultimate, with a starting price of £34,935*.
The Vauxhall Grandland X and Family Car Safety
As a mum, safety is my number one priority for everything and cars are no exception to that. What I loved about the Vauxhall Grandland X is that is that you can switch the child locks on and off at the touch of a button on the dash. Gone are the days of having to get out and wiggle a key around in the side of each back door. And not just the doors, but the windows too. There’s a button on the drivers side which controls all windows and overrides the back windows. So if you’ve got some charming little terrors in the back who are likely to lob things out of their windows and blame it on their sibling… you can just lock their windows.
This car also has automatic braking, so if you get too close to the car in front, it will beep, display a warning message and actually brake for you. The dash will also show you warning signs, road signs, speed limit signs and if you want to, you can switch on lane assist, so it will tell you if you veer over the lane dividers. I personally disable lane assist as I find it irritating, but this is very much down to personal preference. One thing which I did find hugely helpful though, was the little indicator lights on the wing mirrors. These would flash orange if there was a car in my blind spot, so I’d know it wasn’t safe to change lanes.
The Grandland X In-Car Tech
Another super smart bit of tech on this car, which is pretty bloomin’ awesome if you ask me – is the adaptive headlights. Picture this… you’re driving down the road at night and a car is coming the other way… the main beam on the Grandland X dips automatically BY ITSELF without you doing a thing! And once the oncoming car has passed, the Grandland X automatically switches back to main beam! It knows the difference between a street lamp and an oncoming car and only dips and beams when it needs to. So you’ve no worries about accidentally blinding another driver. Genius or what?!
The Grandland X also has advanced park assist, meaning that if you are struggling to parallel park into a particularly difficult space, it will actually park it for you. I don’t know how I missed this at the time of driving it, because I would most certainly have tested out that function. However, I didn’t know it was there, so I parked the traditional way. I say the traditional way, but to be honest, parking is a DODDLE in this car. Front and rear parking sensors and an excellent rear reversing camera were options which were present on the model I test drove and they make parking so simple. The clarity of the reversing camera was exceptional. You could see every tiny detail and the camera worked in harmony with the visual and audible parking sensors.
With the Vauxhall Grandland X’s Techline Nav model, you get integrated Sat Nav in addition to the standard Intellilink Infotainment system. Use this Infotainment system to connect your phone to your car, via Bluetooth and access your contacts, music and make calls through the cars speaker system. I loved this feature as I currently use the sat nav on my mobile phone, which runs my battery down and disappears when I take a phone call. Furthermore, if your smart phone is compatible with wireless charging, you can simply pop your phone down on the pad and the car will wirelessly charge your phone for you. My husbands phone has this. The fact that my phone doesn’t, probably suggests I should get a new phone!
And for when the children are NOT in the car and you want to enjoy some solo drive time without the regular chants of “Are we nearly there yet?”, the Grandland X has a kickass sound system. A Denon 8-speaker sound system with inbuilt subwoofer, provides great sound quality when you want to belt out some tunes.
For the gadget geeks, or people like me who just love the novelty of a new toy, let me tell you about the boot… Wave a foot underneath and with a “BEEP” the boot opens itself. Wave that tootsie under the back bumper again and “BEEP” the boot closes by itself too! Storage wise, the Grandland X has 1652 litre boot space and the rear seats fold down if that’s not enough for you. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we could actually fit in the boot. I used it to travel down to Dorset with all my Body Shop kit and my suitcase, and there was still space for more stuff! On the way back I discovered I could actually get my trolley case in without needing to be split into two.
Space and Comfort in the Vauxhall Grandland X
When talking about space, it’s important too that when choosing a family car, you consider how well car seats fit in. For a five seater car, this one is pretty spacious. We had no trouble at all getting two car seats in the back and my 12 year old in the middle between them. When I had little man with me too, I was able to disable the front airbag at the touch of a button and fit his car seat effortlessly in the front passenger seat. I think if you are looking for a five seater family car, then this has to be one of the best.
Comfort wise… well the Grandland X had me at the heated seats, but it also boasts heated steering wheel and windscreen too – just to show off! The pricier model has full lumbar support if you opt for the ergonomically certified AGR sports seats with tiltable cushions. This is great for both comfort and back support.
What’s the Grandland X like to drive?
But what’s a car review without talking about the actual driving? We drove this on the motorway down to Dorset. We drove it through the countryside. We drove it into town. And we also drove it out into the Cotswolds. Despite this being a manual model, and I tend to prefer automatics, the Vauxhall Grandland X was such an easy drive. The steering was super responsive, but without being oversensitive (nobody wants to sneeze and end up in a ditch now do they?!). Despite the big alloys, it was a very smooth drive. The cruise control got whacked on for motorway driving and does manual driving really get much simpler than that?
This is such an economical car too. Bearing in mind that this was not an eco design car, I was really impressed by it’s fuel efficiency. I did around 500 miles on one tank of fuel.
My verdict on the Vauxhall Grandland X
So let me summarise a moment. The Vauxhall Grandland X is spacious, easy to drive, comfortable, economical and has all manner of safety features and technical gadgets to make driving a breeze. And let’s face it, raising a family has enough stresses, without your car being one of them. If they made this in a seven seat version, I’d buy one in a heartbeat!
f you’re after a 7-seater car, make sure you check out my review of the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
*Prices, models and features referred to in this article were accurate at the time of publication and checked on Vauxhalls’ website.
Disclaimer: This post is a working collaboration with Vauxhall, but all words and opinions are entirely honest and entirely my own.