In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Crossland SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Sensible, spacious and comfortable it may be, but the Vauxhall Crossland is no driver’s car

If you enjoy driving, you may wish to consider an alternative to the Vauxhall Crossland X – a conventional hatchback such as the Vauxhall Astra, perhaps. Because while the Crossland X has an increased ride height – very much en vogue at present – this causes as many problems as it solves.

The Crossland is roughly 10cm taller than the Astra, so you and your passengers will find a vast amount of open space above your heads. This leads to a pleasant sense of airiness, but at cruising speeds, the Crossland’s high profile translates into too much wind noise around the windscreen pillars, while strong winds on exposed motorways lead to more buffeting than you might be used to.

Turn off the motorway onto smaller roads and, while the revised suspension fitted to the facelifted Crossland does a reasonable job of absorbing vibrations caused by poor tarmac, the Crossland’s raised height means its body undoes the good work of the suspension, as the raised centre of gravity leads to the body swaying when travelling at speed over uneven surfaces. It's more stable than before, but the Ford Puma is far more like a sporty hatchback to drive.

The steering is very responsive and quick – a relatively small adjustment from your hand translates to fairly large movements from the car. However, you may find yourself wishing for a better resolved and more relaxed driving experience.

When it comes to combining comfort and agility, the Peugeot 2008 is a more balanced package. By comparison, the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke are by no means enthusiasts’ cars; but the Crossland X’s comfortable seats, excellent driving position and sound ergonomics feel a little undermined by the car's indecision on whether to be relaxing or sporty.

Vauxhall Crossland X petrol engines

There's better news where the Crossland X’s engine range is concerned: the three-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine is easy to recommend thanks to its perky nature and broad spread of power throughout the rev range. This engine is available in two guises: 108 and 128bhp, with both now featuring a six-speed manual gearbox. Zero-to-62mph takes 10.2 and 9.3 seconds respectively, so both offer a decent turn of speed.

The 128bhp petrol feels like it has plenty of power, particularly in the lower gears, but the gear changes feel rather imprecise and take a long throw. You'll rarely need more than fifth gear in normal driving, with sixth keeping the revs low on the motorway for economy.

There’s also an entry-level 80bhp non-turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine, and while we haven’t driven a Crossland X in this configuration yet, we can’t imagine it’ll be much fun to live with. Acceleration takes a much more leisurely 13.6 seconds, so we’d recommend opting for a turbocharged petrol engine unless low insurance premiums are a priority.

Diesel engines

If you drive lots of motorway miles and fancy a diesel Crossland, you’ll get a 1.5-litre engine that produces either 109 or 118bhp depending on how much money you spend. The less powerful of these is punchy and quiet at low revs, but take it over 3,000rpm and both these attributes tail off, with too much noise and too little acceleration presenting themselves.

A six-speed manual is standard on the 101bhp version while the 118bhp version gets an automatic gearbox. We’d recommend sticking with the 101bhp engine as it’s noticeably cheaper, more economical and barely any slower; 0-62mph takes 11 seconds in the 101bhp model and 10.8 seconds in the 118bhp version.

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car ownership
25 Feb 2021

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained
Cat D cars, Cat C & insurance write-offs: complete guide
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained

Engine size explained
Aston Martin engine
Tips and advice
16 Feb 2021

Engine size explained

Tips & advice

View All
What car should I buy? How to decide
Ford Fiesta colours
Car buying
5 Mar 2021

What car should I buy? How to decide

Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000
Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000 - hero
Tips and advice
5 Mar 2021

Top 3 used 4x4 estate cars for £12,000

Plug-in car grant: a complete guide
Mazda MX-30 charging
Tips and advice
3 Mar 2021

Plug-in car grant: a complete guide

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car ownership
25 Feb 2021

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best cars

View All
Best motorway cars
BMW 5 Series driving
Best cars
4 Mar 2021

Best motorway cars

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars
Ford Fiesta driving
Best cars
4 Mar 2021

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars

Most economical family cars
Skoda Octavia hatchback
Best cars
1 Mar 2021

Most economical family cars

Best convertibles
MINI Convertible
Best cars
1 Mar 2021

Best convertibles