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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Grandland review - a family-friendly SUV, but lacks flair

"The Vauxhall Grandland may not be the most scintillating SUV on the market, but it ticks a lot of family-friendly boxes"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Price
£29,595 - £44,510

Pros

  • Handsome looks
  • Easy to drive
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Rear visibility limited
  • Unlikely to set pulses racing
  • Less stylish than the Peugeot 3008

Verdict - Is the Vauxhall Grandland a good car?

The latest Vauxhall Grandland boasts the sharp looks of its hatchback sibling, the Vauxhall Astra, but fails to offer that car’s involving drive. Vauxhall’s ‘Pure Panel’ infotainment system is leagues ahead of the one used in the old Grandland, while buyers can choose from either a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrain – meaning there should be something to suit everyone. If you’re after a capacious and comfortable family runaround and don’t care much for driving thrills, the Grandland remains a solid choice.

Vauxhall Grandland range

The market for mid-sized SUVs must surely be close to saturation point. With top sellers such as the Hyundai Tucson, Kia SportageFord KugaNissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan and many more competing for the same customers, SUV buyers have never had such a wide array of choices.

best mid size suvsTop 10 best mid-size SUVs 2024

Costing from around £30,000, the Vauxhall Grandland sits at the top of the British brand’s range and is Vauxhall’s contender in the family SUV wars. Previously called the ‘Grandland X’, the Grandland received a major update in 2021 which added the trademark ‘Vizor’ front-end design – as seen on the smaller Vauxhall Mokka – as well as an updated infotainment system setup.

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Strip away the Grandland’s stylish exterior and you’ll find it shares many of its parts with the Peugeot 3008 and is therefore offered with several of the same engines. The Grandland’s petrol offering takes the form of a small, yet peppy 1.2-litre turbocharged engine which produces 128bhp and will return up to around 45mpg, or 134bhp and up to 51.3mpg in the mild-hybrid version with its own six-speed automatic ‘e-DCT6’ gearbox. A six-speed manual comes as standard, but an eight-speed automatic gearbox can also be equipped with the non-hybrid petrol for an extra cost. The same automatic comes as standard with the 1.5-litre diesel engine, which promises 54mpg.

Not every SUV buyer wants four-wheel drive, and Vauxhall doesn't even offer it unless you opt for a performance version. The entry-level plug-in hybrid is front-drive only and utilises a 1.6-litre petrol engine alongside a small battery and electric motor to output a combined 222bhp. Vauxhall claims the Grandland PHEV can manage up to 36 miles of driving on electric power alone, returning 201.7mpg according to its official figures, if you keep it regularly charged up.

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New for 2023 was the high-performance GSe hybrid model; this produces a punchy 296bhp, has all-wheel-drive and still offers 35 miles of electric range. Other sporty touches include a stiffer chassis with upgraded suspension; although given the Grandland GSe weighs more than 1,800kg, it isn’t as sporty to drive as the best sports and performance SUVs like the Cupra Formentor.

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Aside from the range-topping GSe, buyers can choose from one of three main trim levels: Design, GS and Ultimate. All models come with alloy wheels, an infotainment touchscreen, climate control, LED lights, traffic-sign recognition, cruise control and high-beam assist.

We recommend opting for the mid-spec GS model, though, for the best all-round experience. This brings black alloy wheels, a larger 10-inch infotainment screen complete with sat-nav, a 12-inch digital instrument panel, a rear-view camera and a sporty interior and exterior makeover. For a bit more kit, the range-topping Ultimate trim adds a 360-degree camera, advanced park assist, Pixel Matrix headlights as well as Alcantara seats – although, these models can be rather expensive. Night Vision can be equipped for around £1,300; it’s usually reserved for much more expensive cars.

If you want a sensible, practical and quiet family car with a good view out and a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the Grandland makes a lot of sense. However, it struggles to offer a more complete package than the Peugeot 3008. We reckon the latter is a far more stylish car inside and out, and it shares its fundamental mechanicals – as well as a starting price – with the Grandland.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,278

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 Plug-in Hybrid GS 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £40,000

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 Plug-in Hybrid [300] 4X4 GSe 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £44,895
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