The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

Well rounded family car

Starting price: £25,810

Pros

Easy to drive / light steering

Comfortable

Good headlight technology

Cons

Storage design needs improvement

Intro

Vauxhall have given the Grandland a little face lift making the car more stylish, and the tech is on par with its rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai, VW Tiguan and Toyota Rav 4 to name but a few.  The medium SUV market is saturated for choice.

This SUV crossover is the big brother to the Vauxhall Mokka and Crossland.  Petrol and diesel models start at £25,810 whereas the Plug-In Hybrid (combined electric and petrol) you will be paying from £33,820.  The petrol model is the only one with a manual gearbox, along with automatic, and it’s worth noting that if you live in the sticks that this SUV is not a 4 x 4 and is front wheel drive only.

The design is modern and bold.  If you really want to stand out, then there is the choice to upgrade from the arctic white exterior to a ruby red or a cobalt blue. The colour is two-tone with a black shiny roof and wheel rims giving it a sporty look like the Mokka.

The Petrol and diesel engines have 3 trims (Design, GS Line and Ultimate) whereas the Plug-In does not have a Design level. Overall, the Grandland, even at entry level has a good amount of kit included.

We test drove the Plug-In hybrid which felt more ‘safe and sensible’ as opposed to ‘sporty fun’. That said the car was beautifully quiet and the steering was nice and light which will help keep the tranquillity (one can hope) for your passengers.  In terms of range this Plug-In can go a maximum 38.5 miles which, on average, is adequate for those daily errands, school drop offs or trips to the gym.  For longer journeys the car will automatically go into hybrid power when the battery is running low.  The car comes with a 3.7kw charger to use at any public charging point, however, if you upgrade to the 7.4kw charger this will give you the ability to fast charge from a home wall box in 2 hours. For parking all the models have front and rear parking sensors.  All, but the entry level has 180 degree parking cameras and if you want to treat yourself to the 360 degree cameras you need to upgrade to the Ultimate spec. Claire loves the all-round view whereas I am still trying to get past relying purely on mirrors and a compass! Either way this model was simple to park into the smallest of spaces.

Interior

When we popped ourselves into the Grandland the interior felt spacious. The entry level infotainment touch screen is 7 inches whereas all other all models have a clear 12 inch digital display above the wheel plus a 10 inch touch screen in the middle.  This is slightly angled and at a comfortable arm’s length which allows you to safely find your tunes, navigation etc.  ‘Vauxhall Connect’ is similar to Waze and gives you UpToDate navigation with traffic alerts.

The steering wheel is a not on the luxurious side (a bit hard), but does have fingertip functionality for music, phone calls, navigation, and the driver’s display. Plus, on the top spec you can have a nice warm steering wheel for those cold winter starts.  There is dual climate control, and this can be easily adjusted via the buttons which are below the infotainment screen.

Little extras on the tech front which we thought we would highlight are firstly the night vision which detects if there are animals or pedestrians on the road ahead.  A great safety feature for those dark country lanes.  Secondly, the Ultimate model has IntelliLux LED headlights.  These lights are said to ‘bring daylight to dark winter months.  You now no longer have to worry about switching your full beam on and off or dazzling any oncoming traffic. The lights automatically do the work and adapt to the outside conditions.  If you look at the lights, they are like beady eyes which, due to camera-based technology, curve the beam around windy roads.  This optimises vision which is a bit of game changer if you are not a fan of night driving.

Seats & Passenger Space

There is plenty of adjustments to the front seats for you to find that perfect driving position which gives you a good commanding view. Plus, you can play around with the wheel to make sure that the digital display is fully visible.  Good adjustment is also helpful if you are sporting a baby bump.  Comfort is everything and we gave the seats a 4, however they were let down by not having a leather option.  All lines, apart from the Ultimate, have fabric seating which albeit is stain resistant / durable does not always combat the smallest of soldiers who are armed with milk, biscuits and muddy shoes.  The Ultimate has Alcantara fabric which is similar to a hard-wearing suede along with faux leather trims to the seats.  It’s a shame this fabric could not be used on the GS line too. Heated seats are not standard and are only available in the Ultimate where they are not just heated but ventilated too for those warmer days.

The rear bench is relatively roomy, and the doors open wide which is handy when getting smaller children in and out of car seats.  This is helped by having a flat floor which may prevent bickering over who is going to sit in the middle seat!  3 adults or teens could sit in the back for a short journey.  There are isofix points in the outer seats.  Once two car seats or standard boosters are popped in then there is only room for a little bottom in the middle.  A plus was the isofix point in the front passenger seat.

Cups & Cubby

On a plus Vauxhall have given the Grandland all the cubby holes and cup holders which we look for, however, size was lacking!  In front the door bins were narrow and would not fit a small water bottle.  Space would possibly house some wipes and bits and bobs.

There was a good secret space just to the right of the wheel – perfect for a purse or wallet.

The middle console has a touch opening door where you can find a 12V socket and a USB port. Here there is also a handy shelf, where you can pop your mobile, to prevent it shooting off into the footwell when driving.  There is also a further port by the armrest for wireless charging along with two cupholders.  Again, the sizing is small and only fits one size which may make them pretty redundant.  The glovebox has enough space for some emergency tissues and snacks.

Moving into the back there is just 1 USB port in the middle – 2 would have been better!  Each front seat had a pocket on the back.  These pockets would just about fit an ipad for storing.

The pull-down armrest had two cupholders which again did not fit a child’s small water bottle – very bespoke sizing and the passenger would have to potentially use the door bins to store a water bottle.

Boot Space

Boot capacity is 514 litres with a retractable floor which is great if you have larger items or bigger dogs!  Raising the floor gave a smaller load lip and a pram or buggy slotted in easily.

There is the option to have an electric tailgate.  Plus, like some of the premium cars, you can upgrade so you have the ability to wave your foot under the rear boot and, hey presto! the boot will open.  Claire and I would have loved this when our children were babes in arms!  Although even now when juggling school bags and shopping it is a great little invention.

There is a parcel shelf which is handy for doubling up as a changing table! Although we do prefer the flexibility of a retractable boot cover.  Finally, there is a small ski hatch for carrying… skis (and long things!) although we are not sure how often that happens in England!!

Summary

A well-rounded family car, but room for improvements on the practicality of the storage spaces.

** Boosters used in this review: Cozynsafe Tambu (width 45cm)

Starting Price (Plug In Hybrid) : £33,820

Starting Price (Petrol)               : £25,810

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4477 (L) x 1906 (W) x 1609 (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

514 litres

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

MPG

45.6 MPG Petrol / 192 MPG Plug-In

Range - Kate and Claire

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

0-60 mph

0-60 mph 8.9 sec (Plug-In)