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► Facelifted Grandland drops the X
► Petrol, diesel and hybrid available
► We try the simplified range in the UK
What’s in a letter? Seemingly quite a lot, as the 2022 Vauxhall Grandland joins its SUV stablemates in dropping the X from its name. That signals the introduction of Vauxhall’s ‘Vizor’ styling treatment with ‘Wing’ LED running lights and a smooth black panel to hide ADAS sensors.
It’s a shame there wasn’t a bit more cash for fresh front wings and a new bonnet, though. Black plastic highlights the shape of the old light units making the Vizor look more a pair of Dame Edna Everage’s glasses. They are an effective set of spectacles though, with adaptive LED headlights and even night vision available.
Overall it’s a pretty effective restyle, especially Ultimate models with their handsome 19in alloy wheels and newly colour-coded wheelarches and lower body. Inside you’ll find a refreshed dashboard with updated infotainment and digital instruments, something we’ll come onto later.
Read our list of the best hybrid SUVs here
Any changes under the bonnet?
Things have been left well alone when it comes to the chassis and powertrain, with the only change being a simplification of the range. That means a 1.2-litre three-pot petrol at the bottom of the range, with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel requiring slightly deeper pockets. Both turbocharged lumps have 128bhp, with the diesel auto only and the petrol auto or manual.
If you want something with a bit more pep, you’ll need the plug-in hybrid. At the moment it’s only the 222bhp front-wheel drive version, with a more potent four-wheel drive version on the way. All very Peugeot 3008 then, no surprise as the two cars are closely related.
Separated at birth?
More like distant cousins. Although they are similar in terms of interior dimensions, the 3008 remains the flashy choice and the Grandland the sensible, conservative one. Interior quality isn’t bad and we applaud Vauxhall for retaining the physical heater controls rather than replacing them with fiddly touch sensitive ones as found in the Volkswagen Tiguan.
The infotainment system has been pushed up in line with the instrument panel, with dual 7.0-inch screens on entry-level Design trim or a 10-inch infotainment screen and 12-inch driver’s display on mid-level trim and up. We’ve sampled the latter system which has a touchscreen that still feels a bit off the pace when it comes to responsiveness and has a menu system that takes some getting used to.
The bigger instrument cluster is more of a success, with plenty of content options including clear sat nav displays and clear graphics. Space isn’t bad, with one of the bigger boots in the class (if you avoid the PHEV) and decent rear space. Kia Sportages and Hyundai Tucsons are bigger still, but they’re also pricier.
Does it delight on the road?
Delight is a strong word, but both the petrol and hybrid we sampled were perfectly competent. The added bulk and 18-inch wheels of the hybrid gives it a slightly softer edge than the petrol riding on 19s. Scrappy surfaces aren’t smoothed over quite as well as the best in class, but the Grandland still treads an agreeable path between ride and handling.
It’s certainly a comfy motorway cruiser which helps you forgive a bit of body roll in the bends. There’s plenty of grip and enough precision from the light but well-paced steering to make decent progress, but it never feels particularly agile or willing. In other words, it’s perfect for sensible family duties as you won’t be wanting to fling it down a country road at a vomit-inducing pace.
And the engines?
The 1.2 petrol has adequate enough performance one up, with 0-60mph taking 10.3 seconds if you opt for the eight-speed auto of our test car, 0.1 of a second faster than the six-speed manual. The auto is inoffensive enough in gentle use, if a little hesitant to kick down unless you flick to Sport mode.
Hybrid 225 equipped Grandlands pair a 178bhp turbocharged, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a 108bhp electric motor. Combined they produce 222bhp to give 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds, a useful improvement over the petrol that you certainly appreciate when the opportunity to overtake arises. Even so, there are many rivals that are available with more potent powerplants.
Electric mode works at up to 84mph, with more careful use netting a 39-mile range in official testing although you’d need to avoid fast flowing roads to get anywhere near that figure. With only 108bhp to shift 1807kg, it takes a while to get up to motorway speeds without trigging the engine. Even so, there’s enough poke to keep up with traffic most of the time.
Vauxhall Grandland: verdict
While the styling tweaks and refreshed interior make the Grandland look a little more contemporary, they don’t really make it any more recommendable than its predecessor. A drop in price helps, but there are still better options out there.
We’d appreciate a bit more poke from petrol models, something this engine is capable of judging by its application in the Peugeot 2008 and Citroen C4, both available with a more useful 153bhp. Those waiting for more performance from the Grandland should skip the hybrid and wait for the twin e-motor four-wheel drive version.
Whether that can prove a more entertaining drive remains to be seen, but at the moment a Seat Ateca or Mazda CX-5 are both better options for the enthusiastic driver. Still, with a decent space inside and decent levels of equipment, there are worse options out there, too.
Read our list of the best hybrid SUVs here
|Price when new:||£33,220|
|On sale in the UK:||March 2022|
|Engine:||1199cc, 3-cylinder, turbocharged, petrol, 128bhp @ 5500rpm, 170Ib ft @ 1750rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive|
|Performance:||10.3ec 0-60mph, 117mph, 45.6mpg, 142g/km|
|Weight / material:||1461kg/steel|
|Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):||4477/2098/1609mm|