The Opel Grandland X arrives to spearhead the company's SUV game. Following the Mokka X and more recent Crossland X crossovers, this stands out as a genuine SUV in the looks department. Inside, it has plenty of space, and by sticking with a front-wheel-drive setup, it comes with decent fuel consumption and emissions figures.
In the Metal:
It's safe to say that, of its SUV and crossover model line-up, the Grandland X is Opel's most appealing design that carries the X in its title. At 4,477 millimetres in length and 1,856mm in width, it's about the same size as the bulk of its top rivals in this busy segment. Despite sharing some of its platform and engines with the Peugeot 3008, there is no other resemblance or similarity to the French brand - now the new owner of Opel.
The Grandland X has just the right amount of lines and creases in its bodywork to break up the overall size. Also helping to bring the visual height of the car down is the appearance of a floating roofline. This deceptive design works best with the dual colourway that adds a contrasting black roof. Complementing this look is a chrome strip that falls away into the C-pillar.
Supporting the chunky look of the Grandland X is black plastic cladding that runs from the leading edges of the front bumpers, around the wheel arches and along the sills. Another useful feature that has become more common on cars in this segment is that the doors wrap right around the base of the sill, meaning that, when you open the door to step out, the surface around the door is always clean and dry.
A defined shoulder line slopes gently upward to join into the rear lights just below the angled rear window. Despite having a less than boxy shape to its rear end, there is still a good deal of space in the boot, which holds 514 litres with the rear seats in use. A dual-level floor can present a flat load height and the way in which the rear bumper is cantered forward where it meets the boot aperture adds a further degree of convenience when loading in heavier items.
The interior features all of the current Opel fare and is sensibly laid out with the centre console divided into three sections. Infotainment sits on top and higher grade models get an eight-inch colour touchscreen featuring full smartphone connectivity along with Opel's OnStar connected services system. The cabin ergonomics are reasonably functional up front and the driver gets a good view of the road ahead and behind thanks to the good positioning of the mirrors and a decently sized rear window. In the back, the two outer seats feature easy-to-reach ISOFIX points and buyers can specify heating, too. The middle seat provides sufficient comfort for smaller passengers and thanks to a nearly flat floor across the rear, legroom isn't compromised.
Opel has stuck to a simple line-up for the Grandland X, comprising of a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with the choice of an automatic or manual transmission. Here we test drive the manual diesel version.
It is clear that the engine has been set up with a greater bias towards efficiency than outright performance. If this is already setting off alarm bells, don't panic, as Opel is in the final stages of signing off on a more powerful 180hp diesel engine that will come on stream in 2018. In this model, it is the 300Nm of torque that is more important to focus on rather than the 120hp output. It isn't an engine that you need to work especially hard to get the best from in everyday driving. Not only does it come across as reasonably refined, but it is also quiet enough, especially at motorway cruising speeds. If we had one gripe, it is that the gear change could do with being tightened up a little to give it a higher quality feel and reduce the length of the throw from first to second, for example.
On the move, the ride quality is good, though when you turn into a corner there is a fair deal of body lean. Compare it to some others, like the Volkswagen Tiguan, and it doesn't feel quite as polished on the move. You can still carry plenty of speed through bends, and it feels quite surefooted for a front-wheel-drive-only SUV, but it isn't close to what you would call sporty. It does have positives such as the ability to soak up bumps and is adept at cruising over longer distances. Around town, it can be a little more work, mainly due to that manual gearbox feeling cumbersome at times.
What you get for your Money:
A full breakdown of the specifications and equipment for the Opel Grandland X has yet to be confirmed, but the range will start €27,995 for the 1.2-litre petrol model in SC trim. The 1.6-litre diesel, tested here, will have a starting price of €28,995. Pricing for the automatic transmission has yet to be confirmed, but is expected to carry a premium of approximately €1,500.
There will be a total of three specification grades available on both engine choices: SC, a sportier SRi version and the range-topping Elite. Opel's OnStar system will be offered on all models and most are expected to feature Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity and cruise control as standard items. Once we have the full details, we will update this section of the review.
If you're looking for a comfortable and modern SUV with a decent amount of room inside that shouldn't cost a fortune to run, then the Opel Grandland X ought to go on your shopping list. Its lack of excitement in the driving and handling department is compensated by its refinement on the road and ability to soak up bumps with ease. This could be just the tonic for Opel buyers that fancy a full-sized crossover.