We drove the Opel Grandland X: a Crossover-SUV with some grand qualities…

We always had a weak spot for Opels for their willingness to perform, handle and drive with zest and ease. It leads many Opel owners to become enthused drivers, and appreciate their cars the longer they own and drive them.

Combine all these good dynamic qualities with their robustness, the quality of workmanship and materials used and you have a cocktail which is very much appreciated throughout Europe.

Of course, Opel also has embarked fully into the SUV trend, and has put some very interesting contenders on the road. We are driving for you here the Grandland X Flagship version, and were glad to rediscover again all the good Opel qualities…masterfully retained despite the fact that Opel and Peugeot have co-developed this mid-sized SUV-Crossover, and this even long before GM even considered getting rid of their German subsidiary.

Just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Ergonomics and style

The Opel Grandland  X breathes the Opel styling DNA with zesty curves and accent lines, succeeding with the roofline and the dual tone colour schemes to create a solid family resemblance throughout its SUV range, which identifies it as typically Opel. So is the front grille, and the rear view proudly displays the “double check mark” LED lighting signature which is familiar from other Opels.

The interior shows also curvaceous instrument clusters and surfaces, but everything is ergonomically very judicially placed and falls intuitively in your hands. Instrumentation is no nonsense and clearly readable, with large round dials for speed and revs, and of course the obligatory central touch screen with all the usual infotainment and connectivity functions. Using all the offered infosystems is virtually self explaining and you will familiarize yourself with all the functions in minutes. More about sound system and infotainment functions later.

Smooth and (very) willing…

We tested the 1,6 litre petrol engined version, good for not less than 180 hp or 133 kW, coupled to an 8 speed auto transmission. A very smooth and refined drivetrain, and where we find the transmission being well mated to the engine characteristics.

This engine is very silent and vibrationless too, a characteristic we always find very important indeed. All this transforms the Grandland into a very swift and effortless performer, which is a great asset both in tight and very urban traffic as well as on long (high speed) trips. Performance leaves nothing to be desired, with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in merely 8,8 seconds. Top speed is an impressive 220 km/h. With all this performance, the engine remains quite docile, utterly smooth at the legal 30 km/h limit, and with some restrained driving this Opel chalks up quite reasonable consumption figures. During our test, we achieved an average between 7 and 8 liters, comprising a lot of urban driving and adopting a brisk driving style on the open road.

The all-aluminium, PureTech also produces low emissions, thanks to an exhaust after-treatment system that includes a Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF). The manufacturer quotes 132-130 g/km CO2 combined. The four-cylinder engine has dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. It develops maximum torque of 250 Nm at only 1,750 rpm, and efficiency is further improved by the variable valve timing system, which enables infinite adjustment of valve timing and duration.

Versatile and roomy.

Opels are meant to be used intensively, and then most of the time by whole families. The designers have therefore built a cabin with excellent seats and lots of practicalities in the interior. At the front there are Opel’s famous orthopaedic seats. There is sufficient room too, with a standard trunk volume of 514 liters, extendable to maximum 1652 liters.

The Grandland X comes in four equipment versions, “Edition”, “Innovation”, “Design Line” and “Ultimate”. We drove the top of the line Ultimate version, comprising 19 inch bi-colour alloy wheels, Park & Go technology, Open & Start keyless entry, electric powered tailgate with feet sensor, excellent premium LED lighting and last but not least a top notch DAB+ radio and a premium Denon 8 speaker sound system. Apple Car Play and Android Auto is also provided.

We also enjoyed a panoramic sunroof. Needless to say that the Advanced Park Assist lets you park in a breeze without even touching the steering wheel, and the 360° camera helps too. It has also automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection,

But even the standard Edition version has the intellilink multimedia system, cruise control, electric hand brake, LED rear lights, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, electric rear view mirrors and manual airco. So the Grandland is by no means spartan, although we would have liked electric parking sensors included in the base version, which come already in the next “Innovation” equipment level.

This level is advisable, as it includes automatic airco, split rear backrests, dead angle warning and it comes last but not least with nicer 18 inch alloys and has the chromed roof strip.

Lively and sure footed

The Grandland also handles very nicely indeed. Sure footed and well damped, it truly enjoys being driven with spirit on winding stretches, and high speed stability on Autobahnen is also excellent. Noblesse Oblige, as it is also built for Germany… The Grandland is nevertheless very comfortable, and will take our urban potholes and neglected paves well in its stride. Good to know that the Grandland X is derived from the same platform that underpins the Peugeot 3008, 5008, and 308. The ride/handling compromise is spo(r)t on, we would say.

Conclusion

A well built, smooth performer, good looking, dependable, comfortable, a breeze to use in your daily busy life. Its excellent ride and agility combined with its docility lets you enjoy it thoroughly in dense urban traffic, and lets you arrive relaxed at the office or back home on your daily commute. The sound system will be enjoyed by the whole family, and the roominess is an asset too. We would say, lay your hands on one, and enjoy…

Last but not least we want to mention here that now a Grandland X Hybrid4, which in the WLTP1 driving cycle can cover up to 52 kilometres in pure electric mode (NEDC: 65 km) and emits only 37 g/km CO2 (WLTP; NEDC2: 1.6 l/100 km, 36 g/km CO2), is presented on an international press conference held on June 4, and is available in our country. Also, by 2024, there will be an electrified version of every Opel model…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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