First off, I know you've noticed that these images aren't what you usually see in my reviews, I had to go with the press stuff because I'm currently between cameras. I can, of course, still tell you all about the new Opel Grandland X, the latest SUV to hit our shores from the German automaker. It's been seen overseas for a while now, and in the hotly contested SUV market, it's a good seller with a good reputation and a bunch of awards to its name. While there are underpinnings shared with Peugeot, it's received enough changes to not be just a rebadged french SUV, Opel have given it a typically Opel identity and it now shares the same design cues as the rest of the range. A good thing if you're an Opel fan. The Grandland X SUV is of the mid-sized variety, a bigger brother to the Crossland X and also a step above the Mokkas. The looks are pretty good, although if you want to stand out and be noticed, this isn't that kind of SUV. It does look a lot more striking when it's in the right colour though.
Inside the fit and finish is good, the tactile feel of all the buttons and switches is good, nothing feels cheap and plastic. The steering controls will see you being able to control most functions needed for a hassle-free drive, no real need to reach over to the Intellilink infotainment system to fiddle around. Intellilink is still one of the easiest and most intuitive to use out there, it's always a good selling point for the brand. Said system is headed up by an 8-inch touch screen that's able to connect to various devices to stream media via Android Auto or Apple Carplay and the like, it's also (in the Enjoy trim I had) the screen for the navigation. One feature I quite like is the ability to tailor the ambient lighting in the cabin to your mood. The layout of the cabin is good, and the seats and steering wheel can be adjusted to get a comfortable driving position that allows easy reach of whatever controls and buttons need to be, well, reached. There's a rather thick A-pillar and also a thick C-pillar, and this made me feel like I couldn't see enough around the car, my spacial awareness wasn't happy, but I can attribute this to my statuesque 5ft7 frame because I've noticed it before in cars where taller people were happier than myself.
Powering the Opel Grandland X is a turbocharged 1.6 4-cylinder with 121kW and 240Nm of torque available, and it's enough to get the SUV up to a decent gallop. While it is a good motor, it's a Peugeot lump and while that's not really any kind of disadvantage, I do prefer the Opel-only engines. They feel like they have a little more urgency when you hoof it. This motor is mated to a 6-speed auto transmission and this is also pretty smooth in it's operation. I never found it hunting for the right gear and it seems to have decent software on it to keep the Grandland X in the right gear for the right occasion. Don't expect lighting fast changes, but then again in a family SUV that's not something that would dissuade you from putting in an offer to purchase. The setup is claimed to use a decent 7.0-litres per 100km on the daily commute, but in my few hundred kilometres behind the wheel with my usual driving style, the lowest I managed to spot on the driver information screen was 10.3.
As with all new Opel models, there's plenty tech packed in when it comes to safety systems and driver aids. Trim dependant, you'll find things like lane departure warning, side blind spot alert, a 360-deg camera, Bluetooth, voice recognition, advanced park assist that parks the car for you, hands-free intelligent liftgate, and of course dual zone climate control and heated seats.
The new Opel Grandland X is a good offering, perfect for a family on the move, it looks good, it's stylish and and it has space for days. All manner of luggage, even for a family holiday, should easily fit in the 514-litres behind the rear seats (expandable to over 1650-litres if you leave the family on the curb and fold down the rear seats). There's plenty storage space for everyday carry items and little goodies here and there. The centre console between the seats has space for two cups, but they need to be skinny, two medium McD's McFizz cups don't fit side-by-side.
My week spent in the Opel Grandland X was pleasant enough. The car runs well, handles well and does all the duties expected of it with no problems at all. As said, it's not exciting by any means, but you don't really want any excitement when you're karting the little ones to their horse riding lessons though. I'd be hard-pressed to choose between this and a Mokka if I wanted an SUV from Opel, but I don't need quite as much space as the Grandland X offers up. If you're in the market for a C-segment SUV, it's a good idea to get to your nearest dealership or book online on the Opel website so you can get in one. There are three models in the Grandland X lineup and they all use the same engine/transmission combination, the 1.6T A/T Essentia from R 429,000, the 1.6T A/T Enjoy from R465,000 and the range-topping 1.6T A/T Cosmo from R565,000.
Author: Chris Wall
A slightly tattooed motoring fanatic, photography nut and avid collector of knowledge. Use the search bar to navigate through the archives.