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Crossland X-pands trendy SUV family

Vauxhall Crossland X is a new compact crossover, replacing the Meriva multi-purpose vehicle, that offers family-friendly versatile transport. Picture: Vauxhall

Vauxhall Crossland X is a new compact crossover, replacing the Meriva multi-purpose vehicle, that offers family-friendly versatile transport. Picture: Vauxhall

Vauxhall

Vauxhall's growing SUV family has welcomed a new arrival with the compact Crossland X crossover replacing the Meriva multi-purpose vehicle. Motoring editor Andy Russell finds out if it's family friendly.

Back end of Vauxhall Crossland X looks tall and narrow. Picture: VauxhallBack end of Vauxhall Crossland X looks tall and narrow. Picture: Vauxhall

Motoring is taking a new direction with crossovers and sport utility vehicles all the rage at the expense of multi-purpose vehicles and people-carriers.

Vauxhall’s Crossland X, an all-new compact crossover, replaces the Meriva MPV, as it becomes the latest marque to go for a three-model SUV family with the mid-range Mokka X also soon to be joined by a large Grandland X.

The Crossland X shares its running gear and engines with Citroen’s new C3 Aircross, another compact crossover replacing the C3 Picasso MPV.

Crossland X really shows off Vauxhall's 'blade' design theme. Picture: VauxhallCrossland X really shows off Vauxhall's 'blade' design theme. Picture: Vauxhall

Looks and image

The Crossland X really shows off Vauxhall’s ‘blade’ styling cues and, while stylish from most angles, the back end is rather tall and narrow. It doesn’t seem much smaller than Mokka X but they’re aimed at different customers.

The front-wheel drive only Crossland X, has a family focus and, 16cm shorter than Astra hatchback, is more suited to urban driving. Mokka X, also offered with all-wheel drive, is higher with larger wheels so better suited for getting off the beaten track.

Vauxhall Crossland X - clear, user-friendly fascia. Picture: VauxhallVauxhall Crossland X - clear, user-friendly fascia. Picture: Vauxhall

Under the bonnet

The Citroen/Peugeot engines are 81PS and turbo 110 and 130PS 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol and 99 and 120PS 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel. The 110PS petrol engine will be popular and the only one offered with an automatic transmission option.

Despite only having a five-speed manual gearbox - the more powerful version has six – it’s not noisy on the motorway but tall gearing means it needs to be worked to feel lively. Fortunately the clutch and gear shift are light and it doesn’t feel strained and returned 45 to 50mpg overall.

Vauxhall Crossland X offers decent rear legroom. Picture: VauxhallVauxhall Crossland X offers decent rear legroom. Picture: Vauxhall

How it drives

The low-speed ride is seriously oversensitive – fidgety on pock-marked roads and thumping over sunken manhole covers, potholes and roadwork scars. It improves with speed but never feels happily settled and there is noticeable tyre noise.

The Crossland X is happiest scooting around in traffic rather than buzzing along B-roads. Handling is generally well mannered but, push hard, and body roll builds and light steering means it loses some composure.

Deep boot is a class-leading 410 litres. Picture: VauxhallDeep boot is a class-leading 410 litres. Picture: Vauxhall

Space and comfort

If you’re after a roomy, compact car, the Crossland X ticks the boxes.

There’s enough rear legroom for large adults, although three in the back is a squeeze but at least there’s no tall transmission tunnel to contend with in the middle seats.

The deep boot is a class-leading 410 litres but, with entry SE model not having a height-adjustable boot floor panel, there’s a tall sill and the 60/40 folded seat backs step up from the boot floor as the load bay grows to 1,255 litres.

Pay £300 for the versatility pack with 60/40 split rear seats that slide 150mm to vary legroom and boot space, up to 520 litres, and adds 40/20/40 split seat backs, centre armrest and head restraint and the floor panel where not already standard.

At the wheel

The interior and fascia are classic Vauxhall with big instruments and sensible switchgear and you’ll like the raised, upright driving position with a good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment.

The top of the dashboard has a soft-touch finish but hard plastics lower down and on the tops of doors are not so appealing.

Equipment

Available in SE, Tech Line, Elite and Ultimate trims, with Nav versions of SE and Elite, standard equipment is good.

Even entry-level SE gets 16in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, Vauxhall OnStar ‘24/7 concierge service’, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition and Intellilink infotainment system with smartphone projection.

Final say

Vauxhall has come into the compact crossover market late, and there are still a lot more models in the wings, but the Griffin badge and popularity of the bigger Mokka X will help make it a contender.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Vauxhall Crossland X SE 1.2T 110PS £17,875 (range £16,555 to £23,530)

Engine: 1,199cc, 110PS, three-cylinder turbo petrol with five-speed manual gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 10.6 seconds; top speed 117mph

MPG: Urban 50.4; extra urban 67.3; combined 58.9

CO2 emissions: 109g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 20%

Insurance group: 13 (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,212mm; W (including door mirrors) 1,976mm; H 1,605mm

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