Is this really the Ultimate Vauxhall Grandland X SUV?
Vauxhall's large Grandland X has a new Ultimate flagship. Motoring editor Andy Russell says it's loaded with kit but comes at a hefty price.
Motorists can’t get enough SUVs and there’s always room for models with new appeal for certain buyers. One is the Ultimate trim of Vauxhall’s large Grandland X.
The largest of Vauxhall’s crossover and SUV family, above Crossland X and Mokka X, this Ultimate flagship delivers on its name – loaded with top-end kit hence the equally well-loaded £34,040 price tag but you won’t be delving deep into options.
When I first drove the Grandland X, its quality was impressive but I felt it deserved more at the top end… Ultimate fills that gap.
Under the bonnet
Ultimate is the first, and only, Grandland X with the new 2.0-litre turbo diesel from Vauxhall’s new owner, the PSA Group, so also used in Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles cars. It’s the sole engine for Ultimate and only with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s a pleasing combination – strong low-down pull, and barely noticeable gear shifts, make light work of snarled-up urban driving and healthy mid-range poke shifts it along much brisker than figures suggest. And it still returned 50mpg on the mixed test route.
How it drives
Sharing its underpinnings with the Peugeot 3008, European Car of the Year 2017, gets the Grandland X off on the right foot but it’s more about comfort and competence through bends than entertainment value.
It soothes away poor road surfaces effectively, copes well with potholes and speed bumps but the trade-off is more body roll than some rivals through corners but not the point of being wallowy. That said, it’s a relaxing mile-muncher.
In the cabin
Only five seats, and no sliding rear bench, but no issues with headroom or rear legroom unless all passengers are well over six feet.
The 514-litre boot boxy has a twin-level Flex Floor and levers in the boot drop the 60/40 rear seat backs flat with the boot floor in its higher position to give 1,652 litres.
The Ultimate wants for little with automatic cruise control, Denon premium sound system, heated windscreen, steering wheel and rear seats, 360-degree panoramic camera, LED adaptive forward lights, leather seats, 19in diamond-cut alloy wheels, panoramic glass roof and a host of safety features including side blindspot alert, lane departure warning and speed sign recognition.
The Grandland X Ultimate does not come cheap, on a par with lower-spec German rivals which will hold their value better, but buying used could make this a much more attractive proposition.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate £34,040 (range from £22,515)
Engine: 1,997cc, 177PS, four-cylinder, turbo diesel mated to eight-speed automatic gearbox
Performance: 0-60mph 9.1 seconds; top speed 133mph
MPG: Urban 53.3; extra urban 61.4; combined 57.6
CO2 emissions: 128g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 29pc
Insurance group: (out of 50) 24E
Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,477mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,098mm; H 1,609mm