It’s been a few years since its release now, but to the majority of drivers that doesn’t mean anything – you can still buy a brand-new model like the one I tested, but you could argue the best value for money is found in used stocks.
And when you consider the number of SUVs and crossovers to choose from, that value is often where the biggest differences lie - a case of which has the best balance of features and price.
Competition can be found in the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008, which is built on the same platform as the Vauxhall by parent company PSA.
Does well on looks
Although they’re the same underneath, the Grandland X and 3008 look nothing alike. The Peugeot’s adopted a more edgy design, with jagged lines and Mustang-style rear lights, but I think it’s the Vauxhall that’s the more imposing of the two.
On the topic of SUVs and crossovers, imposing is probably what you’re after.
The manufacturer’s signature bonnet crease and angular daytime LEDs match the straight lines of the car’s design, while the Elite Nav – the model we drove – adds 19-inch alloys and chrome detailing into the mix.
If you want a car that looks the part, the Grandland X’s higher specs will do the job and actually fair better than many of its rivals.
Style, but not without substance
A good design can win buyers, but it’s not worth much if there isn’t practicality to back it up.
As the majority of models in this class will end up in front of a family home, they need space and comfort for five passengers.
The Grandland X performs well on that front. Thanks to its height, you slide into the seats rather than drop down into them, and there's a good amount of headroom in the front.
There isn’t as much in the back, but it’s not likely the kids are pushing six-foot-three.
In addition, there’s 514 litres of space in the boot – nearly 85 more than the Qashqai. Or enough room for an absolute load, in layman's terms.
Solid and surprising performance
When you think of family SUVs, you don’t think of performance. Not the sort that has you pressed against the side window as you round a bend, anyhow.
But they do need enough poke to pull themselves about, along with the passengers and gear a family motor tends to lug about.
The model we tried will do that with a 1.2-litre petrol turbo. Granted, it sounds small for a big car, but today’s 1.2s aren’t what they used to be.
Like most these days, it's turbocharged, which makes a big difference. It’s nippy enough for general motoring and doesn’t feel as flat as you’d maybe expect from a smaller unit.
Still, there’s also a 1.5-litre diesel and 2.0-litre diesel, the latter of which is now available on most of the specs. And you won’t take too much of a hit on those, as they all offer a decent return on fuel costs. Another win for family motoring.
For even more power and efficiency, the Hybrid4 plug-in arrives in 2020, with almost 300bhp and a mpg figure that could get into three digits.
Splitting it from the rest
To a point, all family SUVs and crossovers offer space, comfort and more than reasonable fuel economy. It’s often in their extras, and the price they come at, that you’ll find the difference.
The Grandland X does well in its tech, with the majority of options included as standard on the Elite Nav that we’re looking at here. The heated and air-conditioned leather seats, for one, stand out.
For us, however, the mid-spec Sport Nav represents the best balance of kit and value. It has cruise control, touchscreen, satnav, parking sensors and even tilting wingmirrors, to avoid introducing the neighbour’s cat to your rear bumper.
Granted, the Sport Nav isn’t available brand new anymore, but that just means even more savings on list price. Only a good thing.
And if you’re adamant about being the first behind the wheel, the range now includes the similarly spec'd SRi Nav.
So, the Grandland X doesn't quite compete with an avocado when it comes to its presence in the greetings card aisle, but it's certainly a more than worthy option in the affordable family SUV segment.
For more information on the Vauxhall Grandland X, click here.