Vauxhall Crossland X
Can you have too many crossovers in your range ? Vauxhall don’t think so. Joining the Mokka & Grandland X , Vauxhall’s mid-range SUV is the Crossland X, which is a spacious, economical & practical family hatch back, based on the Peugeot 2008 platform & looks not unlike the Renault Captur.
The Nissan Juke has a lot to answer for, because the growth of the small crossover/SUV shows no signs of abating. However, the Crossland X is not really a competitor for the Juke, that would be more the Mazda CX-3, striking but not very practical. The Crossland X is in VW T-Roc & Citroen C3 Aircross territory, both of which offer customers something different in this sector.
What this first Vauxhall-Peugeot alliance has in effect created, is a decent, user-friendly family car. The Walker family rented a 2008 last Summer in Lisbon & although as a rental it is classed as smaller than the Golf or Focus, it actually offers loads more practical space & swallowed four suitcase in the boot no problem at all. As the Crossland is based on the 2008, it will do exactly the same.
I mentioned the Captur before & if you squint then the Crossland does look like the Renualt. It even comes with a similar selection of mix & match colour combination with my test model in Persian Blue with a Mineral Black roof. Keeping things simple, there’s only one bodystyle to choose from & several specs; SE, SE Nav, Tech Line Nav, Elite & Elite Nav.
Engine choices are also straightforward. Entry level is the naturally aspirated 83PS1.2-litre petrol engine. with a 5-speed gearbox. Then there’s the turbocharged 1.2 with 110PS & the 130 1.2 turbo, offering a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds & a top speed of 128mph. The most economical choice would be the diesel, a turbocharged 1.5-litre with 102bhp with a claimed 60.1mpg on the combined cycle & with CO2 emissions of 107g/km.
All models come with ecoTEC stop-start technology, as well as a 7” touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, so is sure to tick Millennial’s boxes. Also included are cruise control, climate control, auto lights & auto wipers. The Elite we tested came fully loaded with the addition of dual zone climate control, leather-covered steering wheel, a larger 8″ touchscreen, fully integrated European Sat-Nav, 17″ diamond cut alloys, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition & LED daytime running lights. Impressive.
As I mentioned, we drove the 1.5 diesel & it’s a competent performer. Up & down the motorway it cruised well & was remarkably quiet. On the smaller roads in North Cheshire, it handled the winding country lanes with aplomb, although when driving on uneven roads, there is a noticeable shudder in the cabin. Acceleration is adequate , 0-60mph takes 11 seconds- but as I tested it alone, I wouldn’t expect it to be that great with a full compliment of passengers & luggage. Compared to it’s nearest rivals it’s remarkably similar to drive, although the smaller 2008 steering wheel gives the Peugeot the advantage for fun, in what is ostensibly a large city car. As a comparison, the Astra we’ve driven may not be as practical as the Crossland X, which offers lots of space inside for 5 adults, but the Astra is galaxies ahead to drive & handles much, much better.
A week in which we travelled 300 miles, gave us an acceptable 47.8mpg average fuel economy. As a motorway ride, the Crossland X is pretty good, making swift progress when required, although the lack of mid-range pull limits it’s overtaking capabilities. It’s short, squat but high shape means it’s not as fun to drive as a five door hatch, such as sister model the Astra or latest Ford Focus.
The Crossland’s interior falls a little short of that found inside competition, mainly because it’s bland. Part of this is because it’s been cleverly designed & packaged to maximise space, but the blandness is exasperated by some cheap grey plastics on the dash & doors. Despite a leather steering wheel, which is standard across the range & with my test model including ambient LED lighting & a 8” colour touchscreen, internal ambience is severely lacking.
Despite the unexciting interior, in reality, the Crossland X is ace that’s aimed at being a practical solution for it’s buyers & in this respect it ticks all of the boxes. There’s loads of room inside for both passengers & luggage, with plenty of cup holders & storage solutions thoroughout the cabin.
Although it’s only available with five seats, for £300, you can add the Versatility Pack, which gives you a sliding rear bench, which can increase boot space by up to 100 litres & 40:20:40 split-fold seats. Overall there are 410 litres of space with all 5 seats in place, which increases to an extremely useful 1225 litres with the rear seats folded down. It’s an easy car to load as well, with it’s large, flat floor, allowing access direct from the bumper height, all finished in a tough feeling great fabric carpet.
This may seem like damning with faint praise, but the Crossland X does what it say’s on the box. Just don’t expect excitement or an upmarket interior as neither is forthcoming. My test car the Elite 1.5 diesel retails at £21,715 OTR which I think is about right. It offers cheap, economical motoring & if you need a bit of practicality then it may well be for you. From the outside it’s not a bad car to look at either. If pushed, I would always choose the Astra, which was our Car of the Year way back in 2016, over the Crossland X or any of it’s competitors, which probably says more about me than the car itself.
A Blandings Castle 3/5.