Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid engines, drive & performance

The hybrid Vauxhall Grandland X has a pleasing turn of pace, but few will need such a powerful SUV for family duties

Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid
Rating
Engines, drive & performance Rating
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
5.9-8.6s140-146mphFront or four222-296bhp

We’ve not yet driven the front-wheel-drive Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid, but we suspect this model would offer a more pleasing balance of performance versus running costs. The range-topping, four-wheel-drive Hybrid4 version is very quick – alarmingly so at times – in a way you don’t want or need in a family SUV with a Vauxhall badge on the nose.

Worse still, the Grandland X doesn’t really have the handling to back up this prodigious performance. If you want a plug-in hybrid SUV that handles like a sports car, you’ll need to spend a good chunk more on something like a BMW X5 xDrive45e or Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid.

Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The addition of electric power gives the Grandland X Hybrid4 delusions of grandeur. Defaulting to electric mode from start-up, the car’s 111bhp rear-axle-mounted motor does all the work up to 50mph, with the 108bhp front-mounted motor chipping in thereafter.

Vauxhall doesn’t give electric-only acceleration figures, but from behind the wheel the throttle response feels sprightly. In fact, the car will hit 84mph without any help from the engine. The Hybrid4 four-wheel-drive model gets a whopping 296bhp, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds. That’s faster than most modern-day hot hatchbacks, let alone equivalent petrol-powered SUVs.

The thing is, that’s far quicker than most owners would ever want or need their family car to be; the cheaper and less powerful front-wheel-drive version is likely to be the pick of the range. This gets 222bhp and will still hit 60mph in 8.6 seconds, which should be more than sufficient for the majority of family-car buyers. Both models will do 140mph-plus, should you find yourself on a derestricted German autobahn.

Handling

The Grandland X Hybrid is very quiet at all speeds, and happily it remains so when the engine kicks into life. In hybrid mode – where the car works out the most efficient mix of electric and petrol power – you’ll hardly notice the transition between the two powertrains, while the eight-speed automatic gearbox is incredibly smooth.

All-wheel-drive is available on demand, but you’ll be hard-pushed to notice it working on anything but seriously slippery roads. The steering is fairly lifeless and the suspension doesn’t like fast changes of direction, but it’ll tuck into a steady turn nicely and without too much body lean. The firm suspension gives the Grandland X a slightly lumpy low-speed ride but things smooth out on the motorway.

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