Plug-in hybrids are a great option for those able to make the most of the limited electric range on smaller trips, but with the flexibility of a petrol engine on longer journeys. Vauxhall is now joining the sector with a new plug-in hybrid version of its Grandland X, so is it worth considering?
- Great refinement
- Lots of standard kit
- Powerful four-wheel-drive version
- Interior lacks quality of rivals
- Not much fun to drive
Like many firms, Vauxhall has made crossovers an integral part of its range. Both the Mokka X and Grandland X are popular choices, and it’s the latter that continues to be one of the brand’s most popular cars.
Offering a similar footprint to the Astra hatchback, the Grandland X is a practical crossover that rivals the likes of the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai. Petrol and diesel variants have been around since 2017, but electrified models are new for 2020 – kickstarting a whole range of hybrids and EVs expected in the coming years.
With Vauxhall now being part of the PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroen), it’s able to use powertrains from sister brands.
There are two electrified powertrains on offer here – the Hybrid and the Hybrid4, with the latter getting more power and all-wheel-drive. With nearly 300bhp on offer it’s not only the most powerful Grandland but the punchiest Vauxhall, too.
Low running costs and the attractive benefit-in-kind percentage charge are set to make the Grandland X Hybrid a particularly popular choice for company car drivers.
As with many hybrids, you can choose how to use the electric available to you. Providing the batteries have been topped up, you can flick between Electric and Hybrid, and the transition when the engine kicks into life is smooth and refined.
There’s a lot of power at your disposal – with the Hybrid4 being especially punchy. That said, the extra weight of the batteries means it’s not as quick as it looks on paper. Really, the front-wheel-drive makes more sense, unless you really need the extra power of all-wheel-drive.
Looks and image
While Vauxhall might not have the badge appeal of more premium manufacturers, the Grandland X is an appealing-looking model. From its slim lights, which have the same ‘signature’ at the front and rear, to its sleek lines, this is arguably the most stylish of any Vauxhall when it comes to looks.
High-spec models also come with the option of having the top half of the car (the roof, mirrors and pillars) painted in black, creating contrast for a high-end look.
Like most plug-in hybrids, this PHEV isn’t quite as versatile or as spacious as the regular Grandland X, losing space underneath the boot floor. In fact the boot space shrinks from 514 litres to 390 litres, which is only slightly bigger than the 370 litres you get in the regular Astra hatchback. It’s still a good size, though.
Passenger space is more impressive, with rear seats that are generously sized for both adults and children. There’s also plenty of useful cubby holes and large door bins, which cement this model’s appeal as a great family car – something the Grandland X has always been known for.
Engines and running costs
There are two powertrain options in the Grandland X PHEV – the Hybrid and the Hybrid4.
Both feature a 1.6-litre petrol engine, an electric motor and a large 13.2kWh battery. In the Hybrid, they mate to produce a 222bhp and 360Nm of torque, with the single electric motor on the front axle providing front-wheel-drive. In terms of performance figures, the Hybrid can accelerate to 60mph in 8.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 140mph, or 84mph purely in electric. As for efficiency, Vauxhall claims it can travel for 34 miles on electric – allowing for a fuel economy figure of up to 192mpg, with CO2 emissions of 31mpg.
The other electrified option is the Hybrid4, which as its name suggests, is a 4-wheel-drive model that has a second electric motor at the rear axle. With a slightly more powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine and a second motor, it produces 296bhp and 520Nm of torque in all. That allows for a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 146mph. It’s also slightly better on fuel – returning up to 204mpg, with CO2 emissions of 29g/km. It can manage 35 miles on electricity, too.
- 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to electric motor and 13.2kWh battery (222bhp)
- 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to 2 electric motors and 13.2kWh battery (296bhp)
- Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid – from £33,095
- Citroen C5 Aicross Hybrid – from £35,340
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – from £35,815
- Peugeot 3008 Hybrid – from £36,585
- Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 – from £40,905
- DS 7 Crossback E-Tense – from £47,725
Four trim levels are available on the Grandland X PHEV, depending on powertrain chosen. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.
SE Nav – from £36,700 (Hybrid)
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Satellite navigation
- Wireless phone charging
- Dual-zone climate control
- Cruise control
- LED headlights
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Rear parking sensors
- Traffic sign recognition
- Vauxhall Connect
SRi Nav – from £38,500 (Hybrid)/£41,500 (Hybrid 4)
- Ergonomic front seats
- 3D instrument cluster
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Black roof and mirrors
- Driver monitoring system
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Lane keep assist
- Blind spot monitoring
- Front parking sensors
- Keyless entry and start
- Electric tailgate
Elite Nav – from £43,400 (Hybrid4)
- Leather seats
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated windscreen
Ultimate Nav – from £46,550 (Hybrid4)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Upgraded LED headlights
- Park assist
- Reversing camera