Vauxhall’s somewhat belated fight back is this, the Grandland X Hybrid4. The mid-sized family car joins the Corsa-e EV in the company’s electrified line-up.
It’s a development of the already familiar petrol and diesel versions of the Grandland, but it uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 197bhp on its own, while two electric motors — one on each axle — combine to develop an additional 108bhp.
Working together, the Hybrid4 has an impressive total of 296bhp at its disposal, with the power sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. As a result, the car is capable of 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds – that’s surprisingly quick for a car of this type.
Vauxhall claims the car can return up to 225mpg, though our mixed test route left us with a 117mpg readout after starting with a full battery. The electric power allows for up to 35 miles of zero-emission driving, which can cover most commuting distances.
A less powerful and cheaper version with only two-wheel drive is being launched imminently, but we’ve not had a chance to try it yet and official figures for economy and emissions haven’t been announced either. We’ll update you as soon as they are.
It’s safe to say the Grandland has never been the most exciting car in the world, and no injection of performance or power changes that. In fact steering and suspension feel as though they can’t really cope with any enthusiastic driving and you soon stop trying and just take things a little slower.
But there are things to like about the Grandland too. The eight-speed gearbox is smooth while, when working on its own, the petrol engine doesn’t sound too strained.
Inside the Grandland X is quite plain, with black soft-touch materials used throughout, but all feel up decent quality. But it’s not huge inside. Taller adults won’t find much head or legroom in the rear and the boot isn’t that large either, with the squarely-shaped 390-litre space smaller than the majority of its closest rivals.
Plump for the top spec Ultimate Nav version that we tried and you’ll see our biggest problem with the Grandland X though – the price. At £46,650 it’s up against some pretty posh rivals. Vauxhall expects the Business Edition Nav Premium to be the most popular trim level – especially with fleet buyers – and that looks more reasonably priced.
It all adds up to a bit of a disappointment. The Grandland X isn’t terrible, but there are better PHEVs already on sale and plenty of others are arriving imminently. If your company car fleet manager will allow it, try rivals first.