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CAPE TOWN – Vanilla-flavoured ice-cream is always a conservative but safe choice. My mom had a confectionary shop that also sold ice-cream. I used to sample all the flavours, including chocolate (sprinkled with nuts), rum 'n' raisin, peppermint and strawberry, to name but a few. After a couple of months, though, I was back at vanilla. Does this frozen analogy apply to Opel's Grandland X? I spent a weekend with the vehicle to find out.


As mentioned in our August 2018 road test of the original model, the Grandland X and its smaller sibling (the Crossland X) are products based on PSA Group vehicles thanks to the acquisition of the Opel brand from General Motors. In the case of the Grandland X, its sister car is the Peugeot 3008, although you would never be able to tell from the exterior or interior styling. But it certainly shares the underpinnings and drivetrain.

What’s new?

Opel has announced updates to the mid-spec Enjoy version tested here, upping the wheel size to 18 inches and adding front foglamps, rear privacy glass and aluminium roof rails.

A “Plus Package” is also available for customers who want to add a panoramic sunroof, the SatNav 900 IntelliLink infotainment system and heating functions for the front leather seats and steering wheel. The heated steering wheel, normally available only in colder markets, was a boon during a chilly period in Cape Town. It's the type of feature you never knew you needed…

Interestingly, we phoned a couple of dealerships and they were not aware of this package, with one eventually quoting a price of around R70 000. This, however, pushes the asking price uncomfortably close to the top-spec Cosmo model, which doesn't make much sense to me.

Still, there is some favourable news for the consumer: the warranty now stretches five years or 150 000 km, up from the previous three-year/120 000 km arrangement. The service plan has also quietly been upgraded, from five years or 90 000 km to five years or 100 000 km.

Styling in an out

In contrast to the French flair employed on the 3008, the Grandland X is smart yet conservative in the styling department. The larger wheels and dark hue of the test car added some elegance but did not push the appearance boundaries in a sea of crossover choices in our market.

Inside, the Grandland X follows a similar vein, with the use of dark leather and the black facia resulting in a somewhat sombre atmosphere. There are plenty of soft-touch areas, though, and there is an overall sense of quality present. In addition, the specification list is generous, including the likes of climate control, cruise control, electric seats and auto headlamps.

Powertrain performance

The Grandland X range is powered exclusively by a 1,6-litre turbopetrol unit delivering 121 kW and 240 N.m to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Suprisingly, Opel has opted for an old-school gate movement (older readers will remember) of the transmission lever, which takes some getting used to. Once on the move, the powerplant is willing, albeit somewhat rough at certain engine speeds, and provides adequate punch when needed. The claimed fuel consumption of 7,0 L/100 km is slightly optimistic as a weekend’s worth of mixed driveing returned a figure of around 9,0 L/ 100 km.

There is no powertrain mode button and therefore one calibration must suffice for all driving scenarios. The result is somewhat compromised in the sense that gearshifts are not as urgent when the driver is in a hurry. The pilot can take manual control via the shift lever (there are no shift paddles) if needed but the response is still relatively slow (although that's generally fine for the application of a family shuttle).

Ride and handling

Overall, the ride is good if ever-so-slightly firm. Maybe the 18-inch wheels should take some blame here, along with the fact that a basic torsion-beam suspension arrangement is employed at the rear. The steering is accurate, and in combination with the fairly sporty suspension, aids the feeling of nimbleness from behind the steering wheel.

Dimensionally, this Opel is almost equal in size to my Kia Sportage long-term test vehicle but it somehow feels smaller to pilot, which is a positive in city surrounds. It has a big-enough boot (312 litres, according to CAR’s measuring system) to cater for end-of-the month shopping trips but a roof box would be required for extended family holidays.


In short, the Grandland X is the vanilla flavour of SUVs. It's the safe choice for individuals who need honest family transport while blending in with the general car park. It has enough creature comforts to lift the cabin towards the premium segment and is easy to drive. It lacks a unique selling point though and some would say that life is too short to eat only vanilla ice-cream. For others though, the security of a safe choice will be enough to clinch the deal.

Update: Opel South Africa contacted us with the individual item pricing found in the Plus Package:
Leather seats. AGR Certified Ergonomic (driver and passenger), power adjustable (driver and passenger), heated and ventilated (cooled) including heated steering wheel – R22 000
Panoramic roof – R11 000
Navi 5.0 IntelliLink – R12 000
Total R45 000



Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather bolster spartial leather: artificial
  • Leather upholstery: partial cloth + artificial leather (opt leather)
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Lane departure warning: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Directional turning headlights: opt LED
  • Adaptive headlights varying light distribution: opt LED
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: emergency-brake flashing brake lights
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Optional
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear + boot
  • Central locking: remote
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Sun roof: opt panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: Optional
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: opt LED
  • Highbeam assist: Standard
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 757 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 6
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 225/55 R18
  • Reartyres: 225/55 R18
  • Spare wheel size full: steel
  • Length: 4477 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1856-2098 mm
  • Wheel base: 2675 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 123 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 11.0 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 514-1652 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1652 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1382 kg
  • Gross weight (GVM): 1980 kg
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 53l
  • Fuel consumption urban: 9.8 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption extra urban: 5.3 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption average: 7.0 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 156g/km
  • Power maximum: 121 kW
  • Power maximum total: 121 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: #DIV/0! kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 240 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 1400 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 240 Nm
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: n/as
  • Maximum top speed: n/a km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1598 cc
  • Engine size: 1.6l
  • enginedetailshort: 1.6T
  • Engine + detail: 1.6 turbo
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 5
  • Warranty distance (km): 150000 km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 5
  • Service plan time (distance): 100000 km
  • Maintenance plan: Optional
  • Maintenance plan time (years): opt 5
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): opt 100000 km
  • Roadside assistance time: 3
  • Service interval indicator: Standard
  • Service interval (distance): 20000 km
  • Service interval (time): 1
  • Brand: Opel
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 48048280
  • MMintrodat: 2018/05/01
  • Introdate: 2019-07-01
  • DuoportarecordID: OpelGraX1e08

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