|Access to new diesel engines from parent company PSA means Vauxhall has switched to a 130hp 1.5 in its larger crossover.|
|Key rival:||Nissan Qashqai|
|Vauxhall Grandland X 1.5|
Vauxhall’s foray into the crossover market is gathering pace following the launch of the Grandland X at the very end of 2017, and the arrival of this new diesel engine is expected to accelerate that.
The new 1.5-litre diesel replaces the old 1.6-litre unit, and adds another 10hp to take it to 130hp. It’s an engine used across Peugeot and Citroen models also under Vauxhall owner PSA Groupe’s control.
The new engine, which is available across all trim levels bar the top Ultimate specification, offers emissions from 108g/km and an average fuel economy figure of 68.9mpg. That emissions number becomes 110g/km but still the same fuel figure for models fitted with the larger wheels that come on all bar the entry SE trim. As well as the six-speed manual gearbox, the engine also comes with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which costs another £1800, but doesn’t damage the efficiency figures.
To drive, the new engine is described by the manufacturer as closer in characteristic to that of a petrol engine, and it certainly has a broader power delivery than most diesels – rather than a punch of acceleration before shifting up a gear as the diesel drops out of its power band, this engine offers less punch but over a wider spread. To drive, it feels like a smaller engine powering a larger car, but is far from overwhelmed by the Grandland X.
Refinement is pretty good too, and the light steering and pleasant gearchange make for a car comfortable in urban surroundings, while the 130hp 1.5 engine is also comfortable at higher speeds.
Away from the engine, the range is unchanged, which means a smart-looking crossover with decent interior space and good luggage capacity, while running costs outpoint those of all the Vauxhall’s rivals, such as the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Seat Ateca, thanks to a competitive price tag, excellent residuals and low insurance group. The residual is particularly impressive, given that this hasn’t historically been an area of strength for Vauxhall, or most mainstream brands. However, KeeResources has the Grandland X down as retaining 39.5% of its value after three years and 60,000 miles, ahead of all its volume competitors.