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Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2T Elite SUV review

The long-lasting Vauxhall Meriva has finally been replaced with an all-new car, which is called the Crossland X. But while the Meriva is marketed as a traditional compact MPV, the Crossland X has a more butch appearance and is being described by Vauxhall as a city SUV crossover. This compact model is a rival for the likes of the Nissan Juke[1], Renault Captur[2] and Mazda CX-3[3].

Vauxhall’s decision to make the Crossland X a compact crossover may be surprising to some, given that Vauxhall already offer the Mokka X[4], which is also a small crossover that rivals the likes of the Juke and Captur. What helps the Crossland X stand out more on its own though is that while it has unmistakeably SUV-like design features like a chunky bumper with underbody cladding, the car has a boxier, more MPV-like profile than the majority of compact crossovers. It’s a niche product then, but its potential for greater practicality could win it quite a few fans as long as it also delivers a decent drive and attractive efficiency too.

Performance – 3.5/5

Engines for the Vauxhall Crossland X include an 80bhp 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.6-litre diesel and a turbocharged version of the 1.2 petrol.

We tested the Crossland X with the turbo petrol engine, which can produce either 108bhp or 128bhp like our car. Mated exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox, this particular turbo engine is a decent unit that feels well suited with its sole choice of gearbox.

While the 108bhp version of the same engine or the diesel (available with 98bhp or 118bhp) might be okay for everyday driving scenarios, the 128bhp turbo gives you some welcome extra flexibility. With a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.1 seconds, the 1.2 turbo will rarely entertain but feels solid enough for the various types of day-to-day driving family motorists tend to undertake.

Ride and handling – 3/5

The Crossland X’s boxy MPV profile combined with its jacked-up suspension has resulted in some troubling characteristics when taking this car through corners. On the one hand, the Crossland X does offer a decent amount of grip and the steering is not as light or as artificial-feeling as you’d might expect from a family-centric crossover like this.

But the car does lean and shake about a fair amount through corners and when braking and it also shudders aggressively if you’re not smooth enough with the clutch for its liking. Because of all this, you’ll be discouraged from tackling countryside lanes or roundabouts in an enthusiastic manner.

The Crossland X was designed with urban driving in mind though, and confirming that is the fact that unlike the Mokka X and upcoming Grandland X SUVs there’s no off-road driving mode like Grip Control. Through slower city roads there’s little to complain about the drive and visibility all-round is decent. It’s just a shame it’s not more composed all-round.

Interior and equipment – 4/5

While there’s plenty of small crossovers in the market, including Vauxhall’s own Mokka X, the Crossland X puts extra emphasis on practicality and its cabin is surprisingly big for a car its size.

The middle rear seat is a little too narrow to be comfortable for adults on long journeys but all round there’s a good amount of both head and legroom. There’s also quite a few storage compartments dotted about and the materials used within include some nicely made fabrics and solidly-made plastics. Boot space at the back of the Crossland X is 410 litres, which is 50 litres more than the Mokka X and ahead of pretty much any other small SUV you could name.

As standard, the Crossland X comes with clime control, heated mirrors, cruise control, an IntelliLink touchscreen system and front electric windows on its equipment list. The car we tested came in the Elite trim, which is behind only Elite Nav.

The Elite models feature the likes of rear parking sensors, a driver’s centre armrest and an underfloor storage compartment within the boot known as FlexFloor.

Costs – 3.5/5

The Crossland X starts at just over ?16,500, making it about one to two grand more than the starting prices of most other small SUV crossvers. But the Elite trim starts at just under ?18,000, which is similar to (if not cheaper) than the higher trim level versions of rivalling SUVs. With the 128bhp turbo petrol onboard, the Crossland X officially averages 55.4mpg while CO2 emissions are at 116g/km.

In these areas this engine performs almost just as well as the 108bhp version of the same engine, making the 128bhp version extra appealing. However, those after better efficiency can look to the diesel engines which offer between 70.6mpg and 76.3mpg officially.

Verdict – 3.5/5

The Vauxhall Crossland X is a curious case, as it sits in a market which another Vauxhall model already occupies and while it’s marketed as an SUV, it’s very reminiscent of traditional MPVs like the Meriva, which it effectively replaces.

Like a lot other small SUVs, the Crossland X doesn’t offer anything special in terms of the ride and whether the rugged body cladding makes it as fashionable as other cars in this segment is a matter of opinion. What it does offer though is a decent amount of practicality for a car this size, especially compared to the Mokka X and other like-minded cars. The Crossland X then is for someone who likes the idea of having a small family car with SUV design qualities, but they don’t care about doing any off-road driving and desire more cabin space than you get from your typical small SUV.

Those are quite a specific set of requirements, but if these are the ones you happen to have, then the Crossland X is worth a closer look.

Find prices for new Vauxhall cars[5]

References

  1. ^ Nissan Juke (www.carkeys.co.uk)
  2. ^ Renault Captur (www.carkeys.co.uk)
  3. ^ Mazda CX-3 (www.carkeys.co.uk)
  4. ^ Mokka X (www.carkeys.co.uk)
  5. ^ Find prices for new Vauxhall cars (www.carkeys.co.uk)

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