Vauxhall Crossland X: road test
Good value and practical, but not the best crossover from the driver’s seat.
What is it?
The new Vauxhall Crossland X takes the place of the Meriva in Vauxhall’s line-up, but with more SUV-like styling. It’s a rival for the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
How safe is it?
There’s no rating from Euro NCAP yet, but the car is available with lots of driver assistance systems, including forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking.
Who should buy one?
It’s a practical car for young families, and the driving position will suit anyone who prefers to sit up high. Keen prices will appeal to the value-conscious.
Road test by David Motton, August 2017
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Driving the Crossland X is rather uninspiring. Don’t get us wrong, the Vauxhall has its strengths – but the driving experience isn’t one of them.
The ride is rather soft, and feels reasonably comfortable at low speeds. However, on undulating roads the suspension needs firmer control. The car bounces around over rough surfaces and really sharp bumps are felt and heard with a thump.
Arrive at a corner and there’s lots of body lean, and the light steering doesn’t feel especially crisp or accurate. It’s fine around town and helps make low-speed manoeuvres easy, but it doesn’t encourage enthusiastic driving. If you’re looking for a sporty small car, you’ll find the Mazda CX-3 a lot more rewarding.
The engines are a lot livelier than the chassis, especially the turbocharged petrols. Vauxhall expects the 110PS (108bhp) 1.2-litre petrol to be the most popular choice. It’s smooth and willing. We tried the five-speed manual but this is the only engine which is also available with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Stepping up to the 130PS (128bhp) 1.2 petrol means a small but noticeable step up in performance and, with a six-speed manual rather than a five-speed, the engine is quieter on the motorway. The price premium over the 110PS model is just £300-£320 depending on the trim level, so if you cover a lot of miles we’d be inclined to spend the extra.
There’s also an 81PS (80bhp) 1.2 which we haven’t had the chance to drive. Although the cheapest model by some margin, performance is likely to be pedestrian.
On to the diesels, of which there are two. The 99PS (98bhp) 1.6 is the one to choose if fuel economy is top priority, with an official combined figure of 78.5mpg for cars with 16-inch alloys. Despite the modest power output it performs reasonably. However, the 120PS (118bhp) engine achieves 70.6mpg on the combined cycle, and has much punchier acceleration.
One thing to note – despite the SUV-inspired looks, there are no 4×4 versions of the Crossland X.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
For a car which measures just over 4.2 metres from bumper to bumper, the Crossland X is practical and roomy.
There’s plenty of space in the front, with a high-up driving position that will suit those who aren’t as limber as they used to be. The dashboard is well made and finished, although there are some hard and unappealing plastics elsewhere in the cabin.
Compared with a Mazda CX-3 or Nissan Juke, rear-seat space is generous. Two adults can travel in reasonable comfort, although three would be a squeeze because the car is quite narrow.
The boot has a pushchair-friendly 410-litre capacity. That compares well with the CX-3’s 350 litres. As you’d expect, the seats split and fold 60:40. For more flexibility, £300 buys the ‘Versatility pack’, which adds sliding seat bases, a 40:20:40 split to the seat back, a centre armrest with a storage compartment, and an adjustable boot floor. It’s money well spent in our book.
There’s no Euro NCAP safety rating as yet, but there’s a good standard of safety kit. Stability control and driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system are standard across the board. The ‘Safety pack’ (standard on Ultimate trim but a £500 option on other models) includes a host of high-tech aids. However, we’ve marked the Crossland X down slightly because the windscreen pillars are thick enough to hamper visibility.
Even the basic SE model is reasonably well equipped, with dual-zone climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a digital radio and a seven-inch colour touchscreen. Smartphone connectivity is also standard, supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As the name suggests, SE Nav adds satellite navigation. For even more toys there are Elite (17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors and more) and Ultimate (head-up display, uprated sound system, wireless mobile charging) specifications.
The Crossland X is keenly priced, starting from just £16,555. Even the most expensive version is £23,530. That’s competitive with the Peugeot 2008 , which is priced from £16,300, although the entry-level Renault Captur undercuts both at £15,355. The Vauxhall’s running costs should be affordable, with official combined figures ranging from 52.3mpg to 78.5mpg. For company car drivers, benefit-in-kind tax rates range from 20-23%, thanks to carbon dioxide emissions as low as 93g/km.
WE SAY Good value and practical, but not the best crossover from the driver’s seat.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds
Economy: 57.6mpg combined
Tax: £160 first year, then £140 standard
Figures for the 1.2 (110PS) Turbo S/S ecoTEC Elite