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Road Test: Vauxhall Crossland X

By / 4 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

There’s more to Vauxhall’s compact SUV than meets the eye, explains Alex Grant.

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SECTOR Crossover   PRICE £16,555-£23,530   FUEL 57.3-78.5mpg   CO2 93-123g/kmNot so long ago, families with needs straddling the family hatchback and supermini segments could have satisfied their capacity requirements with either a small estate car, or an ultra-functional MPV. Two parts of the market now almost completely obsolete, as manufacturers scrabble to meet demand for fashionable, flexible small crossovers.

Vauxhall, of course, already has one of these; the Mokka X is a mainstay of the crossover class, straddling (size-wise) the Juke and Qashqai segments and racking up 120,000 UK sales since 2012. Although the Crossland X looks and feels similar at a glance – it’s only 63mm shorter – the gap between them is wider than it first appears.

The newcomer is a much neater package; smaller overall, but with almost a fifth more boot capacity, and plenty of headroom in its upright, heavily-glazed cabin. Slide the rear bench forwards and there’s almost 50% more capacity than its sibling, fold it flat and it’ll accommodate longer boxes, too. If it’s practicality you’re seeking, the Crossland X trumps its stablemate. If kerbside appeal is a priority, then that awkward, upright, MPV-like shape could be a barrier.

It’s the tip of the iceberg. The Crossland X, and the Qashqai-sized Grandland X due later this year, were developed under a partnership with PSA Group, hatched in 2012. It means this car has more in common with a Peugeot 2008 than a Mokka X. That includes the engine line-up; three 1.2-litre petrols with 81bhp, 108bhp and 128bhp, and a pair of 1.6-litre diesels at 99bhp or 118bhp, all from PSA rather than GM. Most are offered across all trim levels, Elite and Tech Line get the full set.

Petrol derivatives are fairly competitive, with CO2 from 116g/km, but it’s the diesels which are still likely to have most traction with fleets; up to 78.5mpg and 93g/km for versions on smaller wheels, compared to the Mokka X, which doesn’t come under 100g/km. However, this isn’t as quiet as Vauxhall’s latest 1.6-litre diesel, and the more powerful of the two has a tendency to snatch at rough surfaces while accelerating. It’s also worth noting that PSA’s small diesels use AdBlue – that’s something the GM equivalents make do without.

The Crossland X’s dashboard feels much like the Astra’s, albeit with a smattering of Peugeot switchgear. All versions include an intuitive, if occasionally laggy, touchscreen along with OnStar, Android Auto and Apple Carplay, and most versions have satellite navigation. Curiously, being based on the infotainment used in most new PSA products, it still has touchscreen climate control functions, despite the physical controls underneath.

This could have felt almost unnecessary, being so similar in size to the popular Mokka X – but, from a strictly rational perspective, it’s perhaps the better solution for segment-straddling families. It might seem like the compact MPV class has disappeared into obscurity, but this indirect replacement for the Meriva shows it’s still alive and well, hiding beneath plastic body cladding and faux-aluminium skid plates.What we think

In many ways this is a better all-rounder than the Mokka X, but that awkward styling will divide potential buyers in a segment where style counts for a lot.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.