WHAT IS IT?
IT’s the plug-in hybrid version of Vauxhall’s Grandland family SUV which was updated a year or so with some fresh styling and an altogether more modern appearance.
Now part of the Stellantis Group which encompasses PSA, Fiat Goup and Vauxhall/Opel, the Grandland shares a platform with the Citroen C5 Aircross, DS7 Crossback and Peugeot 3008 PHEVs and comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric-motor together producing 222bhp. Electric-only range is quoted at 34-miles electric range.
Theoretically the combination can return almost 200mpg although not really achievable in the real world. Similarly, the electric range diminishes once you hit the hills or particularly wintry weather. Despite a fairly low CO2 output, the Grandland is classed as an ‘alternative-fuel’ vehicle, so no massive savings in VED etc, but every little helps in the current climate. Entry-level models will cost £145 a year to tax but the figures rises once you start loading up the extras. You can find yourself pushing the price of a new one north of £40,000.
Standard equipment is pretty good starting with the entry-level SE which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with dual-zone climate control, smart cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, plus a number driver safety aids. There is also two seven-inch screens while higher trim levels get a 12-inch driver display and 10-inch central touchscreen.
Like all new Vauxhalls, the Grandland – including the hybrid version – gets a three-year manufacturer warranty. This covers the car for unlimited mileage in the first year, althugh it is restricted to a total of 60,000 miles in years two and three.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
The Grandland feels pretty good both around town and on the motorway. In the city you really appreciate the benefit of light steering and silent running, and to be fair it remains pretty quiet when the engine kicks on or when are in the cruise. Altogether comfortable ride – this is not a car to throw enthusiastically around the bends.
There are different driving modes to be had, but the Grandland seems to perform best in ‘hybrid’ mode, allowing it to make it own mind up and the transition between electric and petrol is almost imperceptable. You’ll not get much feel through the steering wheel, but, as already said, you do get a smooth ride.
This Hybrid isn’t available with fast or rapid charge and comes as standard with a 3.7kW on-board charger with a 7.4kW version available as an option which will allow you to charge in around a couple of hours from a home wallbox. Of course, company car tax is a major consideration when making the switch to full electric or hybrid. With sub-50g/km CO2 emissions and that official electric range of 34 miles, the Grandland Hybrid falls into the 11% BiK band rising to 12% in 2022-23. By comparison, a petrol-powered Grandland, with automatic transmission comes in at 32% on the BiK scale thanks to its 140g/km CO2). So, big tax savings to be had.
Inside, the latest Vauxhall ‘Pure Panel, incorporating those two screens, brings the Grandland bang up to date in technology terms while the car retains physical controls for the cabin temperature, making the system easy and intuitive to operate on the move. Materials around the car generally feel of good quality.
Seats feel supportive enough, plenty if adjustment available for the driver and as an SUV, you do sit up quite high in a ‘command’ position. there’s more than enough space inside for a family of four. Wide opening doors allow easy access both front and rear and all round visibility is good.
Plenty of space inside for luggage as well and there sots of cubbyholes for odds and ends, including big door bins and two cupholders on the centre console, with a lidded storage bin behind them. The 13.2kWh battery is located under the boot floor so there’s some loss of space, down from 514 litres in non-hybrid versions to 390 litres in the Hybrid. With the seats down, there’s a 1,528-litre load space available.
Overall, the Grandland Hybrid is a practical family SUV with low running costs although the initial purchase price is one of the highest in the class.
VAUXHALL GRANDLAND PHEV
P11D Value: From £34,815
Engine: 1.6-litre petrol turbo
Max power: 222hp
Top speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 8.6 secs
CO2: 31 g/km
Electric range (WLTP): 34 miles
Fuel consumption (WLTP): 192mpg (on test 53.6mpg)
Charge time: 1hr 45mins