Opel/ Vauxhall Grandland: back in stride again!

The Opel Grandland was introduced four years ago. It now gets a mid-life restyling and lost the “X” of its early days. It gets the brand’s new “Vizor” face. We recently could test drive all available engines…

The new Opel Grandland Hybrid4
The “Vizor” grille is Opel’s new face. Directly inspired by the Manta of the 1970s, it gives the Grandland a real presence, unlike the previous, much more anonymous version. At its centre, an infra-red camera detects pedestrians and animals up to 100 metres away in just 150 ms! It measures the temperature differences between the environment, humans and animals, thus increasing safety.

Expansion plans

Opel: Vauxhall has been getting fresher and fresher since it became part of the PSA group and more recently of the Stellantis galaxy. Starting this year, the range will include nine electric models, among them three commercial vehicles.  Opel will soon enter the Chinese market, from which it has been absent until now, and the entire European range will be electric- powered from 2028 onwards. The brand’s SUV range comprises three models: Crossland, Mokka and Grandland. The latter uses the group’s EMP2 platform, which also underpins the C5 Aircross, DS7 Crossback, 3008 and 5008. After four years, it was time to update and rejuvenate it to better compete with the best in class.

Seen from the rear, here with its internal combustion engine, the Grandland is dynamic. It is in the brand’s Compass style, with a central symmetry reminiscent of this object. The lightning bolt monogram is central to the rear and model identification is achieved through separate lettering across the width of the tailgate. Depending on the version, it can be opened by simply passing the foot under the bumper.

Young and fresh looking

The SUV-C segment accounts for nearly 20 percent of the market and the Grandland is a crucial model for Opel. Externally, it adopts the “Vizor” grille, inspired by the Manta of the 1970s. This new face gives it a more rugged appearance and strengthens its presence on the road.  Already seen on the Corsa and the Mokka, it will also feature on the new Astra in the coming weeks. The front lighting is named Intelilux Led Pixel Light and consists of 84 LEDs per headlamp. The wing-shaped daytime running light integrates the position light and the indicator. Thanks to the LEDs and their three reflectors, the beam shape is always optimal, both in curves and in bad weather, whether in town or in a car park, and it never dazzles other road users. The Grandland also features new bumpers. 

Opel Grandland Hybrid4
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard with the diesel and hybrid engines. This is fitted to a Hybrid4 and has four driving modes, selected by the switch located at the top left of the gear lever. The “B” position allows the battery to be recharged while driving.

Depending on the version, the bumpers and mouldings are body-coloured or lacquered in black. A contrasting roof colour can be ordered too. In addition to the four engines, the range is available in varying equipment levels: the basic version is simply called “Grandland” (and only available with petrol and diesel power), then come “Business Edition”, “GS Line” with a sporty accent, “Business Elegance” and “Ultimate”, at the top of the range. The basic equipment level is quite substantial  and is well suited to the expectations of many buyers. Nevertheless, a list of very reasonably priced extras are available.

Opel Grandland Hybrid4
LED lighting is one of the many standard features throughout the range. With 84 elements per headlamp, it is powerful and adapts to all circumstances. The daytime running light at the top also acts as indicator.

Hybrid engines and digitalization

Four different engines are available. The petrol one is a 1200cc 130bhp engine with a 6-speed manual or optional 8-speed automatic gearbox. The Diesel engine is a 1500 cm3 with 130 bhp and  only available with an automatic gearbox. Then there are two hybrid versions, one with 224 bhp and the other, featuring four-wheel drive, delivers 300 bhp. Inside, the evolution is quite big, with the adoption of the “Pure Panel” throughout the range. The instruments are  all digital and it combines two screens. The configurable instrument panel measures 10 or 12 inches, depending on the version. In the centre of the dashboard, a second screen (7 or 10″) houses the infotainment system and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Real-time navigation is available via Opel Connect.

The new bumpers combine black and body colours. Similarly, the roof can be ordered in body colour or black to give the Grandland a different look.

Inductive smartphone charging is also available. We also find the usual array of driving aids : adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, lane keeping assist, drowsiness detection, collision warning, automatic emergency braking and detection of pedestrians and animals in the dark. Called “Night Vision”, this equipment uses an infrared camera that measures the temperature differences between a human or animal and the environment, up to 100 metres in front of the car. 

The Hybrid versions are equipped with 19″ wheels… fortunately not at the expense of suspension comfort.

Behind the wheel

We were able to drive all four engines, briefly. Fit and finish is good, as is the quality of the materials used inside. Special mention for the seats, with certified ergonomics. We were pleased to find that the central part of the seat is adjustable in length, but lateral support could be better. On the top-of-the-range versions, they are electrically adjustable and have a memory function. Depending on the version, they are heated at the front and rear and even ventilated at the front! Boot capacity is up to 1650 litres, ideal for a family. All versions offer very good comfort and balanced road holding, even getting a bit sporty on the 300 hp hybrid version.

Opel Grandland Hybrid4 (2021)
The Pure Panel dashboard is fully digital. The instrument panel can be configured by the user, while the central touch screen contains the infotainment system. The menus are clear and fairly intuitive. The air conditioning is located just below and its settings are manual and easy to access. The ergonomics of the controls are well thought out. Fit, finish and materials are high quality.

The 1200 cm3 petrol engine with 130 hp and 230 Nm lacks torque, especially compared with the weight of the vehicle and therefore the driver has to use the gear lever very often. This ends up in high fuel consumption : we saw more than 10 litres displayed on the dashboard! Official consumption figures are 6,1- 7,3 l and rejects are 137-166 gr CO2/ km. The price is certainly very attractive, but we found this version the least convincing of the range. The diesel version, with the same power, benefits from a higher torque figure (300 Nm, also at 1750 rpm). The eight-speed automatic gearbox is also more pleasant to use than the manual one fitted to the petrol version. As for fuel consumption, we were not far from 5.0 litres on the mountainous test route. It rejects between 128 and 154 g CO2/km.

The front seats are ergonomically certified. The central part of the seat is movable and provides optimum support for the knees during long journeys. However, in view of the performance of the Hybrid and Hybrid4 versions, the backrest could offer more lateral support.

Another world…

Hybrids are in a different league. Both versions are pleasant to drive and offer reduced fuel consumption values of around 4.3 litres per 100 km on the same route as the petrol and diesel versions. Even though they are not pure sports cars in the traditional sense of the term, they accelerate very fast. The Hybrid and Hybrid 4 versions combine a 1600cc turbo engine with an electric motor at the front (and at the rear too on the Hybrid4), turning it into an all-wheel drive vehicle. The Hybrid offers 224 hp and 360 Nm, 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and a 225 km/h top speed, while the Hybrid4 makes do with 300 hp and 520 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h takes just 6.1 seconds and top speed is 235 km/h. Here, the 1600cc petrol engine develops 180bhp and is mated to a 110 hp electric motor at the front and another 112bhp one sits on the rear axle.

Opel Grandland (2021)

The battery has a capacity of 13.2 kWh. In electric mode,  speed is electronically monitored at 135 km/h maximum, to prevent draining the battery too quickly. The Grandland Hybrid4 offers four driving modes. Hybrid mode lets the car choose the most efficient combination, depending on the circumstances. The electric mode offers a good 60 kilometres of range in town, which is more than enough for the vast majority of users. The sport mode offers the best performance and the all-wheel drive mode brings the safety of four-wheel drive. Offical fuel consumption of the Hybrid4 version ranges from 1.2 to 1.8 litres per 100 km and emissions from 28 to 41 g CO2/km. In all cases, the fuel tank capacity is 43 litres. The battery has 96 cells of 38 Ah and is guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km. Located under the rear seats, it can be recharged in about two hours via a 7.4 kW wallbox.

The rear seat can accommodate three passengers in decent comfort. USB sockets are fitted between the front seats.

Brake Energy Recovery and e-Save

The electric motor located on the rear axle of the Hybrid4 becomes a generator during deceleration and converts the braking energy into electrical energy. It is sufficient to put the gearbox in B mode in order to optimise energy recovery. The e-Save function saves the electrical energy stored in the battery and uses it in the most efficient way. Selecting it is done via the central touchscreen. The combination of performance and consumption of the hybrids is quite impressive, especially compared to the petrol version… The 224 hp version seems to be the best compromise. The price difference with the Hybrid4 version is difficult to justify for daily use in our country and the performance of the Hybrid version is more than enough to start with.

Opel Grandland (2021)
The boot has a regular shape and generous capacity, ideal for a family. The modularity is real, with a ski hatch and a backrest that folds down into separate sections.

The petrol version of the Grandland starts at €30,500, the diesel at €35,450, while the hybrids are available from €43,450 in two-wheel drive and the Hybrid4 is priced from €49,450, which is still €5,000 more than the Hybrid version. Assembled in Germany, at the Eisenach factory (where the Wartburgs came from!), this new Grandland will be available by the end of the Autumn. Homogeneous, pleasant to look at, welcoming, comfortable, very well finished and equipped, it is available at attractive prices. There is no doubt that the second half of its career will be a real success with families.

The all-new Opel Grandland (2021)

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