In 2022, driving a hybrid car is nearly compulsory. Dimitri already told you about the midlife facelift Opel did on the Grandland last year. Now, Opel lent us a Hybrid 225 test car so that we could get a taste of it. Given the fact that we live in a city centre and that charging sites are as rare as the metals used in the batteries, it means we will have to drive this car using only the internal combustion engine. Something synonymous with high consumption figures…
First of all, let’s start with a short review of the new features of this Peugeot 3008 relative. Its more restrained design should see it age less quickly than the French SUV. Its new front end is defined by a very horizontal, black grille with a vertical edge running down the middle of the bonnet before ending under the grille. Opel calls it “Vizor” and already used it on the Mokka. The Grandland now looks more imposing, thanks to a redesigned front bumper that reinforces the lines horizontality as well. On the whole, it’s quite successful even though the rest of the bodywork doesn’t change.
I like it
The Opel Grandland’s interior is a pleasant place to be, thanks to its ergonomic AGR (Aktion für Gesunder Rücken) seats that welcome you perfectly and fit your body shape. However, it’s the brand new dashboard that catches the eye first, even if the centre console hardly changed at all save for a few elements lifted straight from the French car. That new dashboard is called Pure Panel and features two aesthetically linked screens. In front of the driver, there is a fully digital 12-inch instrument cluster, while in the centre of the dashboard there is a 10-inch touchscreen (7 inches in the entry-level version) which is more user-friendly to use. The full-size steering wheel does not intrude in the display view.
The Opel Grandland trumps the comfort card by making the most of its excellent running gear. It never felt less than composed on Belgium’s notoriously poor and damaged roads, even at low speeds. The powertrain is discreet in all-electric mode and doesn’t sound too loud when the internal combustion engine comes into play, the transition between the two being almost seamless. The same goes for the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which shifts smoothly and accurately in either way… just don’t be tempted to use its Sport mode.
I don’t like it
Despite its overall appearance, the Hybrid Grandland is not the most dynamic SUV available on the market today, I felt really short-changed with the Grandland. The weight penalty over the 130 HP petrol version is almost 400 kg (1,807 kg for the 225 HP Hybrid compared to 1,431 kg for the 130 HP one). However, it will get you very briskly from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8″9. Provided you still have some kW left, getting the car up to speed shouldn’t be disappointing.
Why I buy it
Perfectly in tune with the times as far as its interior and exterior design is concerned, the Grandland is true to Opel’s reputation. Fit and finish are pretty good and in line with its price, comfort is decent, even if on the rather firm side. Its road manners are on the safe side and always predictable, provided you don’t overstep the limits of physics dictated by its sheer mass. This hybrid version will satisfy the needs of business users and drivers who will be able to get very interesting fiscal rates using it, even if the average motorist doesn’t care about that.
Why I don’t buy it
We still have a hard time playing the plug-in hybrid game because there are no easily accessible charging stations in our neighbourhood. Which means that once the battery is empty, after about thirty kilometres, we had to use the car using only the internal combustion engine and the fuel consumption figures were hardly acceptable given the current cost of fuel. For a private individual, that is. The Grandland PHEV is priced at €44,350 in the access version (Business Edition), which is a hefty sum compared to the €34,750 RRP of the 130 HP 1.2 Turbo petrol with an auto gearbox (and featuring the same trim level). The 1.5 Turbo Diesel with similar power is priced at €36,450. Which means our choice is quickly made. Long live the diesel! Eventually, younger drivers will undoubtedly think its retrained interior is already outdated… (Translation: Dimitri Urbain – Pictures: Opel Grandland Hybrid4)