Gareth Butterfield tests the Vauxhall Crossland X
VAUXHALL is no stranger to success in all kinds of sectors, and a classic example of this is the Mokka X. I tested it a while back and liked it almost as much as the general public seems to – they’re buying it in droves.
So I was a little confused when I first saw this, the new Crossland X. The uninitiated might be forgiven for mistaking it for a Mokka, but it’s not a Mokka, it’s a model down and it’s billed as a smaller crossover, replacing the even smaller Mervia mini-MPV.
And, while it is a bit smaller than the Mokka X, it’s not exactly dwarfed by it. In fact, it’s only about 6cm shorter. So what’s the point? Well, for some reason motorists seem to love a crossover. The Mokka X will still sell well, that much is assured, and there’s a larger Grandland on the way.
The Crossland X is actually based on a new platform which is shared with the Peugeot Citroen Alliance, but it’s not as if Vauxhall has just glued its badges onto a 2008 clone, pretty much every panel and plastic is all Luton-spec, the Peugeot key is one of the few giveaways.
And if you really can’t bear to drive a car 6cm bigger, the Crossland X makes a fairly decent case for itself. The range starts at £16,555 for a low-powered 1.2-litre petrol version and rises to £21,380 for the most expensive 1.6-litre diesel model. So it’s pretty cheap.
It’s quite attractive, too. It looks a million miles from the rather dull and terrestrial Meriva it replaces and, while it’s only available in front-wheel-drive, it’s rugged exterior looks like it’s built to last.
The interior is all standard Vauxhall fare, although there are a few quirks, such as the driver’s seat-mounted armrest.
To be honest, I found it difficult to find a comfortable driving position, and it is hardly a fun car to drive. The steering is rather numb, the suspension is a bit lumpy and the engines either peppy but noisy, or slow but frugal.
However it is practical. The boot is a great size and there’s plenty of space in the front and rear seats.
It’s also a Vauxhall, so there’s a huge dealer network, a great warranty and there’s a generous amount of kit thrown in.
Personally, I prefer the Mokka X. But the Crossland has all the right ingredients to be another hit for Vauxhall. It’s small but spacious, good value for money and looks smart enough to stand out on the school run.