Vauxhall Grandland reinvented with 435-mile electric option

4 weeks, 1 day ago - 23 April 2024, autocar
Vauxhall Grandland
Vauxhall Grandland
Flagship SUV grows with petrol and EV options; is first Vauxhall based on STLA Medium platform

The Vauxhall Grandland has been reinvented for a second generation, adopting a fresh look, a thoroughly overhauled interior and the option of electric power for the first time as it moves onto a new platform.

The new Grandland follows the Peugeot 5008 in swapping from the PSA-engineered EMP2 platform onto Stellantis’s new STLA Medium architecture, growing in length by 173mm, in height by 31mm, and 64mm in width, making it substantially larger than its predecessor.

Taking inspiration from the Experimental concept that Vauxhall revealed in 2022, it has been redesigned in line with the firm's new-era design language, with a focus on aerodynamic optimisation to extend the range of the new electric variant.

“In our mind, we said we want the car to be electric-first visually,” said head designer Mark Adams. “Even if you can go and get an ICE powertrain, it's about projecting its sleek and modern lines and not being overly decorated.”

The top-rung Grandland Electric uses the same 98kWh battery as the new Peugeot e-3008 to get an official range of 435 miles. A maximum 160kW charging rate gets it from 0-80% capacity in around 26 minutes.

A shorter-range 73kWh model is expected to be available, too, and that's set to be available with a 316bhp dual-motor drivetrain. 

The Grandland is the final Vauxhall model to receive an EV option, following the unveiling earlier this month of the smaller Frontera crossover, which replaces the Crossland.

The next new Vauxhall is expected to be the Manta, a rakish coupé-SUV sitting between the two. 

The plug-in hybrid Grandland uses a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a battery big enough for 53 miles of electric-only range.

The mild-hybrid petrol pairs the same 136bhp engine with a 28bhp 48V motor, driving the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The Grandland’s larger footprint takes Vauxhall into new territory, giving it a rival to the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.

However, Adams added: “We didn't want to go huge and the car become too big and cumbersome for people. We still wanted it to work in normal parking conditions and not be too massive, but at the same time be at the top end of the C-segment.

Simplicity was key, too, which is one reason the Grandland doesn't feature any chrome: “We're not over-decorating these things”, Adams said. “We feel it's the technology and the nice materials that people want to appreciate and not things like vents and lots of chrome.”

The Grandland’s trick new headlights use 25,600 individual LEDs apiece and are joined by a new, transparent version of Vauxhall’s Vizor visage, which features an illuminated griffin logo for the first time. Around the side, customers can choose from 19in or 20in alloys.

At the rear, the Vauxhall brand name is spelled out and illuminated as part of the slim wraparound light bar, with Grandland embossed at the bottom of the boot lid, rather than written out in chrome. 

Inside, the Grandland ditches Vauxhall’s Pure Panel digital interface for a slimmer 10in driver’s display and a separate 16in infotainment touchscreen, which can receive over-the-air software updates and is equipped with ChatGPT artificial intelligence.

At its base, Vauxhall has stuck with shortcut buttons for the radio and air conditioning controls, and physical buttons feature on the steering wheel as well. 

The wireless charging pad in the centre console has a semi-transparent casing that lights up red or green according to your phone’s state of charge.

Due to the car's larger proportions, there is 20mm of additional legroom for rear passengers over the previous car. 

Available to order from July ahead of deliveries beginning in the autumn, the Grandland should be priced from between £30,000 and £35,000 for the petrol, rising by around £5000 for the PHEV and towards the mid-£40,000s for the EV. 

Q&A: Mark Adams, vice-president of design, Vauxhall

What's your attitude to tracing heritage? 

“I always say you should have half an eye on your heritage, be proud of your heritage. But I don't want to overuse it. I'm not a great fan of [heritage design] for our brand. I want to really make us do things that are progressive and modern and not to not try too hard either.”

How can we expect your interiors to evolve in future?

“In [the Grandland], we've de-emphasised cluster. With the Astra, we have [the] Pure Panel, but for the future, we're not saying Pure Panel, we're talking about pure experience. So it's connected, but Pure Panel was more hardware-related.

So can we expect to see you go for a more minimalist approach?

That's definitely more in the direction that we're heading. We want people in the future to get into a Vauxhall in the coming years, and it may be a different interior, it may be a different car, but it’s familiar - but not in a boring way, in an easy way.

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