At first glance, the new Vauxhall Crossland X seems like a duplication of a winning formula. The British brand is already scoring strong sales with its Mokka X compact crossover, which has only recently been facelifted. Why, then, has it introduced another model in the range that’s virtually the same size?
Because, insists Vauxhall, they’re actually two different sorts of car. The Mokka X, that’s your traditional SUV. You can have it with four-wheel drive. It has big wheels. It has tough body styling. The new Crossland X, meanwhile, is a more family-focused crossover. It’s front-wheel drive only. Its wheels are smaller. Its styling more svelte.
It’s also a taste of the future. It’s derived from a platform that will be used by the next Citroen C4 and other Peugeot-Citroen models. This predates the French giant’s recent purchase of Vauxhall-Opel, but is a sign of things to come. Indeed, in time, the Crossland X will get a bigger brother based on the Peugeot 3008, called Grandland X. And no, that won’t be a triplication of a winning formula, insists Vauxhall.
The strong-selling Crossland X is expected to be the mid-range petrol-powered 1.2-litre turbo, in 108bhp guise. This is a nice engine, with decent power and a revvy nature; less impressive is the vague five-speed gearbox – on the motorway, you’ll soon be wishing for a sixth gear.
Away from the motorway, you’ll soon also be wishing for a more dynamic drive. The Crossland X is anything but a thriller, with a fair bit of body roll and an absence of steering feel. The ride is pattery over rougher roads as well. At least the steering is light in town, while good visibility makes it easy to drive in its natural environment.
Front-seat passengers sit high, and two adults in the rear will find plenty of space within the solid interior. There’s an enormous 410-litre boot as well, and this alone justifies Vauxhall’s decision to add it to the range: it’s much larger than the Mokka X, never mind the highly compromised Nissan Juke it will be going up against. Add on a £300 Versatility Pack and you get sliding rear seats and a 40/20/40 split.
It’s a pity autonomous emergency braking is relegated to the options list, because otherwise the Crossland X is well equipped. Even this entry-level SE gets touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus dual-zone climate control, cruise control and alloys.
Does it make sense? It’s cheaper than the Mokka X, more economical and very well equipped. For those seeking plentiful practicality, it’s a decent model to consider. But we still think buyers would be better off with the comfier, quieter Renault Captur and much more fun to drive Mazda CX-3 or Suzuki Vitara.
Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2T 110 Ecotech SE
Engine 3cyl, 1199cc, turbocharged, petrol
Torque 151lb ft
Gearbox 5spd manual
Top speed 117mph
CO2/tax band 109g/km/20%
Rivals Nissan Juke 1.2 DIG-T N-Connecta; Renault Captur TCe 120 Dynamique Nav
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