Kia XCeed review

Kia XCeed

It’s time to get back behind the wheel of Kia’s popular XCeed compact crossover, which has just been treated to a facelift…

The XCeed is an important car for Kia in the UK, accounting for 10% of the South Korean company’s sales in the country during 2021, and more than half of all Ceed family sales over the same timeframe.

Just to recap, the XCeed is longer and taller than a standard Ceed hatch, and features a higher ground clearance and driving position, bigger wheels and a more rugged look.

The makeover brings a fresher exterior design, more kit and a new ‘GT-Line S’ trim level.

Kia XCeed

The design tweaks are subtle. Outside, there are updated LED head and taillights, a revised front grille and bumpers, plus new colours such as Sprint Green.

Interior upgrades are harder to spot, but apparently the lower portion of the instrument panel has been redesigned, with touch-sensitive buttons, dials and switches that control the audio volume, heating, and ventilation systems.

Meanwhile, the choice of engines is now between a 1.5-litre turbo petrol and a plug-in hybrid.

Priced from £23,395 to £32,995 for the PHEV, the XCeed line-up now consists of ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’ trim levels with GT-Line S replacing the old range-topping ‘4’ model.

Kia XCeed

Entry-level 2 grade comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 4.2-inch driver instrument cluster. There’s also a reversing camera system, cruise control, speed limiter, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, plus safety systems such as collision avoidance assist and pedestrian/cyclist recognition.

The 3 adds 18-inch wheels, privacy glass and LED indicator lights on the door mirrors. Inside, there’s a 10.25-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, along with front seats that are heated and have electrical lumbar adjustment.

The range-topping GT-Line S gets a 12.3-inch driver’s digital display, plus a 10.25-inch central touchscreen. Other goodies include special 18-inch wheels, a bespoke body kit, a panoramic sunroof, black leather and suede seats that are heated front and rear, a powered tailgate, an upgraded JBL sound system and a wireless phone charger.

The interior is perfectly decent, but compared to newer Kia models, such as the Niro, Sportage and EV6, it looks dated up front where there’s a curvy instrument binnacle and separate centre touchscreen instead of the merged panoramic, dual 12.3-inch screens.

Kia XCeed

That said, the XCeed’s infotainment system is a perfectly good and intuitively laid out display, while the interior itself is well put together with plenty of soft-touch surfaces.

The driving position is comfortable and there are no complaints in the visibility department.

There’s ample space in the cabin for adults front and rear. Boot capacity is 426 litres with the seats up and 1,378 litres with them folded down, though the PHEV’s boot is smaller at only 291 litres (1,243 litres in total).

We tested the plug-in hybrid and petrol versions of the new XCeed.

Kia XCeed

The entry-level 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engined car (badged T-GDI) develops 158bhp and can sprint from 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds (top speed 129mph).

Economy is up to 44.8mpg, while CO2 emissions are 143g/km. Drive sensibly and 45-48mpg is quite possible.

The engine itself is punchy, but vocal when pushed. That said, it settles down nicely on the motorway, while the six-speed manual shifts well.

The steering is light and accurate, body lean is well controlled and overall the XCeed is agile and delivers a decent drive.

Kia XCeed

Some may find the suspension a little on the stiff side and it’s not the most sophisticated of rides on poorer surfaces, but it feels planted and it’s more dynamic than you might think.

The PHEV combines a 1.6-litre petrol with a 8.9kWh battery and electric motor (producing a combined 139bhp) mated with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

With a top speed of 99mph, it takes 10.6 seconds to sprint to 60mph and offers up to 30 miles in electric-only mode.

In theory it can return as much as 200mpg. The reality is that your economy will depend on your journey lengths and whether you keep the battery charged up.

Kia XCeed

Drive with the battery depleted on longer journeys and you’re looking at closer to 40mpg.

Crucially, especially for business users who get tax benefits, tailpipe CO2 emissions are just 32g/km.

The XCeed PHEV is generally more refined than its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) sibling. The hybrid system itself is smooth and switches between petrol and electric, and vice versa, almost seamlessly.

It feels planted on the road and zips along surprisingly swiftly in Sport mode, while the six-speed auto box is particularly slick.

Kia XCeed

Yes, you heard right, the XCeed PHEV isn’t afflicted with a CVT gearbox like most plug-in hybrids, so no high-revving din under heavy acceleration.

More comfortable than sporty, spirited drivers will find body lean well controlled in more challenging corners.

It’s also worth noting that the XCeed PHEV can (unusually for a car of its size and type) tow a braked trailer of up to 1,300kg.

Verdict: The refreshed Kia XCeed is better than ever. Whether you go for a straight petrol or the plug-in hybrid version, it’s more comfortable than engaging, but still a great all-round package. Add the affordable price and generous seven-year warranty and it’s no wonder it’s been selling so well.

Kia UK

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

The MG HS has gone from an also-ran to an affordable PHEV frontrunner, ideal for a family – read on to find out why…

Launched in 2019, the MG HS is a worthy mid-sized SUV that has the unenviable task of stealing sales from the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Hyundai Tucson.

Sitting above the successful ZS in the fast-growing Chinese brand’s range, up until now the HS has only been available with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that isn’t class-leading when it comes to pulling power, economy or refinement.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

On the plus side it’s offered big bang for your buck because it’s priced from just £22,995, and it delivers good looks, practicality, space, a pleasant driving experience and generous equipment levels.

Fast forward to 2022 and a plug-in hybrid version has been introduced. Suddenly the HS is a serious contender. Starting at £31,095, it’s one of the best value PHEVs on the market.

Like all plug-in hybrids, it offers the best of both worlds, delivering some of the experience of an EV without any of the associated range anxiety.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

MG has used the same 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the regular HS, but here it works in tandem with a 90KW electric motor (drawing power from a 16.6kWh battery) to give a combined output of 254bhp (and 273 lb ft of torque), enabling it to reach 0-60mph in just 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 118mph. 

Perhaps more importantly, it has an electric-only range of 32 miles (plenty for most commutes). 

On paper, it’s capable of as much as 155.8mpg if your journeys are modest and you keep your battery charged up, while CO2 emissions are as low as 43g/km. That last figure is crucial for business users because the lower the emissions the higher the tax benefits.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

The MG HS Plug-in Hybrid uses a new 10-speed automatic transmission which works with both the petrol and electric motors to optimise power delivery and efficiency. Power is delivered to the front wheels only (unlike some rivals, an all-wheel drive version is not offered).

As for charging, the battery can be topped up to 100% in 4.5 hours using a 7kW home wallbox.

MG has kept things simple and there are just two trims levels – Excite and Exclusive.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

Standard equipment on the ‘entry-level’ Excite model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10-1-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, plus a 360-degree camera system. 

Upgrade to the Exclusive and it brings upgraded LED headlights, smart leather sports seats and a panoramic sunroof.

MG Pilot – a suite of driver assistance systems that gives the MG HS one of the most comprehensive safety packages in its class (helping the HS achieve a maximum five-star rating) is also standard.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

In other words, driver assistance and safety aids include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Intelligent Headlight Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection.

MG is best known as a budget brand these days, but the HS is anything but cheap and cheerful.

The cabin is well put together with quality materials (the leather upholstery on the Exclusive model is especially good). It has a solid feel and the doors close with a satisfying clunk.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

The digital driver’s display works well, though the central infotainment screen is a little sluggish and unfortunately also includes the climate controls, which isn’t ideal in hot and cold weather.

There’s plenty of space. In fact, rear passengers have a superb amount of head and legroom. The boot is a decent 448 litres, expanding to 1,375 litres when the 60:40 rear seats are folded.

Like many plug-in hybrid SUVs, it’s at its best cruising along. Most are let down by their gearbox/engine combo which invariably sends the revs shooting up if you put your foot down.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

The MG HS is one of the better ones, but not perfect. More spirited drivers will find it a little hesitant, while the engine can become a little vocal if you floor it.

That said, it’s fine if you take it easy, offering pleasantly refined driving with ample power in reserve for overtaking.

It’s no performance SUV, so don’t go expecting massive amounts of driving engagement, but it covers its brief well and feels substantial and planted.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

The transition from electric to petrol and vice versa is fairly seamless, while running in electric-only mode is beautifully smooth.

The driving position is commanding (though I’d prefer the option to be able to lower the front seats a little more), visibility is good and the ride is comfortable.

Fuel economy will depend on keeping the battery charged up and the length of your journeys, so your visits to the service station for petrol will be few and far between if you complete most of your trips in EV mode.

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

However, on long journeys where you’re almost totally reliant on the petrol engine, economy can dip below 40mpg.

The good thing about the PHEV system on the MG HS is that it will feed in the electrical assistance, leaving you with a little charge even at the end of a long trip.

Finally a quick mention for the factor which may swing it for many as the cost of living crisis bites – not only is it great value, but the HS offers peace of mind thanks to a generous seven-year warranty.

Verdict: With the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology, the MG HS is now the tempting family car it could always have been. Comfortable, safe, refined, well built and economical, it’s one of the most affordable PHEV SUVs on the market. 

MG UK

MG HS Plug-in Hybrid review

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

We test drive the first plug-in hybrid vehicle from premium Japanese brand, Lexus. Has it been worth the wait?

The Lexus NX 450h is not to be confused with the NX 350h – the former is a plug-in-hybrid, while the latter is a self-charging hybrid, which means there are no leads or plugs.

Both share a 2.5-litre petrol engine working in tandem with an 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor (or motors).

The 350h can manage a very respectable 47.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 129g/km.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

However, the 450h is – in theory – capable of travelling in pure electric mode for 40 miles at speeds of up to 83mph and can return up to 313.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as 21g/km.

Low emissions means a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rate, making the PHEV an appealing choice for company car drivers looking to cut running costs.

Whether you are a business user or private owner, if you keep the battery charged up (0-100% takes less than three hours using a 7kW chargepoint) your trips to the petrol station could be few and far between (especially if you’re a low mileage driver), because most of your journeys will be completed in near-silent EV mode.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

The second generation NX luxury SUV was launched in 2021 and boasts serious road presence and badge appeal.

Bigger and more aggressive looking than the best-selling Mk 1, the new NX sports a massive version of the trademark Lexus “spindle grille”, flanked by slim new LEDs and daylight running lights.

A sculpted profile, short overhangs and distinctive rear haunches result in an SUV that stands out from the crowd, and its competitors, which include PHEV versions of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Range Rover Evoque.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

It’s a class act inside too. Attractive and driver-focused up front, there’s a wrap-around dashboard and centre console with a huge 14-inch touchscreen.

Thankfully, Lexus hasn’t gone full-on minimalist so there are still some buttons. And naturally, there’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The whole cabin feels super spacious. It’s also plush and beautifully put together, while the driving position is commanding.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

Meanwhile, the boot can handle a useful 545 litres of luggage, extending to 1,436 litres with the rear seats flipped down.

On the road the Lexus NX 450h is smooth and relaxed. The combined 305hp from the big petrol engine, paired of electric motors and battery gives the car plenty of torque.

Acceleration is brisk when needed, and the 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds makes it one of the fastest crossovers of its kind.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

We’re no great fans of CVT gearboxes because they can create a din during sharp acceleration, but the sound insulation works wonders in the NX, so it’s rarely an issue and the power is delivered smoothly. Anyway, this is a car that’s best enjoyed cruising along in luxury.

Additionally, the transition from electric to petrol (and vice-versa) is superbly smooth.

Soaking up the lumps and bumps of the roads with ease, it offers a refined and relaxing ride, too.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

It feels substantial, yet corners surprisingly well with controlled body lean, while the NX’s steering is precise, giving you the confidence to push on in more challenging corners.

Grip and traction are great, partly down to the all-wheel drive system (there’s a second electric motor on the rear axle).

You can choose from three driving modes (Eco, Sport and Normal) which are accessed via a knob in front of the gear lever. Eco is fine for long motorway runs, but Normal will do just fine.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

There are three other basic choices too – EV for zero-emissions driving, Auto EV/HV (where the car chooses the perfect mode for the conditions) and HV (which maintains the battery’s state of charge).

Real-world fuel economy will depend on whether you keep the battery charged up and the length of your journeys, but even when it’s running in regular hybrid mode (ie when the battery is depleted) you’re looking at close on 50mpg.

The only disappointment was the EV range which seemed closer to 30 than 40 miles on my test car.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

Priced from £50,950 to £59,700, the NX is offered in three trim levels (Premium Pack, F-Sport and Takumi) and like all Lexus cars, it benefits from ‘Lexus Relax’, which extends your car’s manufacturer warranty for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Add Lexus’ reputation for reliability and superb customer service and the NX PHEV can hold its own against the best on offer from Europe’s top premium brands.

The NX was awarded a maximum five stars for safety by Euro NCAP – and it’s bursting with kit to help you avoid an accident, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and traffic-sign recognition, plus driver assistance aids such as blind spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert.

Verdict: The Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid is a practical, premium-quality SUV that’s comfortable, relaxing to drive, economical and beautifully finished. Choose the plug-in version of the NX and you won’t just stand out from the crowd, you’re buying into Lexus’s reputation for reliability and award-winning customer service. And yes, it has been worth the wait – the NX is one of the best PHEV crossovers on the market.

Lexus UK

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid review

Jeep Compass 4xe review

Jeep Compass 4xe review

We drive the impressive new plug-in hybrid version of Jeep’s mid-sized SUV…

When I first drove the Jeep Compass soon after its launch in 2018, I really wanted to like it. It was practical and looked good, but for me it was let down by an unsophisticated diesel engine, disappointing fuel economy and an underwhelming interior.

Fast forward to 2022 and Jeep has added a new plug-in hybrid version to the revamped Compass range, which will battle it out with other PHEV SUVs including the Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Vauxhall Grandland and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Using much the same plug-in hybrid system as the smaller Renegade 4xe (which is no bad thing), the new Compass 4xe has also been facelifted inside and out, and gets a technology update.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

Like all PHEVs, the Compass 4xe offers the best of both worlds, delivering some of the experience of an EV without any of the associated range anxiety.

My test car was fitted with the most powerful version of the hybrid system used in the Renegade, producing a combined total of 237bhp from the 1.3-litre turbo petrol unit. There are two electric motors and there’s assistance from a 11.4kWh battery.

On the road, the Compass works out when it’s best to operate on electric, petrol, or a combination of both, to give the ideal performance in any given situation.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

The EV mode lasts for up to 30 miles at speeds of up to 80mph, which means visits to the garage will become rare occasions for low mileage users. As with all PHEVs, it works most efficiently if you can charge the battery overnight or at work (less than two hours using a 7.4kW chargeppoint).

There are potentially huge fuel savings to be made, but even on long journeys where most of the time is spent on motorways using the petrol engine with hybrid assistance, it can return around 40mpg.

First impressions are good. The mild makeover, which includes new full LED headlights and a revamped seven-slot grille, gives the Compass a fresh new look and more road presence.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

The biggest changes are reserved for the cabin which seems to have been given a complete overhaul, with better build quality, more of an upmarket feel and bang up to date technology.

Standard features include a 10.25-inch driver’s digital instrument cluster and the latest 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 centre console infotainment system which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

There’s also a “Hey Jeep” voice assistant for hands-free adjustment of the air conditioning and media, or setting the TomTom sat nav. Slick and crisp, the new infotainment set-up is a huge improvement.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

The new Compass is a surprisingly refined cruiser, and you’d never know the engine is so dinky, given the overall amount torque on tap.

Obviously the engine becomes more vocal if you floor it and it’s no hot hatch on kickdown, but for the record, the petrol hybrid combo can deliver a 0-60mph time of just 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 124mph.

More importantly for many, CO2 emissions are as low as 45g/km, meaning business users can access significant tax benefits.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

There’s the occasional hesitancy when switching between electric and hybrid – and vice versa – but the system works well generally. And compared to some PHEVs fitted with CVT gearboxes, the traditional six-speed automatic transmission is a breath of fresh air.

Basic drive modes available include Hybrid, Electric and E-save, which stores up the battery energy for use at a later stage while maintaining range or can convert the engine into a generator to charge up battery.

There are also Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand, and Mud modes. And as you’d expect from a serious off-roader, there’s also 4WD low ratio, 4WD lock and hill descent.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

I tried a little green-laning and it coped admirably on road tyres. Compared to the opposition, it’s one of the most capable 4×4 off-roaders with plenty of traction and healthy ground clearance.

Even if you only use a tiny percentage of that ability, it’s good to know that it can in theory cope with rough terrain or extreme weather conditions, such a flooding.

A commanding driving position, compact exterior proportions, supportive leather seats and driving assistance tech (including a reversing camera as standard and an optional 360-degree camera), mean that progress in the Compass 4xe is comfortable and classy.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

The Compass handles well, feels composed and is easy to manoeuvre in town. For a relatively heavy car, it’s even quite entertaining to drive, especially in Sport mode, with body lean under control and decent grip.

Overall cabin space is not class leading, but there’s room for two adult-sized passengers in the rear, while luggage capacity is slightly down on a regular Compass, offering a modest 420 litres (1,239 litres with the rear seats flipped down).

The update means the Compass 4xe is now packed with the latest safety kit too, ranging from autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and Traffic Sign Recognition to Drowsy Driver Alert and LaneSense Departure Warning.

Jeep Compass 4xe review

It’s also the first Jeep vehicle in Europe to offer level 2 autonomous driving. Highway Assist combines adaptive cruise control and lane centring, enabling the car to automatically adjust its speed and trajectory.

Priced from £39,895, there are two trim levels – the ‘S’ or the more off-road orientated ‘Trailhawk’.

Verdict: With the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology, the Jeep Compass is now the car it always should have been. Comfortable, refined, well built, economical, easy to drive and packed with the latest tech, the 4xe is one of the best and most capable 4×4 PHEVs on the market.

Jeep UK

Jeep Compass 4xe review

Vauxhall Grandland review

Vauxhall Grandland review

Launched in 2018, the Vauxhall Grandland X was never the most scintillating SUV on the market, but it sold well. More than 70,000 found homes in the UK, along with some 300,000 in Europe.

So-called C-SUVs are the biggest single sector in the UK, accounting for one-in-six of all new vehicles sold. Popular rivals include the Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008.

For 2022, Vauxhall has treated the Grandland X to a facelift. For starters, the “heavily revised” model loses it ‘X’ and is now just a “Grandland”.

More importantly, Vauxhall has managed to transform a plain crossover into something with genuine kerb appeal thanks to design cues taken from its smaller sibling, the Mokka.

Vauxhall Grandland review

Most notably, the introduction of the brand’s bold new face – the distinctive ‘Vizor’ front end, already seen in the Mokka and also an essential styling element of the upcoming all-new Astra.

Featuring a single smooth panel that runs between the smart new adaptive IntelliLux LED Pixel Light headlights, it houses the new Griffin logo, sensors and radar for the driver assistance technologies and gives the car a cleaner, more modern image.

The rear LED lights feature a ‘double wing’ design inside a smoke-coloured rear lamp cluster. Other changes include black door mirror caps and a roof spoiler, while some models get a black roof and high gloss roof rails.

The interior has also been extensively reworked too, with a dashboard built around Vauxhall’s twin-screen Pure Panel, which includes a driver’s digital instrument display and an infotainment screen. It’s not flash, but it’s attractive, while the cabin is generally well put together and boasts soft touch surfaces high up.

Vauxhall Grandland review

Depending on which of the three trims you choose (Design, GS Line and Ultimate), the digital instrument cluster is available with either 7.0-inch or 12-inch displays, while the central touchscreen comes in 7.0-inch or 10-inch sizes.

Elsewhere, there are comfortable new seats up front, and the extensive suite of safety and driver assistance features available include new ‘Night Vision’ technology, which uses infra-red cameras to highlight pedestrians and animals in the digital instrument display, and is available in a Vauxhall for the first time.

There’s also Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), cruise control, speed sign recognition, active lane keeping, driver drowsiness alert and Advanced Park Assist with a 360-degree panoramic camera.

Priced from £25,810 to £37,375, the new Grandland is available with conventional petrol and diesel engines, plus a plug-in hybrid (Hybrid-e) with an electric-only range of up to 39 miles, making it capable of tackling a typical day’s driving for most UK motorists.

Vauxhall Grandland review

The 1.2-litre petrol develops 128bhp with CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km. Emissions for the 1.5-litre diesel (also 128bhp) are 133g/km, while the PHEV (a 177bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine and 109bhp electric motor combining to produce 223bhp) emits just 31 g/km of CO2.

In theory the Hybrid-e is capable of up to 192mpg (depending on whether it’s kept fully charged and the length of journey), while the diesel can manage up to 54.3mpg and the petrol 45.6mpg.

The PHEV is the fastest of the trio (0-60mph in 8.9 seconds), with the petrol at 10.3s and diesel, 12.3s.

We tested the petrol and plug-in hybrid versions of the new Grandland, the former powered by the efficient three-cylinder 1.2-litre unit also used widely across the Peugeot and Citroen ranges.

Interestingly, because Vauxhall is part of the same group as the French brands (Stellantis) , the Grandland shares the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross SUVs.

Anyway, the petrol engine is punchy and smooth, delivering more power than its small capacity might suggest, and the official fuel economy is realistic in everyday driving.

From initial orders, it looks like the PHEV variant will account for around 25% of Grandland sales.

The overall driving experience for both versions is comfortable and surprisingly refined. It feels substantial and composed on the road, and manages to stay admirably flat in faster, more challenging corners. If anything, the petrol version is slightly more nimble.

Vauxhall Grandland review

There’s a high driving position and visibility is good, while the light steering means its suited to city driving too. The PHEV is even better because it can run silently with zero emissions.

Obviously there’s more power on tap in the Hybrid-e, though it does feel slightly heavier thanks to the addition of its 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motor.

The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and there are three drive modes on offer: Hybrid, Sport and Electric.

Hybrid is the default mode and is the best of both worlds, optimising fuel efficiency and driving performance, and the switch between petrol and electric power is almost seamless. Sport delivers maximum power from the petrol and electric motors, while Electric switches to near-silent EV mode.

Vauxhall Grandland review

Naturally, there’s also brake regeneration – a system that recharges the battery by harvesting power otherwise wasted during deceleration, though the effect is subtle.

Like all PHEVs, it operates most efficiently if charged at home overnight. For the record, 0-100% charge times range from 5h 45m from a domestic 3-pin to 1hr 45m from a 7.4 kW home/public chargepoint.

The revised infotainment system is a definite improvement over the outgoing Grandland X. It’s functional and logically laid out, though the centre touchscreen could be bigger and the display is not the clearest or brighter on the market. On the plus side, it does feature short-cut buttons below the screen.

There’s plenty of space for adults front and back, while the luggage capacity ranges between 514 and 1,642 litres on the petrol and diesel versions, and 390 litres/1,528 litres for the plug-in.

Vauxhall Grandland review

So, the Grandland is much improved, and while it isn’t best-in-class, it offers great value for money, with prices starting lower than the outgoing Grandland X range.

The entry-level petrol and diesel powered cars deliver decent fuel economy, but it’s the plug-in hybrid that could offer the most savings, not just for low mileage private owners, but on the fleet side too.

The Grandland Hybrid-e falls into the 11% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band during the 2021-22 financial year (rising to 12% in 2022-23), representing a significant saving for business users.

Verdict: Vauxhall has worked wonders with the Grandland, transforming it from a worthy crossover into a distinctive, comfortable and practical no-nonsense family SUV that delivers great value for money.

Vauxhall Motors