Motoring review: Ultimate upgrades make Opel’s new offering a hit

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Motoring review: Ultimate upgrades make Opel’s new offering a hit
By Patrick Ward 10:55 Sunday 2nd of December 2018

The Opel Grandland X has only been on the road for just over a year, but the German manufacturers were seemingly keen to boost what was already quite a good entry into the crossover market.

The Opel Grandland X Ultimate is basically a top up on the original model, boasting better tech, trimmings and, most importantly, a much more powerful 2.0 litre diesel engine. The new turbo engine is a significant jump from the 1.2 litre petrol and the 1.6 litre diesel engines offered for the first incarnation of the Grandland X, so the increase in power was certainly to be welcomed.

Style and comfort

It’s not the most striking car on the road but it is perfectly stylish and sleek in some parts.

On the Ultimate model you get 19-inch diamond-cut alloys which are really eye-catching, while you can select from 10 different colours to style your car in.

Inside the cockpit, you won’t be bogged down by an endless list of buttons that have little use. Opel have obviously gone with the idea of ‘simple is better’, and it works very well in the Grandland X models. The 8-inch touchscreen is straightforward and no frills, with all the usual techy things you would expect from a high-spec car these days.

There is plenty of space throughout the Grandland X Ultimate, while the folding back seats are very easy to use and make the chore of lugging big objects around much easier.

There is great comfort in the leather seats, and on the Grandland X Ultimate model you get heated seats in the back as well as the front.

A panoramic windscreen makes for really spectacular views, though the Irish countryside in November fails to help that particularly nice feature fulfil its potential.

Driving

This is where the Ultimate model really sets itself apart from the standard Grandland X.

The 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine provides 175bhp and an impressive 295lbs of torque, and that makes for a much more dynamic ride. It’s responsive when you’re looking for that little bit more power, while an 8-speed gearbox is the only option available on this model.

0-100 kph in 9.5 seconds is quite good for a crossover, and there is plenty of enjoyment to be had when testing out the car’s power.

If there is one area which can be improved by Opel it is the light steering which can be felt when taking corners at times, but it’s a fairly minute problem that can be put down to its tall body and it wouldn’t be noticed very often.

The tech top-up

Aside from the major boost in power with the 2.0 litre turbo engine, the Grandland X Ultimate steps away from its downscaled version on the technology stakes.

As already noted, the rear seats are heated as well as the front pair, while the steering wheel is also heated.

The infotainment section is pretty similar to any other new model of car, featuring all the modern technology such as wireless charging, a fully integrated European sat nav and either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

There are ample safety features when driving, such as adaptive cruise control, lane switching warnings, forward collision alert and side blind spot alert.

One of the really nice additions is the 360 panoramic camera which is extremely easy to get the hang of and makes parking very simple.

Economy

I actually found this to be one of the most economical crossovers I’ve had the pleasure of driving. Opel say that it will burn 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres, which is certainly OK for a car of this size.

Verdict

Opel have really added some exciting features to the original Grandland X, and it’s safe to say that it has improved their offering drastically. The model tested here will set you back €41,595 however, so whether or not one can justify a big outlay on the Grandland X Ultimate is entirely a personal choice.

Fact box

  • Comes with an 8-speed gearbox
  • The Grandland X Ultimate is in the €270 tax band
  • 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, 175bhp
  • Base price model of the Grandland X is €28,395, while the Grandland X Ultimate model is €41,595
  • Available in 10 different colours

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