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Perhaps we are unique on our island, in the North it is Vauxhall and in the South it is Opel, best of both worlds you could say. Now of course, both are part of the expanding PSA Group.

However I do remember when Opels were sold in the North, such as the Manta which not only proved popular in everyday motoring but also in rallying. Can anyone tell me, were Vauxhalls ever sold in the South?

The Frankfurt Motor Show witnessed the launch of their top of the line SUV- Grandland X, recently I had the opportunity to spend a week with the Vauxhall badged version. The term ‘badge engineering’ is used when basically the same vehicle appears in two guises.

This new SUV the best in terms of styling and proportions is the most attractive yet from the GM stable. The sporty exterior design is matched by a spacious interior, in which five can travel in comfort and adequate space for all their trappings.

The Grandland X, has elevated seating, good all-round visibility and a raft of safety technologies. It is the largest SUV in the family at 4.48 metres long, offering even more cabin space than the 20 centimetre-shorter Mokka X and Crossland X.


The new model in the booming SUV segment is primarily aimed at retail customers, sales are expected to be seventy five percent to retail. The Grandland X faces stiff competition with rivals including the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage and I am quite sure I could expand the list even further.

True you do get quite a lot for your hard earned money; standard equipment includes LED daytime running lights, camera-based lane departure warning, road sign recognition, intelligent cruise control, and air conditioning with particulate and odour filter.

Also part of the package, R4.0 IntelliLink system, smartphone projection, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There is a seven inch colour touchscreen and for music on the move, you can tune in with the AM/FM/digital radio and there is more, Bluetooth audio streaming/mobile phone portal, USB connection with iPod control

When the going gets tough the new innovative IntelliGrip traction control system; an electronic system (optional) ensures optimum road grip in diverse driving situations, and adapts the torque distribution to the front wheels depending on which of the five driving modes has been selected. This ensures the best traction and stable handling on any surface.

In order to keep in touch there is the OnStar service, giving you exceptional connectivity when on the move, while also providing a personal assistant service, stolen vehicle assistance and automatic crash response.

My test example had a 1.2 litre petrol engine with 130PS, providing reasonable performance; I would have preferred a lot more.

It’s worth noting that the 1.2 litre petrol engine is more powerful than the diesel, with its 120PS and there is no doubt that in certain markets drivers are switching from diesel to petrol power and of course to hybrids etc.

There is an Ultimate version with a more potent 177PS diesel engine delivering rest to 62mph (100kph) in 8.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 133mph.(214kph).

Prices range from £22,310 (€25,104) – £34,000. (€38,258) N.I whilst in the ROI, the Opel version is listed from €27,995.

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