It’s not just me, the Vauxhall Grandland X is quite a handsome car, isn’t it? I suppose it doesn’t hurt its cause that this particular car is in the range-topping – and slightly self-aggrandising – Ultimate spec.
That name feels a bit premature for a car that only came out in 2017, like a reality TV star releasing an autobiography before the end credits have finishing rolling.
Still, if this is peak Grandland then we’d better have a look to see whether the rest of the car can live up to its rather fetching styling?
We’ll get to that – first have a look at the extra kit you get on an Ultimate car over the next trim down (called Elite Nav):
Denon sound system Heated outer rear seats Automatic cruise contro LED adaptive headlights Panoramic camera
That’s on top of the previous range-topper’s generous spec, including things like powered and heated sports seats, ambient lighting and advanced park assist.
It’s basically a Grandland X with the entire options list thrown in, plus the largest and most potent engine – for now at least.
A V8 petrol to rival the GLC 63?
No, not that – a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 175bhp and 295lb ft of torque, making for a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds.
It’s paired with an auto ‘box only and we think this is the only engine in the line-up that really works properly with the eight speed self-shifter, thanks to its deeper well of torque to call upon. In lower powered versions it’s vague and indecisive.
Left to its own devices the Grandland X Ultimate pulls really well and only gets noisy at higher revs, a zone that is deftly sidestepped by the gearbox, a task made easier by the fact it does all its best work low-down between 2000 and 3750rpm. The gearshifts are nicely pitched down the middle too – smooth for normal driving and surprisingly responsive when you’re pressing on. All this despite the lack of drive-mode settings.