What is it? The Vauxhall Crossland X is a new family-pitched compact SUV.
Key features: Five engines, front-wheel-drive only, entry-level SUV
Our View: The Vauxhall Crossland X is a perfectly competent model but may struggle for visibility in an increasingly congested sector.
Type of Review: First UK drive
Well this is another example of a manufacturer striving to take as much advantage as possible of a booming sector of the market, even if it means offering, in this case, three separate models where previously one would have sufficed.
The Crossland X is designed to be the new entry point to the Vauxhall SUV range, and aimed firmly at those who like the muscular looks and the high driving position of such vehicles, but don’t want all the off-road bells and whistles such as a 4×4 drivetrain.
As we’ve said many times on The Car Expert, compact, what the industry calls B segment, SUVs are doing big business right now. Taking just 0.8 per cent of the market in 2010, they now account for 8.3 per cent.
Small people carriers, however, have gone right out of fashion, so it’s bye-bye Vauxhall Meriva, hello Crossland X. In future it will sit alongside its slightly (very slightly) larger sister, the Mokka X, with the latter offering the more traditional SUV ability including the option of all-wheel-drive.
Soon they will be joined by a third, range-topping model, the Grandland X. This car, due for its public debut at the Frankfurt show in September, is some 200mm longer than the Mokka X, yet still only a five-seater, designed to be the luxury option in the range. Confused yet?
Back to the Crossland X. It’s the first model built on a new platform, shared with Peugeot Citroën parent PSA Group in a joint project agreed long before PSA decided to buy Vauxhall and sister brand Opel. It’s being built at GM’s Zaragoza plant in Spain together with sister model and future rival, the Citroën C3 Aircross, which we will see later this year.
Next page: Design and powertrains