As Ireland went into a second lockdown due to the pandemic we found ourselves in the company of the Opel Grandland X PHEV for six weeks. This is Opel’s first plug-in hybrid and it has been engineered to contribute in the electrification of the German brand’s entire product offering by 2024. We have spent time in the Grandland X before powered by a 1.2 petrol engine and although the styling, space and finish were all adequate it did feel a little underpowered when you had four adults on board. Those issues are gone in the Hybrid and buyers will not be felt wanting for more power by any means. This car’s powertrain comprises of a 200hp, 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric drive system with two electric motors combined to give an additional 109hp through the all-wheel drive train. You have a choice of four driving modes like Hybrid, Electric, AWD and Sport. In hybrid mode the car automatically selects the most efficient method of propulsion. When travelling at low speeds the system switches to electric mode for zero-emission driving. Flick to pure electric mode and you can cruise up to 56 kilometeres on the 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery. All Wheel Drive mode is established combining both the electric and petrol drivetrain giving you permanent all-wheel drive with the best traction. Sport mode is not somehting you see often on a vehicle like this and if you do, it rarely does anything of notice. On the Grandland X Hybrid this is not the case. Engage Sport and the SUV combines the maximum power from the 1.6 petrol and the electric motors to give you 300hp and a real dynamic drive!
Our test vehicle in Elite trim was fully loaded with black electric heated and cooled seats. It had a simple to use 8-inch infotainment system with everything you would expect and some nice hot keys postioned below for fast access to essential information. Click the ‘EV’ button and hybrid-specific info is relayed on the screen allowing you to see exatly what source power is coming from. The Grandland X Hybrid4 comes with a 3.7kW on-board charger, with an optional 7.4kW version also available. Opel also offer devices for fast charging at public stations, as well as wallboxes at home. For our test drive, we used a 7.0kW wallbox home charger and we could comfortably charge the battery in just under two hours. There is also an ‘e-Save’ function on the infotainment system that allows you to determine how much battery energy needs to be reserved to ensure that the vehicle reaches its destination when in a zero-emissions zone, which we will no doubt one day have! The driver can choose to save a certain percentage of battery power for these zones. As expected regenerative braking plays a big part in the drive also capturing kinetic energy during deceleration that would otherwise be dissipated as heat.
As mentioned above, the Euro 6d-TEMP-compliant petrol engine and electric motors combine to produce just shy of 300hp and offer a combined fuel consumption of 204mpg (1.4 litres/100km) whilst putting out just 34g/km CO2. The 0-100 km/h sprint comes up in just 5.9 seconds so if it’s power you are after, you will find this drivetrain more than sufficient.
The conventional petrol and diesel version was crash tested by NCAP back in 2017 where it scored the full five stars. This was in no doubt down to the Grandland’s impressive Safety Pack, which features forward collision alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and a driver drowsiness detection system. Side blind zone alert also helps to avoid collisions during lane-change manoeuvres when an object is detected in a blind spot. The system displays a visual alert in each exterior mirror if it detects an object that may not be visible to the driver. In addition this pack also adds keyless entry, high-beam assistance and rear parking sensors. The Grandland X Hybrid is coming in with a price tag of €47,415 for this range-topping 300hp, four-wheel-drive model. For some this might be a strecth too far at this price point but there is an alternative. Opel offer a front-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid variant with 225hp €36,645. PCP offerings are also available from €346 per month with 2.9% APR with 3 years servicing included.
After spending six weeks with the Opel Grandland X Hybrid4 we can safely say it’s an impressive machine. Comfortable to drive, ample space for occupants and with 490-litres of boot space its mighty practical. For days we done the school run on battery power alone and when the restrictions lifted further journeys allowed us to explore the real potential of the combined engine and electric motors. The one thing we will say is to make sure you have access to a home charger. Like so many of these PHEV style vehicles they are designed to have the batter topped up every night. If you get lazy and run the petrol engine only fuel consumption drops dramatically. These vehicles are designed to work in harmony allowing the technology to get you to your destination in the most efficient manner. Either way, take a test drive! We think you will be pleasantly surprised.