Opel Grandland SRi review: are three cylinders enough for a family SUV?

David Linklater
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Grandland brings colour, but it costs: $950 for this Cobalt Blue.


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Base price
Body type
sport utility vehicle
Boot Capacity
CO2 level g/km
Fuel Consumption (l/100km)
Maximum power kW
Maximum torque Nm
  • More sporting than your average family SUV
  • Powertrain full of character
  • Spacious rear seat
  • Jerky powertrain in town
  • Firm ride and road noise
  • Older than sister Astra and Mokka models

It’s the newest addition to Opel New Zealand’s model lineup, but in some respects the Grandland is the grandaddy of the whole Opel/Stellantis relationship.

Grandland was developed on the Peugeot 3008 platform and launched back in 2017 (as the “Grandland X”), when the two companies were still completely separate. As we now know, Peugeot-Citroen took over Opel later that year, and in 2021 both came under the Stellantis umbrella (joining Fiat, Jeep and Ram).

So the Grandland saw the future… sort of. Anyway, it’s still going following a 2021 facelift that brought the look and feel a bit closer to the latest Opel stuff, including that distinctive Visor front panel that makes it look like an EV.

This one’s not, by the way. It’s the SRi, with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine and pretty much everything that’s going in terms of standard equipment. Those headlights look fancy because they are: “IntelliLux adaptive LED Pixel” units.

That distinctive Visor front panel makes Grandland look like an EV. This model's not, by the way.

That tiny engine is familiar from other Stellantis product, but we haven’t seen it in a family-sized SUV before: the Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross both have a 1.6-litre engine.

In fact, Grandland is on the smaller side of medium for SUVs, with an overall length of 4477mm (a Mazda CX-5 is 4550mm, for context). A bit of a lightweight, too: just 1386kg at the kerb.

Opel prides itself on being an EV brand, so yes – there is also a plug-in version of the Grandland.

A tiny engine’s okay, then? We shall see. But for now, let’s take a look inside. Ostensibly it’s very much Opel-2023, with twin digital displays that look a bit like the so-called Pure Panel layout in the Astra and Mokka. But bearing in mind this is the oldest of the Opel range sold in NZ (even though it’s the most recent to be launched), it’s not quite there. The instrument display and infotainment screen are very separate – the former’s even set into the dashboard quite a bit further.

It’s all well laid out and relatively easy to navigate, though. The infotainment screen initially looks quite big, but when phone projection is running (wired Apple or Android) the actual display area is smaller than a decent-sized mobile phone, with the left and right borders taken up by climate information.

The USB ports are of the A variety, not C like newer models; but you get two front and two rear, so the family will still be able to charge their devices without car-fights.

It’s a smart-looking cabin and there’s plenty of texture in the dashboard and door panels. Peugeot-aware drivers might notice the distinctive handle-like gearshifter from the 3008.

Being a high-spec SRi, the Grandland gets Alcantara front seats that come with the big tick from German back-health organisation AGR. They might be a slightly hard sell in the showroom, because they initially feel quite… hard. But spend some time in them and they really are excellent.

Grandland is impressively spacious in the back, despite modest exterior dimensions; the boot's a really decent 514 litres too, although you have to rely on height as much as depth.

And now, that powertrain. As with other 1.2-litre Stellantis models, the little triple is packed full of character but a bit jerky in town, the eight-speed gearbox often struggling to get off the line smoothly. The stop/start doesn’t help: there’s quite a delay before it fires up, meaning the car can roll back on hills if you don’t anticipate the restart.

It’s not fast, by the way: over 10 seconds to 100km/h is fairly leisurely in anybody’s terms, but it’s still a lot of fun getting there.

While you’re sitting in those AGR seats, you may also notice the ride is pretty firm. That’s partly due to the large(ish) 19-inch wheels and partly just because the SRi has semi-sporting aspirations.

Which it does achieve, in its own way. The 1.2-litre engine is a hoot when you really get going and the automatic transmission gets smoother and more proficient the harder you use it. The steering has quite a bit of substance and the chassis is controlled and stable at speed. This is one family SUV that’s not averse to a few open-road antics. The opportunity cost being that stiffer suspension and quite a bit of road noise on coarse chip.

Look at it in context of the wider Stellantis group and the Grandland forms a neat trio with the other SUVs on the same platform. The Opel and Citroen C5 Aircross sit at opposite ends of the size and sportiness spectrum (by which we mean the C5 Aircross is biggest and most comfy), with the 3008 in aiming for a balanced package in the middle.

Opel prides itself on being an EV brand, so yes – there is a plug-in version of the Grandland. The SRi Hybrid combines a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with 13.2kWh battery pack (a similar powertrain to the Citroen C5 Aircross) that gives 67km electric range.

It does cost: $77,990 (less a $4025 Clean Car Discount), meaning a real-world $22k premium over the otherwise-identical SRi petrol. The PHEV is much more powerful of course, with a combined 165kW/320Nm, but it’s also 360kg heavier. Could be an interesting comparison.

ENGINE: 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder
POWER: 96kW/230Nm
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, FWD
0-100KM/H: 10.3sec
CONSUMPTION: 5.4l/100km, CO2 125g/km (3P-WLTP)
PRICE: $51,990


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