The Top Reasons a Vauxhall Grandland X should be your next car

Vauxhall Grandland X, 4x4, SUV, Car in field, Car in front of Logs, New car

We recently had the privilege of working with Vauxhall when they sent us their brand new SUV and Life HaX tool, to put them through their paces in the modern world. Whilst the SUV may not spring to mind as a must have car in your twenties or thirties – we may have the answers that will change your mind.

The Grandland X

A crossover of ultimate proportion, the Grandland X is Vauxhall’s latest SUV model. Crossover by name, crossover by nature…for someone in his twenties, this car has all the sass that I’m looking for with city living, but could easily ‘cross-over’ into delivering something quite grand in the country.

The Grandland X represents the balance between the functional and emotional benefits of owning a car; it’s both a highly spec’d SUV, ideal for all kinds of family needs, as well an attractive and boldly styled car, adding a sense of ‘grandness’ to the driver’s lifestyle.

Vauxhall see the Grandland X as a car that reflects their adventurous personality – it’s primarily a lifestyle choice, though it has clear functional advantages. Yes, it’s a practical family car for your growing brood, but it’s also quite the toy for any singleton.

The Life HaX tool

Vauxhall Life HaX tool, New tool, Life HaX

Whether you’re a single tech lover or a family man who needs something to help you focus with a car full of kids, the Life HaX tool marks the launch of the Grandland X, the new SUV that was designed with modern parents in mind and has seen Vauxhall Motors look into the ever-changing role of parents to understand what life hacks can help make their lives easier.

The resulting hand-held Life HaX tool helps multi-tasking parents so they can concentrate on enjoying adventures with their family;

  • Lego un-picker – to stop you breaking your fingernails trying to unpick your children’s Lego
  • Wide-angle lens attachment – for those all-important Instagram snaps
  • Macro lens attachment – for awesome close-up photography
  • Power bank – for when your phone runs out of battery on the move
  • iPhone pin – for removing the SIM from your phone
  • Torch – for when you can’t see under the sofa or the back of the boot to find your children’s lost toys
  • Stylus – to give that extra precision when drawing on your tablet
  • Knot un-picker – for when the kids get in a tangle
  • Screwdriver – because traditional household jobs haven’t gone away

With so many tools, ideally you need a bag to carry the Life HaX in. However, if you’re the head honcho of your brood, I imagine you’d have rucksacks or bags to be able to throw the tool in.

It’s greatest bonus for me was the phone charger!

The Reasons you should consider the GrandLand X and Life Hax Tool

A stylish steer

Man driving 4x4, SUV, Vauxhall Grandland X, Sat Nav in car, inside a car

The Grandland X looks as good as it feels to drive – it’s very easy admire its elegant lines, two-tone roof and big alloys. It’s a stand out vehicle when competing for attention in a multi-story car park.

You’ll notice that the new SUV for Vauxhall has taken a slightly different approach to the recognizable style of the brand, something I think brings it into the current era and boasts hope for the years to come.

Unbeatable tech

Boasting an on-board touchscreen, which in the 8-inch configuration tested (there’s also a 7in version) has crisp graphics and is both simple and responsive to operate.

As you’d expect these days it’s all fully connected, whether it’s via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, a simple USB lead or WiFi. The latter forms part of Vauxhall’s OnStar service, a call centre staffed by advisors who can book hotels or parking spaces for you before sending details to the satnav. Equally as useful, it will alert the emergency services if the car’s airbags are deployed.

A comfortable and spacious ride

Man getting in a 4x4, Vauxhall Grandland X, White Jeep, New Car, Car in Field

The Grandland X is certainly roomy enough to be taken seriously, as well as taller than the two-tone floating roofline might suggest. Its boot capacity is matches its competitors if not easily beats the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar challengers. What’s more, the space itself is easy to use thanks to a square shape, flat loading lip and a dual-height boot floor on all but the base model. The rear seats can be folded flat too, albeit only in a 60:40 split rather than the 40:20:40 of some rivals.

If you’ve got a big family, it may not be possible to transport everyone in one vehicle unless you drive an SUV. If there’s a darn sight more of you than some families, you need to get from point A to point B at the same time and all you own is a small vehicle, you’re going to have to make multiple trips or take multiple vehicles. One trip in a big SUV, and you’ve saved fuel, taken up less space in traffic and in the car park, and made maximum use of your resources.

The Grandland X has 1,652 litres of boot space, so you can fit all those bulky items safely away, without compromising the seating area.

Unstoppable safety features

Now, whether you’re a family man or one of life’s Casanova’s something you can agree on is road safety. From the first day of the seven-day trial we had with the Grandland X, we noticed it’s unrivaled amount of safety features. Vauxhall have emphasised the attention to safety that’s built into the new Grandland X. Driver Drowsiness Alert has been added to an already impressive array of safety features including collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

The dashboard includes a speed restriction notification system, and easy to use control panel near the gear stick for quick access – the number of alerts really enhance the comfort of driving.

Not forgetting the adaptable Life HaX tool, which also plays a big part in controlling the vehicle and making the driver’s life easier.

The Grandland X has an excellent diesel to mileage ration! More cruising for your money!

Back in the old days (five or more years ago), many SUVs were inefficient diesel hogs. But now, there are most SUVs that are rated to achieve over 30 miles per gallon on the highway, still retaining the capacity and benefits of an SUV.

We worked out that the Grandland X 1.6-litre diesel is the best performer, which promises 70.6mpg in manual guise and 65.7mpg with an automatic gearbox.

That figure drops a bit if you pick the 2.0-litre version – that car is auto only and weighs in with a still reasonable 57.6mpg.

Road tax for 12 months is a very reasonable £140.00.

Your dog will love the Grandland X!

Man and dog in car, man in 4x4, 4x4 spacious,Vauxhall Grandland X, Vauxhall, dog

This one is true — dogs do love SUVs. Ask any dog, and they’ll tell you. In fact, a few manufacturers have even put out dog-friendly editions of their SUVS, strictly to appeal to dogs (and dog owners). Ultimately, using a few accessories, like a pet barrier or pet carriers, you can turn your SUV’s cargo bay into a safe haven for your dogs during travel. It’s not safe to allow your dogs to roam freely through the cabin of your car — they may interfere with your operation of the vehicle, or worse, become dangerous projectiles in the event of a collision.

The stats

RRPFrom £21,595

Dimensions4,477 mm L x 1,811 mm W x 1,630 mm H

Fuel economy51-71 mpg combined (44-60 city, 58-81 highway)

Towing capacity1,100 to 2,000 kg

Engine1.2 L 3-cylinder, 1.6 L 4-cylinder diesel, 2.0 L 4-cylinder diesel.

View the Vauxhall Grandland X and Life HaX tool, by hovering over the links.

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2016 – Tanzania, Day 10

Day 10, 25th January 2016

We had very little to do on today, besides ensuring that we were at Arusha airport in the late afternoon to catch our flight to Addis Ababa, where the second half of the holiday would begin. At the booking stage, we’d identified the Ethiopian Airlines flight as being the cheapest option to get us to Arusha; an added bonus was that Ethiopian Airlines didn’t mind how long a stopover we had in Addis. The upshot was that Kate and I had decided to take the opportunity to explore Ethiopia for two weeks. Martin couldn’t take the full fortnight, but was going to accompany us for the first day.

In the meantime, we had little to do for the full day, so we ventured out of the hotel to have a little poke around Moshi town. Being honest, there wasn’t a whole lot to see, but we gamely had a look around the market and at a few souvenir shops. We also bumped into the Venezuelans, who were similarly killing time, and exchanged email addresses. Ike promised to email us details of their trek that they’d undertaken the year before in Nepal, which we’d liked the sound of.

DSC01146a (2)

After lunch, we sat around in the hotel garden playing cards, until it was time for our transfer to the airport. After the usual emigration business, we had a couple of hours at the pleasant airport to kill, which again was spent in card playing and reading. The Ethiopian Airlines flight was on time and took a couple of hours, during which we were served a nice chicken curry for supper. We’d had this same chicken curry on both legs of our flight out from Heathrow, and Kate and I were to experience it several more times during our trip around Ethiopia. The airline was very much a one-trick pony when it came to catering.

It took us quite a long time to get through immigration at Addis Ababa, owing to a not particularly clear or organised system involving buying visas, but this at least reduced the amount of time we had to spend waiting for our luggage. Finally, we emerged into the main airport hall, where we were met by a driver who had arrived from our hotel, the Lion’s Den, to transfer us.

It was dark by now, but we enjoyed the drive through the city, which was unexpectedly short. Addis has a big highway leading right from the centre direct to the airport, and there was little traffic, so it really didn’t take long. After checking into the hotel, we went to our rooms – or, I should say, our suite. Kate and I had essentially a whole flat, with living area and kitchen as well as a bedroom and bathroom. We were very satisfied, and retired to bed eager to explore the following day.


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India Day 3: Serenity and Chaos

Today we left Delhi and on our way out of town, we stopped by one of the most famous buildings in India: the Lotus Temple.

This beautiful temple is the place of worship for a universal religion that accepts everyone. Not only did the perfect symmetry and modern architecture impress me from the outside, but the inside blew my mind as well. Inside, everything was very simple. The only things found were chairs, a podium for the speaker, and an echoing voice. One person would stand at the podium at a time and either say a prayer or sing. The words, especially the singing, rung through the temple and bounced off every wall, filling every space and corner of the room. It was amazing to hear such a large room vibrate and be filled with so much noise that came from only a single voice. When the singing would stop, there was only silence. For as filled with noise the room was before, it was just as empty with silence. Those 15 minutes we sat inside were probably the most relaxed and calm I had felt the entire trip.

If I had to describe the wonders of the Lotus Temple in only a few words, it was like a distraction-free vacuum designed for meditation.

After leaving the Lotus Temple, we continued our way out of town and drove about 4 hours to Agra.

Here, we visited the Taj Mahal which is even more amazing of a spectacle and much, much older than the temple this morning.

Similar to the Lotus Temple, the Taj Mahal is completely symmetrical from all sides. It is an amazing and grand structure which pictures can not grasp the beauty of.

We decided to take a look inside the Taj Mahal which was definitely not our greatest idea….

We had to wait in line for entry, and the closer we got to the entrance, the closer everyone became. Soon, I had people pressed against me on all sides and I wasn’t even voluntarily moving my own legs forward; I was just being pushed forward. This continued for about 15 minutes, through the door, around the two tombs inside, and out the door on the side. I would call that trip through the Taj Mahal chaotic, but I’m not even sure that word fully encompasses the entire experience.

It has been extremely hot here in India these last few days, but I can say that after I got out of that hoard of people, the 100° air outside felt refreshing and cool.

That isn’t to say the inside isn’t beautiful and impressive, but it definitely doesn’t compare to the outside.

One thing I’ve found really funny and entertaining throughout this trip is that each one of us in our group has had people come up and ask to take photos with us. And once one person comes up, another gets the idea and asks again for photo after photo. It can get pretty crazy and overwhelming when people keep taking photos; sometimes we just have to walk away and say we have to go, apologetically.

A lot of times, we don’t ask for a photo in return, but we really wanted a cute selfie with these adorable kids.

Another thing that amazes me about this whole trip in general is the colors, especially of the clothing. Colors that would stand out in a crowd in the United States just blend in here because everyone is wearing such bright and beautiful clothing. This man’s turban was too fun not to take a picture of.

Back at the hotel, we looked out the window and noticed a gorgeous view of the Taj Mahal.

Today wasn’t a day filled with seeing many different sights, but what we did see completely took my breath away. From the silence and serenity of the Lotus Temple to the grandeur and chaos of the Taj Mahal, I loved every minute of it. Not only was today a glimpse of some more of the architecture of India, but another glimpse and better understanding of the people as well.

Everything I have loved about this trip, all of its ups and downs, serene and chaotic moments, and it’s true wonders, all comes back to the people. Watching the awe, joy, respect, and excitement of not only the people of India but my own group as well has made me realize how amazing of an opportunity this actually is. I am so grateful for the experience to be here, more aware of a whole different way of living and interacting and appreciating a diverse history and culture that isn’t even my own. I hope that the rest of the trip continues to be just as eye-opening as it has been so far.

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