If you follow me on social media you’ll know that a couple of weekends ago we packed up the car and went on another family camping trip. I was very lucky in that the lovely team over at Vauxhall had given me a brand new Crossland X SE to drive for the week and I was only happy to put this through its paces to see how it faired on a family camping trip.
We are a one car family so having an extra car available to drive in the school holidays is always a HUGE bonus for us and mean I was able to do the mundane things such as grabbing the food shopping ready for our trip easily without having to walk to the shops with both kids in tow.
I’ll begin this review by stating this will not be a techy review, I’ll not be going in-depth about what’s under the bonnet of this car, talking about horse-power, revs per minute, torque etc. means nothing to me and I’ll not pretend to even understand what any of those things are. I am a Mum to 2 children, I need to know how many car seats I can fit in the back, how easy it is to put those in and how much I can fit in the boot. Those are the features which I look for when car shopping.
The car was delivered just before our holiday and as soon as we had had the once over of all the features I added the kids high backed booster seats into the back and went to do the food shopping.
As with most Vauxhall cars this has 2 full back seats and a 3 half seat in the middle, this means when I have the two high backed booster seats in the back the sides actually touched in the middle meaning there would be no room in the back for a 3rd person, adult or child.
As I was off on holiday I needed to be able to utilise all the available space, this meant putting one of the seats down to use that extra space. This model has a 60/40 seat drop option. Of course due to the half seat in the middle this meant I was unable to keep the children’s high backed booster seats in the car and had to swap for their BubbleBum blow up boosters which I only really like to use for short journeys and not for motorway driving due to the lack of side protection should I be in an accident.
The Crossland X SE is a small sized SUV, almost like a Meriva with a little more boot space. The boot was a little smaller than I had hoped due to having a spare wheel and a jack in the boot – I am used to new model cars having run flat tires and having a little extra room in the boot.
I was actually surprised at the amount I could get in the boot however but sadly it did fail the family camping test, even leaving some of our usual equipment behind such as the camping stove and gas, replacing with an electric double hob and using the space created by putting down one of the seats there just wasn’t any way I could take 2 adults, 2 children and all the equipment we needed so we ended up taking 2 cars – which actually worked well for us as Paul went home when we left camp at the end of the weekend while the kids and I went off to visit a friend.
In the boot I managed to pack: The tent (5 man tent), 2 camping tables, the food, 2 adult camping chairs, 2 children’s camping chairs, 2 campbeds, 2 ready beds, fishing rods, a cricket set and a ball. On the back seat/in the back were the coolbox and 4 sleeping bags, raincoats and boots. We later moved the sleeping bags and coolbox to our own car along with the kids scooters and clothes.
This car was lovely to drive and very comfortable and the on-board additions were what I loved most about this little car.
With an in-built Sat Nav it also came equipped with Vauxhall OnStar which is a button you press which will automatically connect you to an advisor who can help with and questions or enquiries, for example if you need to know where the nearest petrol station is you can use this function and they will not only advise you where the nearest one is but can send through the address to your Sat Nav or text it to you. You can also use this feature if you have a flat tyre or to find out the tyre pressure etc.
If you were to have a crash and the airbags deploy you would automatically be contacted in the vehicle by an OnStar advisor, and if you were unable to answer the emergency services would be sent to you location. There is also an SOS button which goes through to an advisor who can detect your location and send help should it be needed.
This also has 4G Wi-Fi enabled in the car, which you can connect up to 7 devices to – a genius idea for keeping the children amused on long car journeys as they can happily play their games or watch Netflix without disturbing the driver, you can also connect your phone to the car for hands free calls, text messages can be read by the cars computer so you aren’t tempted to look yourself and you can connect up your media to listen to your own music.
The features I liked best in this car were the parking cameras and sensors, it has these on the front and the back which is always helpful when parking or turning around in tight spots and great when you have a new car you aren’t used to driving. The sensors beep when you are close to an object and get louder and faster the closer you get, you also see lines on the coloured screen to show how close you are. When reversing there are parking cameras and not only can you see the road behind you on the screen in front of you but when parking in a bay it will display the parking bay and show you if you are straight in the bay and exactly where the car is within the bay – I found this very strange the first time I used it however after a few goes I actually learnt to trust it and it was a godsend for tight gaps and I am now left really wanting this feature in our own car. It also shows you how close to the curb you are when parallel parking.This is actually an added extra which can be added for a cost of £680.
The other feature I used a lot was the child locks, usually you engage these on the back doors which a push of a switch or a turn of a key, however on this you can push a button near to the gearstick to lock then and then unlock them, this is really handy if you have adults who sit in the back at times as it’s rather annoying for them to have to wait to be let out of the car. It also has a feature on the dash which lets you know the speed of the road you are driving on which can be handy for roads which change the speed limits multiple times and you may have missed the signs, this is displayed above the speed you are driving (of course it doesn’t display changes on the motorway for example if there has been an accident and the speed limit temporarily changed).
This is a car I really liked driving, the front seats are adjustable as is the steering wheel which is rather handy if like me you are short and there is an arm rest on the drivers seat which make for a rather comfy driving position, there is also a proper hand brake which I’m now not used to as ours doesn’t have one and a start/stop engine.
With an on the road retail price of £18,715 this is a lovely family car for a small family or those not needing to get 3 car seats into the back. The car I drove had a lot of added extras so had a retail value of £21,865 as it had metallic paint, the parking cameras, spare wheel, upgraded Sat Nav, premium lighting pack (I’ve no idea what that actually is though) and a few other things.
I was certainly sad to give this one back and the children loved it just as much as I did. I used to have a Landrover when I was Nannying, not something I would need now but I have been missing it lots, this would be a lovely alternative for me and I really do love the higher seating position and the kids being a little higher means they have more visibility.
You can read my review of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer here
Disclaimer: I borrowed this car for a week to drive in exchange for my honest opinions. All thought and opinions are my own.