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.

Top tips for delivering the Groom’s Speech

Top tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

We suspect Harry will have a bit of professional help with his groom speech but if your wedding date is also looming, here’s a few groom speech hacks from the wedding speech experts at Speechy to help you nail it.

Cut the crap

Hmm, not very romantic but let’s face it, there’s a lot of waffle in your average groom speech. Old fashioned etiquette is partly to blame for making so many speeches generic and boring.

The only thing you need to remember is to thank

  • everyone for coming
  • both sets of parents
  • the entourage (best men, ushers, bridesmaids etc)
  • any special people like children or grandfolk

Don’t get sucked into thanking specific people who’ve travelled far or anyone you’ve paid (like the caterers or the venue). A long thank you list turns a good speech bad.

And don’t even think about giving out gifts during the speech. Deliver any gifts personally earlier in the day.

Start by making people smile

You don’t need to backref the father of the bride’s speech (unless you have something witty to add) and you don’t have to address your friends and family as ‘ladies and gentleman’. Prioritise humour at the top and get people smiling ASAP. You’ll relax as soon as they do.

Having said that, don’t resort to generic wedding gags. You’re looking for laughs, not groans.

Remember the adage ‘it’s funny because it’s true’. Have fun with the reality of the day and the people there… for example:

‘We’re so pleased you could join us on this rather special day. It took a lot of planning, negotiation and a few tears… but we finally found someone who was willing to sit beside (best man). The magnum of Champagne will be coming your way soon.’

Or

‘Can you believe it? (Bride) has finally given up her dream of marrying Ryan Gosling and realised a short, follicly-challenged Project Manager from Aberdeen is the man for her!’

Your opening lines don’t need to illicit a belly-laugh, but they do need to get make people smile.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

Prove, don’t tell

A heart-warming tribute to your bride should be the focus of your speech but remember every groom thinks his bride is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaaazing. The only way for this to sound genuine is – prove, don’t tell.

Stories say more than words. Instead, recount the anecdotes that show your bride’s qualities in action.

Is she a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get her’ and her friends & family will love you for it.

Finally, avoid words like ‘soulmate’, ‘beautiful’, or anything that’s overused.

Keep it short

Write your first draft, then cut it in half. As Earnest Hemingway said ‘The first draft of everything is shit’. Editing it down will make it better.

Your maximum wordcount is around 1300 words but there’s nothing wrong with a speech that’s 800 words.

Stories and jokes are better if they’re punchy. No one ever listened to a speech and said ‘if only it was longer’.

Make a promise

Yes, you’ve said your vows but what does getting hitched mean on a practical level? What promise can you make your bride which will show her she married the right bloke?

Can you promise to turn up the heating? Listen to Justin Bieber? Make her favourite key lime pie? Learn to put up a tent? Whatever it is, make it something that only she would really appreciate.  

Get your Mrs involved

There’s a big trend this year for Mr & Mrs Speeches (where the bride and groom deliver a joint speech). It makes a lot of sense and it’s also a lot of fun, adding a real moment to the day.

Of course, a bride doesn’t have to do anything on her wedding day that she doesn’t fancy but suggest it to her. It means she gets to personally thank her friends & family and it also allows you to develop your double-act routine.

For advice on how to write your joint speech, check out the Speechy guide here. The good news is it involves wine!

Cheat

Probably the best tip for those grooms with a looming deadline (or grooms who want to hang out in the sun a bit longer). Take inspiration from our American counterparts who increasingly view wedding speech services as a savvy investment.  

Sure, all blokes want to deliver an original, honest and heart-warming speech but not all of us are natural writers. Speech writers are there to help bring out the eloquent genius lurking inside every groom.

And there’s plenty of ways they can help. Speechy have developed a groom speech template that’s a bit different to the norm. It relies on your input so takes a bit of thought, but it results in a unique speech that still sounds like ‘you’ (only a bit wittier).

Speechy is staffed by a team of ex-BBC scriptwriters so you can also hire them to review your speech or you can commission them to write your own bespoke speech from scratch. Which service you opt for really depends on your budget, ability and general enthusiasm.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's speech

Prepare to deliver

A confident delivery is half the battle. Check the acoustics of the venue & hire a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).

Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Talk slower than feel natural (makes you sound more confident) & leave pauses for laughter (sometimes people need a moment to ‘get it’).

Avoid alcohol before the speech. As much as we love the stuff (we so do), the idea of Dutch courage is a complete myth. Booze has been proven to actually increase the stress hormone.

Finally, try to enjoy delivering your speech on the day. Remember you survived the stag do. You’ve got this.

If you need a bit of help, visit Speechy here.