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There is something I probably should have told my boss before I said yes to test driving the Grandland X for the weekend. I am a nervous driver. Well actually let’s be more specific, I am a nervous driver when I first get into a new car. My car, which I have been driving for a while now I am fine with, its like slipping into a comfy pair of slippers which I have had for a little too long, a little worn around the edges but comfortable. I regularly take trips to London, as well as driving all over the country on holidays which I have no issues with, but there is something about getting in a different car for the first time, having to make sure the seat is the correct distance away, rearrange mirrors, and most importantly the panic about how it’s going to drive that makes me nervous. How much brake/acceleration is it going to need? Am I going to stall it because of lack of control? There was no need for me to worry with the Grandland X.
From the moment I first started driving the car, I knew it was going to be smooth and easy to control. It does have an electric handbrake, which did take some getting used to, and I must admit at the end of every drive this weekend I did still do the action to put the handbrake on. However I loved the ease of setting off without having to think about it, and it definitely helped me do a hill start when getting home as the brake is only released when enough power is built up to smoothly set off, stopping the car from rolling backwards and easing my worry. By the time I had driven the short 10 minute journey home, the nerves had gone and I knew me and this car would get along just fine.
As soon as I got home the kids where very excited about the new car. They asked straight away if we could take it out for a drive. I was a little worried if my youngest Chloe, 4, would be able to climb up into the car herself but she managed it with ease, anything that makes getting out and about with two children a little easier is a win in my book!
Another feature that impressed all of us as a family immediately was the space within the car. The children had plenty of room in the back, and although we didn’t need to this weekend, I am certain we could of easily and comfortably sat another adult between the children in the back. My husband, Paul, is just over 6ft and one thing he always complains about in our car is the leg room. He always puts his feet up on the dashboard which I moan (he would say nag) to him about, but not only can it be dangerous in the event of a crash it also makes dirty marks on my dashboard! However in the Grandland X there was no need for this debate, he had plenty of leg room to stretch out.
Saturday afternoon saw us doing the normal task of the food shopping, with two hungry kids to feed, and 4 lots of packs up to make for school and work it can end up a mammoth task. On our way back to the car with a trolley full, 2 kids (who by this point where moaning) in tow, I simply waved my foot under the boot, the key being on me, and by magic the boot opened! Something I was far too excited about. We normally run out of boot space and end up with bags packed in under the children’s feet or bottles of pop running amok along the parcel shelf, however the ample size of the Grandland’s boot meant it all got in there! While experimenting with the car I also noticed how the rear seats can effortlessly fold down giving you plenty of extra room if needed.
The Grandland X has Apple Car Play, a modern technology which I haven’t had the opportunity to use before that made a huge difference to my journey, especially to and from the wildlife park. Apple Car Play quite simple takes some of the features you would want to do with your phone and puts them on the cars built-in display (a display by the way that was clear and simple to navigate around). It allowed me to have my google maps on the screen to be able to easily find my way to the park, I could answer an important call that I was waiting for, and it even read out text messages and let me reply just by telling Siri what I wanted to say.
With Apple Car Play you can also play music from your phone, using apps like iTunes or Spotify. My kids especially loved this feature, although I did have to listen to them belt out Let it Go from Frozen about a hundred times (please tell me my kids aren’t the only ones still obsessed with that film) it was great to be able to play my own music without relying on the radio, where you then have to put up with adverts too – a particular pet peeve of Pauls. Lots of the Apple Car Play technology, and other features like Bluetooth and the radio, can be controlled on the steering wheel making it simple to use without losing attention from the road.
The Grandland X made driving an easy and more enjoyable experience. It has lots of other useful features like automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, easy temperature control adjustment, parking sensors, sign recognition which showed the speed limit of the road you’re driving on the dash and USB charging ports for my phone or the kids DVD player we use on longer journeys. The engine is very quiet meaning I can hear the kids asking me for the hundredth time if we are there yet and there is a lane departure warning. I didn’t know what that was until the car beeped at me for going into the next lane without indicating – whoops, therefore a feature that would make me a safer driver (and probably a less annoying one!)
Overall the Grandland X is an amazing car that fits into my family lifestyle with ease. The visibility, easy control, spaciousness and Apple Car Play technology were for me stand out features. It also has Isofix for child seats and child lock which is easy to apply from the front dashboard. A key safety feature for me as my mischievous toddler has been known to open her car door herself while driving before. In fact when it came to bringing the car back and collecting mine, I really didn’t want to! Getting into my car it suddenly didn’t seem like them comfy pair of slippers I was used to and felt heavy to drive home. Maybe it is a time for me to upgrade after all.
I know you would all expect me to write a good review – especially as I have just started to work for Wilson and Co! But, Paul and I both feel certain that it would have been on our shopping list once we had done some research when looking for our next car. Functionality is key to us but it was also nice when our neighbour asked about our new stylish car – I just wish is was true!
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