With one of our leading team members, Hazza, getting hitched to his beautiful bride, Julianna, in Tauranga, we took the opportunity to take the Opel Grandland PHEV on a roadie. With its hybrid powertrain, Euro styling and SUV practicality, it too is a grand union (however, just not quite as epic as the wedding).
Now as regular attendees of Tarmac Life would know, I have already reviewed the new Opel Grandland SRi and been impressed with both its looks and the way it performs around the town, even with an arguably small (autobahn-friendly) 1.2L, 3-cylinder engine. So imagine how keen I was to test out the new Grandland PHEV.
With size, shape, style and tech all virtually the same as the SRi model, the only real noticeable difference on the exterior of the Grandland PHEV are the two rear fuel flaps, one on each side. It still has the matrix headlights, still has the front vizor, is still front wheel drive and still carries the family and all their gear with ease. It can just take them further with less energy costs and less emissions.
You see, under the bonnet, the new Opel Grandland PHEV comes with a bigger 1.6L 4-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and an 8-speed (e-EAT8) gearbox. Total combined power is 165kW and total torque is 360Nm. Top speed is 225km/h and 0-100km/h is expected to take 8.9 seconds, while consumption is 1L/100km and the same goes for emissions (1g/km).
According to the Opel brochure, fully charged (7hrs on 10A socket/2hrs on a 7.4kW wall box) the 13.2 kWh battery should give me 67km of range, however, at 100% my Grandland PHEV’s display proclaimed 52km – but fear not my friends, the spacious Opel SUV more than overachieved.
Heading off in the morning to Tauranga, the digital instrument cluster informed me that I had 38km of battery range (78%) and 520km of fossil fuel so a combined range of 558km, and just to keep to keep my Euro SUV honest, I checked the odometer 5,361km. (See if you can remember these figures).
On paper the round trip would be around 350km, but, the impetuous loving couple’s wedding venue was a solid 40 minutes out of town, at Old Forest School, which although was an amazing setting, pushed the Opel PHEV to the limit – particularly because our (ahem) guest house accommodation didn’t have a charger!
Anyway, the trip down to the mount was a reasonably uneventful one, perfect as it was a sunny Saturday and despite having some time restraints, I wasn’t in the mood to race there. In fact, most of the trip was soo breezy that I left the drive mode in ‘Hybrid’, engaged the Opel’s clever adaptive cruise control and let it do most of the heavy lifting.
I think I should point out here that the route Google suggested, took us through Matamata and over the very steep (and efficiency-killing) Kaimai’s, and we also kept the quiet cabin cool using the SUV’s AC (or it may be Opel’s clever heat pump). What I’m trying to say is that, although I was looking to test the SUV’s economy, it was at the expense of passenger comfort.
As stated before, the wedding was epic and I strongly urge you attend (or wedding crash) a Brazilian wedding. It’s loud and involving, with games, dancing, great food, and the odd beverage or two. Mind you, this could just have been Hazza’s wedding. Congratulations you two.
The next morning we were up early (to avoid the traffic) and at Macca’s for a not so healthy brekkie, before winding our way back to Auckland. Google took us on the same route back, however, we did take a side trip to McLaren Falls, another place/thing that I urge you to do.
Later, as we travelled towards the northern border of the Waikato, at 110km/h I will add, I looked down at the Grandland’s instrument cluster and it informed me that not only was I was out of battery power (in fairness that had happened the previous day), but the fossil fuel side was down to 90km too. Now call me scared, or probably tight is more appropriate, I estimated that I had roughly 90km to get home and so (not willing to pay Auckland fuel tax), we stopped at Hampton Downs’s to add a splash ($30) of premium fuel – which took the traditional-fuel side up to 280km.
Intrigued as to how efficient my drive was, I did the rough math. As you may remember, I left with 558km of forecasted (and combined) range, and an odometer reading of 5361. Prior to filling up, I had 90km of range (combined) left and an odometer reading of 5910.
Drum roll please, that meant that although my Grandland PHEV thought I could only travel 558km, in a real world situation, it actually travelled 639km (549km on the odometer + 90km left). Not bad for a 43L tank!
In all fairness, the Opel Grandland’s PHEV powertrain is more/better suited for around town/commute driving, trips that take up around 40km and therefore use predominantly EV-only (and therefore cheap) energy. BUT, as I proved, should you wish to take the Grandland PHEV on longer trips out of town, not only will the space, technology and AGR ergonomic front seats ensure that you drive comfortably and arrive safe, but the combined range is huge and EV anxiety is irrelevant – top tip though, for even better efficiency, book a hotel with a charger!