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electric avenue Opel's new Grandland X Hybrid is the perfect plug-in and play mobile

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Choose from four drive modes in the new Grandland X Hybrid

Choose from four drive modes in the new Grandland X Hybrid

Choose from four drive modes in the new Grandland X Hybrid

OPEL - GRANDLAND X HYBRID

Anyone who reads my reviews lately will know I am not convinced by the 'mild hybrid' powertrain. Obviously, I believe in the science. I know it helps fuel efficiency and the environment. But I, personally, want to know what I am getting from my fancy schmancy combination of combustion and battery under the bonnet.

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Opel Grandland X Hybrid

Opel Grandland X Hybrid

Opel Grandland X Hybrid

That's why Plug-In hybrids tickle my fancy so much. When you charge it up you have an exact range on your screen; a clock that conveniently counts down to 0 when your car kicks into internal combustion mode. No questions, ifs, buts or maybes.

It is a 'peace of mind' powertrain that allows you to step into the future without fully committing to an EV. You can drive one around for years and no one will necessary know you have a hybrid and you can drive for miles and miles without any range anxiety that you may get with the a full-electric version.

So that brings us nicely on to this, the new Opel Grandland X Hybrid; a pretty decent looking SUV that offers a 50km range in EV mode before seamlessly flicking over to regular fuel when needed. The regenerative braking in this also offers up to 10 per cent more but don't ever head off relying on that.There is 1.6-litre petrol engine that is complemented by two electric motors which allows you to drive it as you want.

The Drive Mode selector is positioned next to the gearbox with electric shifter and enables drivers to select between Hybrid, Hybrid4, Sport and Electric.

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Opel Grandland X Hybrid's interior is excellent

Opel Grandland X Hybrid's interior is excellent

Opel Grandland X Hybrid's interior is excellent

Opel has ensured that 'Hybrid' is always going to be the default mode. 'Hybrid4' means what you think it means. You drive in AWD using both the fuel engine and the electric engine to improve grip on rough surfaces.

'Sport' mode allows you to floor it in a more dynamic drive when you need it and 'Electric' activates the electric engine only, for zero CO2 emissions and complete silence.

It is available in an SRi trim with 225HP front-wheel drive from only €37,895 (inclusive of SEAI grant) and if you want to go further with your spend you can opt for the top-of-the-range version at around €45,395.

For your buck you do get a lot of bang. A lot of features come as standard like dual-zone electronic climate control, ergonomic heated active front seats (which are bedecked in lovely leather), cruise control with intelligent speed adaptation, multi-function trip computer, leather- covered heated steering wheel with all the right controls laid out at your finger tips, a Versatility Pack - centre-rear seat armrest with ski pass-through (or as my daughters call it - the secret passageway) and a nice little touch with alloy-effect door sill covers.

It comes with their Navi 5.0 IntelliLink system, a fully-integrated European sat nav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all housed behind an 8-inch colour touchscreen that is slick and easy to use.

The outside is as equally equipped dominated by the 19-inch multi-spoke silver alloy wheels, panoramic glass roof, alloy-effect protective front and rear skid plates and heated door mirrors with puddle lights.

All the usual safety measures are lobbed in too like anti-lock braking system, side blind spot alert, lane departure warning, speed sign recognition, six airbags, front and rear parking distance sensors, LED daytime running lights and an emergency tyre inflation kit in lieu of spare wheel.

It's a great drive, too. It is comfy, safe and fun. The powertrain means it enjoys urban driving as much as open road motorway driving and it packs a poke when you want it to. One thing I did notice is that there is a slight hesitancy to floor it. As soon as you press down on the accelerator there is a hesitancy to go fast, as if it goes against its own better judgement. But once it does kick in you have no problem overtaking.

My concern is that even loyal Opel buyers may not know much about the Grandland X Hybrid. And that's a shame. It may not have the exciting styling of some of its peers but it is a car I would happily recommend, especially in this PHEV version.

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