Vauxhall’s are everywhere. And yes, I know you start noticing or spotting cars wearing the same badge as yours, but this is next level. There’s literally a Vauxhall at every turn – of all eras too – and I’m amazed at the variety proudly wearing the griffin badge, from fresh out of the showroom, right back to the 90s. It’s a great testament to the car’s durability. Have you heard of the Festival of the Unexceptional? It’s a sort of Concours d’elegance for the mainstream of yesteryear, and each year there’s an overall winner. This year the top prize went to a Flame Red 1994 Vauxhall Astra Merit. That’s right, in poverty specification, and back in the day they were everywhere. Fast forward thirty years and we should expect to see the Grandland on display at the Festival of the Unexceptional waving the flag for Vauxhalls of this era.
Here’s also something I didn’t expect to happen with the Grandland… We went to Sainsbury’s – I know how to live – jumping out and already arguing with the other half over who had forgotten the carrier bags, I heard a distant ‘excuse me, mate.’ It was distant and I was mid bicker, so ignored it. Then it came again, this time a little closer, which got my attention. Turning around to see a smiley and, more importantly, friendly looking bloke. ‘I just wanted to ask about your Vauxhall, do you mind if I have a look?’ I genuinely thought he was taking the mickey, or we had time travelled thirty years to the future. But no, he was very interested in my Vauxhall. ‘This is the new Grandland isn’t it, I haven’t seen one in the flesh yet.’ ‘Errm, yeh’ I replied, still trying to work him out. ‘I’m looking at one of these to replace my Mokka, it’s been a great car, but I need something bigger.’ ‘I’ve had Vauxhall’s my whole life.’
Well, that’s what this Grandland is here for, promotion, so that’s exactly what I did. He had a good look around, was really impressed with the new look, especially in the blue – something I fully agree with – but spent even longer asking me questions about it. With my Grandland hat firmly on, I did my best to sell the car and answer his questions. He was impressed that you could opt for petrol, plug-in hybrid and diesel, but it was the diesel he’d be going for, even with slight disappointment when I told him the 129bhp figure. I assured him the combination of torque and accumulating decent miles made up for it quite well. He was also a bit disappointed that there was no sunroof option, which I fully agree with. So, there we have it, our Grandland, sat in a Sainsbury’s car park in Birmingham minding its own business, and me, as chief Vauxhall promotor, has (I’d put money on it) earned another sale for Vauxhall.