Vauxhall’s new Grandland X has made its first public appearance ahead of order books opening later this year, and the firm’s boss has told Motor1 that the Qashqai-rival will help plug an important gap in its line-up.

Speaking ahead of the Grandland X’s official reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Vauxhall MD Rory Harvey said SUVs were crucial for the for the future success of the company.

“One of the challenges that we’ve had as a brand over the last couple of years is the evolution of the marketplace and particularly the growth in SUVs,” said Harvey. “As an example, if you went back four or five years ago, we had about 74 percent of the market covered in terms of products that we sold. If you look at the evolution of the marketplace and what has happened… today we’re about 58 percent coverage in terms of our ability to be able to perform in the marketplace.”

The Vauxhall Grandland X shares underpinnings with the Peugeot 3008 – a decision made ahead of PSA Groupe’s official takeover of Vauxhall and Opel from General Motors earlier this year. At nearly 4.5 metres long, the Grandland X is the biggest car in Vauxhall’s current line-up, and it follows the smaller Crossland X as part of the firm’s SUV offensive.

Prices for the Grandland X start at £22,310, making it more expensive than rivals such as the Seat Ateca, but this reflects the extra amount of standard kit, says Vauxhall. Most buyers are expected to pay an extra £155 for the SE trim with its 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors.

Vauxhall Grandland X
Vauxhall Grandland X

While the Grandland X isn’t available with four-wheel-drive – something there’s little demand for – it does come with PSA’s Grip Control feature to aid traction in slippery conditions. There’ll be a choice of two engines: a 1.2-litre petrol turbo producing 130hp and a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 120hp. Both engines will come with a six-speed manual or six-speed auto gearbox.

Harvey added: “We do extremely well in the segments that we compete in, but today we don’t compete in enough segments, or we don’t compete in the segments that are growing really quickly. The SUV segments are some of the fastest growing segments in the UK. To be able to add to our portfolio in that particular area, absolutely gives the ability to put our foot on the gas pedal to be able to compete going forwards.”

Production of the Grandland X is expected to start in December, with deliveries taking place early in 2018.

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Gallery: Vauxhall Grandland X