Test Opel Grandland Hybrid: Is it worth the modesty?

Nearly 40 percent of all Opel Grandlands sold in Germany are now sold as plug-in hybrids, leaving the once-popular diesel far behind. It’s rather surprising that the PHEV share isn’t even higher, because relative to an expensive equipment lineup on the one hand and subsidies on the other, the plug-in hybrid isn’t necessarily more expensive, especially when you consider the standard. team. Especially since this consideration is added: The gasoline engine has a maximum of 96 kW, the PHEV from 165 kW depending on the version. We were traveling with the “small” hybrid unit.

The Grandland range has now become quite clear: there is a diesel engine and a gasoline engine, each with an output of 96 kW, and two PHEVs. With 165 and 221 kW, the two plug-in hybrids are significantly more powerful. We chose the least powerful PHEV for this test. The technical differences are clear even at first glance. Both have a 1.6-litre four-cylinder, but Opel gets 133 kW from the combustion engine in the “small” hybrid and 147 kW in the “large”. Only the 81 kW front electric motor is identical. The top model also has an electrified rear axle. The second electric motor has a power of 83 kW. Because the question comes up again and again: the system performance of plug-in hybrids is not necessarily the sum of all driving powers, as the engines deliver their maximum performance at different speeds.

The differences along the way are significant, and they don’t just have to do with the difference in system performance. Sure, the more powerful drive, which we experienced in the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, revs up a compact SUV even more emphatically. But even the weakest combination leaves little to be desired in everyday use. The Grandland is far more than adequately equipped, especially since the vehicle’s format doesn’t necessarily tempt you to constantly test how fast you can corner. No rider on the editorial team left a wish for more power in the test diary. I also found the power in E mode to be enough for swimming.

But it is precisely in this way that the two plug-in hybrids differ. In the current test car, the only electric motor is integrated between the combustion engine and the transmission. Sensitive drivers also feel the gear changes in E mode, with the eight-speed automatic converter trying to smooth them out and go unnoticed. But the weaker hybrid strays a little further from the electric car driving experience, because in the Grandland with two electric motors, the rear motor is used primarily in E mode. Its driving power doesn’t have to work its way through different translations. That feels a little smoother.


At almost 4.48m, the Opel Grandland is slightly shorter than a VW Tiguan. The format is in demand, because SUVs of this size offer enough space for families. This also applies to Grandland, with one exception.
(Image: Florian Pillau)

It’s also a bit more efficient, as you can see from WLTP, among other things. There, the most powerful version is specified in the cycle with an electric range of up to 59 km, in the Grandland Hybrid around 70 kg lighter and with a single electric motor it is a maximum of 56 km. In the test, we stayed reasonably away from that. Dependence on external temperature was noted. At 5 degrees Celsius we covered a maximum of 35 km, at 12 degrees it was 42 km at best, with a deliberately cautious style of driving.

The battery, which has a gross capacity of 13.2 kWh, is charged in three ways: in a private wall box, in a public charging infrastructure and with the standard charging block. The test car was equipped with an optional 7.4 kW charger, for which Opel charged €500. Being single-phase, only in exceptional cases does it significantly speed up charging in the garage. In one of the financed wall boxes, even the most powerful 3.7 kW charger has ended. The following values ​​always refer to a full charge, based on the displayed zero percent SoC (state of charge).

span on load

private wall box

10.9 to 11.3 kWh

public charging station

11.4 to 11.8 kWh

standard load brick

12.5 to 13.1 kWh

On average, there is an average of 1.7 kWh between the wall box and the standard charging brick, which is ensured with 8 amps, which must be included as a loss in the latter case. For the following energy consumption, extrapolated to 100 km, we have assumed the mean values ​​of the amount of energy recharged.

loaded on average

Electricity consumption extrapolated to kWh/100 km 5 degrees

Electricity consumption extrapolated to kWh/100 km 12 degrees

private wall box

11.1kWh

33:1

26.4

public charging station

11.6kWh

33:1

27.6

standard load brick

12.8kWh

36.6

30.5

These values, achieved with a deliberately economical driving style, make it clear that a plug-in hybrid SUV cannot be compared to a battery electric car, even in E-mode. Energy consumption is significantly higher. At higher temperatures than in the test, the range will increase slightly, so the actual consumption will decrease. However: It is absurd that these vehicles are tax deductible. Work is currently underway on a reform of the financing conditions behind the scenes of the new federal government. The actual high consumption makes it clear that equipping plug-in hybrids with a larger battery should not stop there. Because there is no justification for wasting electricity.

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