BUOYED by the success of its Mokka X sports utility vehicle, Vauxhall has dipped another toe into the SUV market with the launch of a slightly smaller vehicle in the same mould.

The Crossland X will, in effect, be Vauxhall’s entry model in the SUV sector, charged with attracting older couples, families with one or two children and young modern couples with “lifestyle” needs. Later this year the Grandland X – bigger than both the Mokka X and Crossland X – will complete the three-pronged attack on the market in what is the busiest product launch year for Vauxhall in memory.

Key to the success of the Crossland X will be the maximising of space – the main focus of its design – and the abundance of the sort of driver aids and technology treats that were once the prerogative of premium class big cats.

For instance, there’s a seven or eight-inch touchscreen, depending on trim level, an optional head-up display, phone connectivity and a rear view camera that not only provides a zoom facility but can also give a 180-degree view.

And those features are just for starters. A panoramic glass roof, keyless entry, pedestrian collision alert, heated windscreen and automatic help in the event of a crash are also on the list of attributes.

On a practical level, there’s 410 litres of boot space. Fold down the rear seats and the volume increases to 1255 litres, and the Crossland X has another ace up its sleeve... choose the sliding rear seats option and you can choose to not only increase boot space or provide more space for rear passengers.

Four trim levels are available – SE, Elite, Elite Nav and Tech Line Nav – and these come with a choice of four 1.2-litre petrol engines and a couple of 1.6-litre diesel units.

These all-aluminium engines are matched with manual or automatic transmission and offer a power range of between 81 and 130 PS. But unlike the Mokka X there is no four-wheel drive offering.

Having tested higher-powered versions of both the petrol and diesel engines, I concluded that there’s very little to choose between the two in terms of performance. Both are up to the job of carrying occupants with little intrusion in the cabin and there’s enough power on tap to ensure that little effort is required to steer from A to B. It’s probably best to avoid the smaller power units if you intend to make full use of the clever load-carrying ability.

With the exception of the entry-level petrol engine, all use direct injection systems in combination with turbocharging.

The entry-level engine is the 1.2-litre petrol with 81PS (54.3mpg combined; 116g/km CO2). Elsewhere in the range, the 1.2 Turbo with petrol direct injection is available in three variants. The efficient Ecotec engine is equipped with the five-speed manual transmission (58.9mpg combined; 111-109 g/km CO2) and delivers 110PS, while the 1.2-litre combined with the six-speed automatic gearbox is equally as powerful (57.3mpg combined; 123g/km CO2).

The top-of-the-line petrol engine is the 1.2 Turbo with 130PS (55.4mpg combined; 116g/km CO2) and six-speed manual transmission. This takes the Vauxhall Crossland X from zero to 62mph in 9.1 seconds and to a maximum speed of 128mph.

The turbocharged diesel engines come with either 99PS (93g/km CO2 and 78.5mpg combined) or 120PS (70.6mpg combined; 105g/km CO2). Both have six-speed manual transmission.

Whether you opt for diesel or petrol will be very much a matter of personal preference, because there’s little to choose between the two.

The Crossland X will sell because of its elevated driving position, clever use of space and levels of equipment. The engines are well matched and perfectly adequate.

At just 4.2 metres long, the Crossland X is more compact than the Mokka X, and 16cm shorter than the Astra hatchback, and will provide both an easy steer around town and also better visibility for the driver.

The Crossland X is priced from £16,555 to £21,380.