Ineos Grenadier 2023 review: Off-road colossus breaks cover

Ineos Grenadier 2023 review: Off-road colossus breaks cover

If you were in the business of car manufacturing and looking to showcase the capabilities of your off-roader, you could do worse than plan a weeks-long trip from the far reaches of northern Scotland down to London, England, taking in the toughest terrain en route.

This, then, is what Ineos, a new swimmer in the SUV fishbowl, did to showcase its new rough rider, the Grenadier.

The UK company invited dozens of reviewers from around the world to take part in chunks of the trip, giving everyone the chance to sample some serious action at the wheel of its beloved new creation.

This is a vehicle that has been in the planning since 2017 and, while there have been some prototype mini-test drives in the past year or two, this was the first time reviewers got to experience what this all-terrain behemoth could do over a decently long period.

Ineos is a global chemical company, so the firm’s move into car manufacturing is a sideways step and a half.

The story goes that chief executive Jim Ratcliffe was having a drink in a London pub when he and some like-minded individuals hatched a plan to create an old-school 4×4 with all the capabilities modern technology could offer such a vehicle.

And the bar in question was called The Grenadier, hence the name of the final product.

A lot of modern SUVs have adopted an almost swept-back look, with aerodynamics evidently being a consideration.

The Grenadier has not bothered with this, the vehicle is boxy, giving the impression early designs may have been constructed from Lego or, more possibly, house bricks.

That doesn’t make it unattractive though — the first impression you get from a Grenadier is one of safety and security.

And those initial feelings don’t prove false when you get the car out in the wilds.

Crashing over rocks, tackling mud and snow, tearing through water … these are all in the Grenadier’s lexicon and it handles them with consummate ease.

Simple drive modes are not sufficient for a vehicle this dedicated to getting its passengers through the harshest conditions intact, so you have buttons on the ceiling, more buttons on the centre console, and a stick to alter the wheelbase configuration.

Strangely, it’s not difficult to get your head around, but being shown which sequence was just right for when you’re going up, down, through gravel, water, or any territory you can think of, was useful.

You could just jump in and drive a Grenadier like any normal car, but you’d need an instruction manual to help you let loose its more hardcore capabilities.

Inside, the layout is functional, which is what you’d expect from a vehicle of this ilk. However, it is also supremely comfortable in the cabin, which not always what you’d get from a vehicle of this ilk.

The one surface the test trip failed to take on was dry sand, but it isn’t a tremendous leap of faith to conclude that won’t be an issue for the Grenadier. Early shots of the vehicle being tested in the desert seemed to indicate few problems.

That being the case, keep an eye out for it on a dune near you because it’s likely to appear sooner rather than later.

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