Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve recently completed an extensive course of CBT for PTSD and anxiety. Those who know me have expressed their gladness that I finally felt able to access help and support after the traumatic birth of my son almost eight years ago; strangely though, it was something much more mundane that led me to take that first step towards recovery. I knew- of course I did- that I needed help, but it wasn’t until an everyday activity became more and more difficult for me that I was forced to accept it and take the plunge. It’s funny how our fears and anxieties manifest themselves. For me, it was driving. All of a sudden, being behind the wheel terrified me. I experienced my first ever panic attack last year, prompted by having to drive an unfamiliar car. Yikes. So being asked to test drive the new Vauxhall Crossland X for a week should have been serious meltdown material for me.
CBT has truly turned things around for me, and instead of taking my fears and anxieties and running away, I agreed to do it. I signed the documents, took delivery and drove through some barriers.
I don’t expect everyone to understand, but when you have a fear of driving, just being behind an unfamiliar wheel can be terrifying. The difference between now and last year is over 9 months of therapy, and a renewed passion to fight this for all it’s worth. Here are my thoughts on raising a family and driving through some barriers with the Vauxhall Crossland X.
Ok, so the first thing that I look for in a car, after I’ve assessed how scary it might be to drive it, is how it looks. Knowing very little about engines and specifics, this is a good place to start! Immediately we LOVED the vibrant orange! More than that though, the Crossland X is a really nice car to look at. It’s nicely rounded and not too big, nor too squat.
Inside is lovely too- isn’t there always something so luxurious about a new car? More than that though- the in car colour touch screen was an absolute life saver and game changer for me. One of the main reasons why driving can cause a panic from is the fear of either breaking down or getting lost. Or both. But having the sat nav right there in front of me at the touch of a button was really reassuring. And the wonderful Vauxhall OnStar is something I’d like to see every car take on board. Can I just add here too that being able to listen to BBC radio 6 music also absolutely made my day!
The star of the car for me was the Vauxhall OnStar feature. Billed as your personal onboard assistant, the OnStar feature really and truly gave me peace of mind. Features include
- Wifi hotspot (signal kept dipping in and out but I loved this feature in general)
- Vehicle diagnostics- so you can keep a track of tyre pressure, whether your oil needs chaining etc. Brilliant.
- A smart phone function so that you can control the car from your phone- this will tell you where you parked, when you need to fill up with petrol (another huge worry for me when it comes to driving), and also send directions to your satnav.
- Automatic crash response. So if you have an accident and call can’t for help, Vauxhall OnStar will call an operator to speak to you via the hands free speaker phone.
I honestly think that the OnStar feature is essential and such a great example of how technology can aid us in safety and reassurance. It’s a big reason why my trial with the Crossland X was such a success!
Let me tell you, I could tell the difference when I had to go back to my usual car (a Volkswagen Touran) because it was such a smooth drive. The gear changes were so easy and everything seemed to glide. The seats are comfortable and certainly big enough, but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough room for us all. Having three children under the age of 12, I was unable to fit three car seats along the back row, which meant that we had to take two cars if we were going out as a family. It was, however, perfect for the school run seeing as my eldest walks and the others were all comfortable and safe in their seats. I do think that if your family has more than two children you will struggle to fit comfortably into the Crossland X.
Other features to note
The boot is a really good size. We were able to fit in a full grocery shop (for 6 people) AND the iCandy Peach jogger pram plus a scooter. That’s a big boot, and an essential feature for families.
The car has a panoramic camera that kicks in and is displayed on the main screen as you reverse. The kids loved this, and I found it so useful for peace of mind and confidence in car parks! Also handy if you have taller kids in the back and struggle to see out of the rear window whilst reversing.
The EcoTEC feature means that the engine on the Crossland X is more efficient and has very low emissions.This is great news and means that you will ultimately need fewer trips to the petrol station.
We honestly didn’t want to give the Crossland X back and would have happily kept it for longer than a week! The Crossland X is such a lovely car to drive and so nice inside, the extra features really make it feel luxurious and modern. I LOVED the OnStar feature and really think that all cars should have something similar. For a nervous driver who is trying to overcome her fears, this really made the car for me. The kids enjoyed having a lot of free space in the back, although we could only fit two of them back there with car seats, which is such a shame. For families with more than two children it’s really not an option unfortunately. Let’s hope Vauxhall have plans for a 7 seater sometime soon…
The Crossland X is perfect for young families and has all the technological features a car should have in 2017. Its a comfortable drive from a reliable name and I’d recommend it to a friend. For me, the car has played a huge part in reducing my anxieties towards driving and I truly feel I’ve broken down some personal barriers just by feeling so safe and protected.
We were sent the Vauxhall Crossland X to try free of charge for a week. All opinions are my own and no monies were received.