First encounter with Ineos Grenadier: Should South Africans get excited over this SUV?

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Pre-production Ineos Grenadier
Pre-production Ineos Grenadier
Ineos Media

• The first South African customers will take delivery of their Ineos Grenadier in October 2022.

• The forthcoming SUV will be powered by two BMW-sourced six-cylinder engines.

• Pricing for the Grenadier will begin at R1 395 000.

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Come October 2022, the first customers will take delivery of their Ineos Grenadier 4x4s, setting in motion what Ineos hopes will become the next craze in the local off-road scene. The Ineos South Africa team recently took to a wine estate just outside Cape Town to introduce local media to their new 4x4. Though still a pre-production model, the vehicle gave a good idea of what can be expected when the newcomer arrives.

The Grenadier 4x4s on display had also just returned from a trip to the Cedar Mountains, having been put through their paces in near-50-degree weather. Despite the conditions putting man and machine to the test, each Grenadier on display completed the trip without issue. Of course, being pre-production models, these vehicles have done a comprehensive amount of testing - perhaps expected given that they are among the first ten pre-production models hand-built by Ineos.

The experience with the forthcoming SUV did not include driving experiences - these will take place around mid-year - but it gave an idea of what prospective buyers can expect when it goes on sale in 2022.

Initial impressions

Following the presentation by Ineos South Africa head Tim Abbott, media representatives were given a chance for passenger rides in the soon-to-be-launched SUV. Purposely, I opted to settle on the rear seat to experience the vehicle differently. Those seated in the front are often at the mercy of greater comfort than those in the rear.

Setting off, one is quickly made aware that the Grenadier, at least the pre-production model, is not badly set up. The chassis and suspension are compliant and aimed at being comfortable. The off-road conditions at the wine estate will not put a 4x4 to the ultimate test, but it definitely shone a light on the Grenadier's low-down grunt from the BMW-sourced diesel engine (a petrol engine will also be available). Tackling the undulations, too, showed that cabin comfort is not to be scoffed at.

We did pick up, though, that the back support of the rear bench is more upright than we would have liked. And expectedly, it can put a strain on one's back. The Ineos team did say that customers will be able to determine the angle of the rear bench depending on the options fitted to the vehicle. The pre-production models on display were all fitted with an iron mash rail to separate the cabin from the loading bay.

Ineos Grenadier
Pre-production Ineos Grenadier

Should customers be excited?

Ineos South Africa did not mince their words regarding the Grenadier. The local team is confident that the Grenadier will impress when it officially goes on sale. According to the team, early reservations have been placed, with some buyers putting down deposits without having seen or experienced the vehicle. This is because, says Ineos, avid off-roaders and adventurers want a no-nonsense, no-frills vehicle that can go beyond whatever.

To this end, Ineos believes they have the vehicle that fits the bill.

However, do we think that the Grenadier will be the roaring success Ineos is making it out to be? Well, there is merit to the madness. The vehicle is an uncompromised 4x4 where form follows function. It is designed to fill the old Land Rover Defender's gap, of which production ended in 2016. It is to this customer that Ineos is speaking, and those in the rescue services. And with three diff-locks (front, middle, rear) at its disposal, it's impossible not to think of the Grenadier as the 4x4 everyone wants.

When going on sale, the Ineos Grenadier will be priced from R1 395 000, with service- and maintenance plans, as well as warranties, to be announced closer to the launch date.

Ineos Grenadier
Pre-production Ineos Grenadier
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