Tough but even tougher to justify
At a glance
  • Handling
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Practicality
  • Costs
Neat features
Capable off-road
Fun in its own way
Punchy price
Poor ride quality on road
Sub-1 tonne payload
  • Variant: Quartermaster
  • Price: £81,945
  • Engine: 3-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol
  • Power: 282bhp
  • Torque: 332lb ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
  • Acceleration: 0-62mph: 8.8sec
  • Top Speed: 99mph
  • Fuel: 18.9-19.6mpg
  • co2: 325-336g/km
  • Road tax band: £2,745 for first year; £600 for years 2 to 6; £190 per year thereafter
  • Dimensions: 5,440mm x 1,943mm x 2,019mm
  • Release Date: Summer 2024

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster 2024 review: British pick-up is a tough mudder but too flawed to be a real workhorse

A quarter of the vehicle it ought to be

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They say there’s a difference between what the public is interested in and what is in the public interest, and although that observation is made in reference to media coverage, it could just as easily be a reference to the Ineos Grenadier. In recent years, few vehicles have sparked as much intrigue before snapping up a relatively low share of the market.

But Ineos is now trying to broaden the Grenadier’s appeal by increasing its usefulness to commercial operators. Admittedly, the vehicle was already offered in commercial hardtop 4×4 form, but that’s a pitifully small market in the UK. So small, in fact, that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) produced figures showing just over 8,000 such vehicles were registered in the UK 2023. That’s chicken feed.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

So now Ineos is taking aim at the pick-up truck market, which is still small — the SMMT reckons somewhere north of 41,000 of those were sold in 2023 — but it’s about five times bigger than the commercial 4×4 sector. Selling commercial 4x4s is like trying to sell sparkling water on a little 40-seat propeller airliner but selling pick-up trucks is the equivalent of selling lukewarm lager on an EasyJet Airbus bound for Malaga. You’re only going to make more money doing the latter.

Hence the arrival of the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster. From the front, it looks identical to the standard Grenadier; at least the first two-thirds of it are. The Grenadier always looked like a socially awkward love child of a 1994 Land Rover Defender and a first-generation Mercedes-Benz G-Class — practical, yes, but hardly what you’d call beautiful. And the Quartermaster is even less appealing because it’s longer and somehow even squarer thanks to its load bed.

Although the chassis is basically identical to that of the Grenadier, the Quartermaster is about half a metre longer and the distance between the front and rear axles is about 30cm greater. That’s fine in itself, but the rear end is what gets me — its lonely-looking rear lights and the wide, low tailgate make it look like a cheap Chinese import.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

But looks can be deceptive, and the Grenadier is not cheap. Our admittedly well-equipped test car costs just under £82,000 (including VAT), and that’s considerably more than you’ll pay for a Ford Ranger. Even a sporty Ranger Raptor starts at much less than that. Of course, cheaper Quartermasters are available but even the most basic one costs £66,000, and that’s hardly pocket change.

In a way, that price reflects the amount of thought that has gone into the Grenadier as a whole. Like the “SUV” variant, the Quartermaster is available with a clever external racking system that allows you to clip useful items to the outside, and it gets pop-up (and indeed pop-out) safari sunroof panels that allow you to stand up and look out like it’s 1941 and your name is Irwin Rommel.

There are drain plugs, too, allowing you to hose out the footwells, and all the buttons are IP-rated for water ingress and pressure, giving you peace of mind about overspray. Those same buttons are big and chunky, too, which means you can use them while wearing gloves.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

Other neat touches include the decision to incorporate wiring and switchgear for accessories, as well as the neat overhead panel that’s partly there to make you feel as though you’re captaining an Airbus A380, and partly because there’s no more space on the dash to accommodate the enormous buttons.

The quality is decent — particularly in the world of pick-up trucks — and few vehicles in this class feel as well made.

Surprisingly, though, given the sheer size of the Quartermaster, interior space is an issue. Obviously, those in the front are well catered for, although there’s an annoying lump in the right-hand footwell that makes life a bit uncomfortable for the driver or passenger, depending on which side of the car the steering wheel is positioned. In this the Grenadier is not alone, as Jeep Wrangler owners will attest.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

And to ensure there’s plenty of space in the rear load bed, rear-seat passengers have to make do with tight legroom. It isn’t disastrous but taller adults might find it less than ideal on longer journeys.

Payload is a problem, too. The Quartermaster is no more useful than the standard vehicle on that front, so the maximum you can carry is 835kg. That sounds like a lot but it falls some way short of the 1,000kg required to ensure the Quartermaster qualifies for low company car tax rates and it’s way below what you’ll get in most pick-ups.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

The Quartermaster will be offered with a choice of petrol or diesel power, having inherited the same two BMW-sourced engines as the standard Grenadier.

The 3-litre diesel option is expected to account for the lion’s share of sales, and the smooth six-cylinder engine’s 246bhp and 406lb ft of torque means it has plenty of grunt for off-roading and towing. And it’s much more economical than the petrol option tested here.

Although having said that, even the diesel will only manage economy in the mid-20s. We can’t imagine customers care all that much anyway, and both engines have their plus points. While the diesel feels smooth and (comparatively) efficient, the petrol makes a better sound and has more power — that 3-litre, six-cylinder engine produces up to 282bhp, even if the delivery feels a tad spiky at times.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

But whether you choose petrol or diesel power, the Quartermaster is unquestionably epic off-road. All the overland-inspired features only hint at the capability on show, which allows the Ineos to tackle pretty much anything, particularly if you go mad with the options.

On offer are chunky BF Goodrich tyres, a winch in the front bumper, and font and rear diff locks in addition to the central one that comes as standard, as well as a selection of electrical hook-ups for gadgets such as lights, plus a raised air inlet to try and keep the dust intake to a minimum. Although often misidentified as a snorkel, this makes no difference to the Quartermaster’s maximum wading depth.

Nevertheless, that wading depth is an impressive 80cm, or just under three feet, so there’s no problem driving through deep puddles. There’s no issue with rutted roads or rock-crawling, either, because there’s 26cm of ground clearance. Combine that with the permanent all-wheel-drive system, the diff locks and the plentiful axle articulation, and the Quartermaster will be more or less unstoppable, even though it weighs a chunky 2.6 tonnes.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

But while that weight doesn’t seem to damage the off-road capability, it does appear to make more difference on the road. Admittedly, the Quartermaster drives reasonably tidily due to suspension that stops the body rolling excessively in corners, and while the steering is a bit irksome because it’s heavy and doesn’t re-centre properly, it’s not hideous.

But there’s no hiding the vehicle’s immense bulk, and it doesn’t have anything like as much agility as the Ford Ranger. In fact, the turning circle is pretty dire, and tight hairpin bends require a bit of forward planning if you stand any chance of making it without using reverse gear.

The bigger issue, however, is the ride quality. Although describing the way the Quartermaster thumps over bumps as a “quality” feels generous in the extreme. It’s terrible. If there’s nothing in the back, even relatively minor imperfections turn the Recaro seats into pelvis-pulverising offensive weapons, even at motorway speeds.

It’s better with some payload in the bed but it still isn’t as good as the standard Grenadier, which wasn’t about to win any comfort awards. Of course, pick-up trucks regularly have to balance the requirement to carry great loads and cope off-road, but many do so with much more subtlety than the Quartermaster, despite carrying a larger payload and proving almost as capable on the rough stuff.

So, while it’s true the Quartermaster’s off-road capability is awesome and appealing in equal measure, it’s no better than the standard Grenadier, which is cheaper, more comfortable and equally well suited to off-road enthusiasts.

Hence, the Quartermaster is a difficult thing to justify using logic, facts, figures, or common sense. It’s interesting, no doubt — there is something cool about the idea, the attitude and the design — but Ineos is not a bank, and it can’t survive on curiosity alone.

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