Hard-grafting and capable off-roader gains a longer, pick-up truck variant

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I wonder, if this Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster pick-up variant of the Grenadier 4x4 had been launched first, whether we would perceive the car differently.

The Grenadier Station Wagon is sometimes compared unfavourably with premium SUVs because it costs as much as them but feels less sophisticated. This pick-up, though, sits in ‘N1’ commercial vehicle territory: if it had arrived first, would a shorter, boxed passenger version that followed have been cut more slack? And has the Quartermaster now found its place as a purer utility vehicle?



ineos quartermaster review 2024 02 side panning

The basics of Grenadier Station Wagon and Quartermaster are the same, as are the two cars for their front two-thirds. There’s a strong ladder chassis with solid axles front and rear and, as a result, recirculating-ball steering (like in a Suzuki Jimny and Jeep Wrangler), because rack and pinion tends to provoke huge bump steer and steering wheel kickback when mated to a live axle. The engine is longitudinal – your options are BMW 3.0-litre petrol or, like our test car, diesel – mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels permanently. There’s a standard low-range transfer box and locking centre differential, with optional front and rear locking diffs. But the Quartermaster’s wheelbase is 305mm longer than the Station Wagon’s, at 3227mm, while overall length is increased by 545mm by the pick-up bed to 5400mm. A chassis cab with no bed so that buyers can spec their own equipment will follow imminently. The length increase has some ramifications for the Quartermaster’s off-road credentials, which are the same as the Grenadier’s in terms of wade depth (800mm), ground clearance (264mm) and approach angle (35.5deg). But the breakover angle is down from 28.2deg to 26.2deg, and the departure angle reduced from 36.1deg to 22.6deg.

The bed itself is big enough for a Euro pallet (if you move the spare wheel), at 1564mm long, 1619mm wide and 485mm high at its maximum. The rear door is 1280mm wide and can hold 225kg when open.  The Quartermaster has a maximum 835kg payload, but that’s for the petrol variant with the lightest options. The heavier (2740kg) diesel in base form carries 760kg. But like the Station Wagon, they can all tow 3500kg.


ineos quartermaster review 2024 12 interior

For the most part, the Quartermaster's interior is no different from the Grenadier's, which means panoramic visibility, a low window line, and a sense of space that's enhanced if roof-mounted 'safari' window have been fitted.

The Grenadier’s designers have chosen to lean into a flight deck ambience. While an array of climate controls are built into a hardy-looking panel on the centre console, switchgear relating to off-road activities is found on an overhead panel. Here, you will also find chunky, pre-wired toggle switches for any auxiliary accessories fitted either inside (eg additional USB points) or outside (eg a 40in light bar).All the switchgear is supersized for use with gloves, and while the BMW-sourced central display can be touch-controlled, there’s also a large rotary control on the transmission tunnel.

All surfaces are splash-proof, and our test car’s heavy-duty flooring can be hosed out then removed to let water out through drain holes. Carpet is an option, and leather can be used for steering wheel, handbrake lever and seats, softening the functional ambience. And while some will find the military-esque graphics performative, others will love them. 

Rear seats are upright, as in the Utility version of the Grenadier, with less reclined comfort than Station Wagon variants, so that there's more room behind them.


ineos quartermaster review 2024 17 off road

For the time being, your powertrain options are BMW-sourced 3.0-litre petrol or, like our test car, diesel engines, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels permanently.

There’s a standard low-range transfer box and locking centre differential, with optional front and rear locking diffs.

Neither the petrol, which we've tried extensively in the Grenadier, nor the diesel, as tested in the Quartermaster, lack character. They're uniformly powerful and responsive too. Ineos has chosen probably the best powertrain partner it could.

The eight-speed automatic is smooth, and while it's unlikely you'll find the need to do so on the road, you can take control of the gear selection yourself should you want to – to, say, hold a gear off road.



ineos quartermaster review 2024 18 off road

Our drive was in convoy, and mostly on slower roads, so it was hard to get a full picture of how it behaves but its ride was settled, and stable, if leisurely. The slow steering (3.85 turns lock to lock) with mild self-centring continues to be a characteristic. 

The drive took us onto rough roads that started gently (the sort of thing you could amble along in a Fiat Panda 4x4) and then got very serious, very quickly (the sort of thing that would remodel a Fiat Panda 4x4’s panels so that it fitted in locally). The Quartermaster is extremely capable off road and visibility is excellent – old-style Land Rover Defender or Mercedes G-Class style – though the turning circle of 14.5m (up by a metre on the Grenadier, and measured between kerbs, not walls) can be problematic.

The Quartermaster – like the Grenadier, or a Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator (which is its closest competitor) or G-Class – is the sort of 4x4 that likes you to be involved in the off-roading process. There’s none of the cameras everywhere, auto off-road mode stuff you might find on, say, the new Defender. And I don’t mind that at all. 


ineos quartermaster review 2024 01 front tracking

The Quartermaster is a straightforward, heavy, upright car built for robustness, and with 3.0-litre engines and no hybridisation, you can expect fuel consumption to be quite dramatic.

Initial reports predict that the Grenadier will hold its value very well. It's too early to tell about reliability and durability but these are traits Ineos says the car was built for. More as we find out.


ineos quartermaster review 2024 24 rear static

By adding the versatility and utility of a pick-up bed, Ineos has given the Grenadier's solid start in life an even broader appeal.

This is still a car that demands a premium price, but its hardware and interior robustness stand up to scrutiny.

And if it remains idiosyncratic to drive on the road, the flip side is that (yawning turning circle aside) it will go places that premium SUVs dare not.

The brand is starting to find its feet.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes.