The last Vauxhall 4x4 in the UK was the popular but flawed Frontera which was launched in 1991 and went on to sell 285,000 units in its 12 year life span. The Frontera was based on a ladder frame and although tough was more truck-like to drive than a car.
The Vauxhall Antara which was launched in the UK in July 2007, is built on a unibody monocoque design to give more car-like handling.
The Antara design origin is linked to the Antara GTC (Gran Turismo Crossover) which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005 (see Vauxhall Antara GTC ) winning the Autocar Concept Car of the year 2005.
The Vauxhall Antara is built in the General Motors factory in South Korea at the same factory as its close cousin the Chevrolet Captiva.
The Antara price range starts at £19,995 for the entry-level and only petrol model, the 2.4 Antara E and rises to £27,795 for the top of the range 2.0 CDTi Antara SE automatic diesel model.
There are two engine options the 2.4 litre 140ps petrol (5-speed manual) and a 2.0 litre 150ps ECOTEC CDTi engine which is available as a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. The diesel engine is expected to result in 90% of the sales of the Antara. We drove the Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi Antara SE Automatic.
The 1991cc ECOTEC CDTi diesel engine produces 150ps @ 4000 rpm and delivers 320 Nm @ 2000 rpm worth of torque. Which can propel the Antara from 0- 60 mph in 12.8 seconds and continues on to a top speed of 110 mph. The co2 emissions are quoted as 225 g/km which is roughly the same as a diesel automatic Land Rover Freelander. The new diesel engine was co-developed by GM Korea and GM Powertrain, and is produced in Gunsan, South Korea.
Once the engine has warmed up it is fairly quiet for an SUV diesel engine and under acceleration you are rewarded with a pleasant growl. It remains quite smooth, even under load and the 5-speed automatic gearbox is pretty much seamless. You can manually change gear should you wish using the ‘tiptronic’ style gear change, simply knock the lever over to the left and you have a sequential style gearbox.
The Antara's handling was better than expected but as with most SUV's - push it too hard into a bend and you will find yourself drifting off course. Body roll is only a problem if you push it too fast through demanding bends and the steering as with all Vauxhall's was exceptionally well-weighted. The Antara SE sits on 235/55 R 18 alloy wheels and the ride quality is very good. The suspension is well tuned for our roads and makes short work of poor road surfaces and potholes. Diesel models are equipped with self-levelling suspension and a trailer stability program, which automatically recalibrates the ESP to allow for towing.
This is a 12-year+ news article, from our Vauxhall archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local Vauxhall dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2008.
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