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Vauxhall Antara 4×4 (2007 – ) expert review

By Adrian Higgins, 16th April 2008

The verdict

The Vauxhall Antara is a style-focused 4x4 with a high quality interior and comfortable ride. It’s well equipped, spacious and practical.

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Expert rating:

3.2

Pros

  • Smart styling
  • High-quality interior
  • Impressive luggage capacity

Cons

  • Lacks off-road ability
  • Poor handling
  • Limited engine range

Full Review

1. Exterior

The Vauxhall Antara is a smart-looking 4×4 aimed at motorists more concerned with style than off-road ability. We liked its chunky presence thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, along with a coupe-like profile, wedge-fronted bonnet and vents set behind the front wheel arches.
Our rating: 3

2. Interior

The interior is finished to a high standard with the speedo and rev counter dominating the information display and flanking a small fuel gauge. The familiar Vauxhall central stack is topped by three circular chrome air vents alongside which are the sat-nav, audio and air-con display. The two-tone slate grey and brushed metal dash is good-quality. The three spoke leather-covered steering wheel is comfortable to hold and we liked the short, chunky indicator stalks. The hand brake is neatly mirrored by a passenger-side grab handle. A big windscreen and sunroof ensure plenty of light in the cabin.
Our rating: 4

3. Practicality

The Vauxhall Antara provides plenty of room for driver and four passengers – it is based on the same platform as the seven-seater Chevrolet Captiva. With the second-row of seats in place there are just 370 litres available, flatten the seats and this expands to 1420 litres. The boot lip is also quite high. However, we found the storage wells in each corner of the boot very useful. Cabin storage space is good, including a central deep storage box between the driver and front passenger and sculpted door pockets. S and SE models also feature a chilled glove box.
Our rating: 3

4. Ride and handling

The Vauxhall Antara performs well enough here but fails to give its rivals a serious scare. It handles reasonably well, though tackling corners at speed challenges Vauxhall’s ‘car-like’ claim. The ride is comfortable and copes well with lumps and bumps in the road.
Our rating: 3

5. Performance

There are two engines to choose from: a 140bhp 2.4-litre petrol and the 150bhp 2-litre diesel model we drove. Both models feature five-speed gearboxes, the diesel version coming with either a manual or automatic gearbox. We drove the manual and found the gearbox a bit sloppy with gear changes requiring more concentration than we’d have liked. Go for the petrol model and you’ll be looking at an 11.9-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 109mph. The diesel covers 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds with a top speed of 113 mph.
Our rating: 3

6. Running costs

The manual diesel model returns the best average fuel consumption at 37.2mpg, dropping to 32.8mpg and 29.4mpg for the automatic diesel and petrol models respectively. All models attract band F car tax of £210.
Our rating: 3

7. Reliability

The Vauxhall Antara has so far proved to be pretty reliable, which shouldn’t come as any surprise as Vauxhall figures reasonably high in the Reliability Index for cars sold in the UK market. Having said this, it does sit outside the top ten performers.
Our rating: 3

8. Safety

The four-wheel drive Vauxhall Antara comes with front, side and curtain airbags and a host of driver aids including electronic stability program, anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, cornering brake control and hill descent control system. It has not undergone EuroNCAP crash tests.
Our rating: 3

9. Equipment

There are three trim levels to choose from: E, S and SE, each of which features a decent level of kit. The E trim comes with roof-rails, 17-inch alloys, front foglights, anti-lock brakes, CD radio, electronic stability programme and leather-covered steering wheel. Move up to the S and you’ll get 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-effect exhaust pipe, automatic headlights and wipers, heated front seats, climate control, trip computer, cruise control, leather-covered gear knob and chilled glove box. The SE adds sat-nav, xenon headlights, leather seats and trim, parking sensors and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Our rating: 4

10. Why buy?

We like the Antara’s looks most. It’s a smart-looking SUV inside and out.
Our rating: 3

Expert review 3.2stars

  • Exterior3
  • Interior4
  • Practicality3
  • Ride and handling3
  • Performance3
  • Running costs3
  • Reliability3
  • Safety3
  • Equipment4
  • Why buy?3

Our recommendations

Best on a budget/ Best-seller:
Antara 2.0 CDTi Exclusiv
Rationalisation makes the budget model the best-seller.
Blow the budget:
Antara 2.0 CDTi SE
SE model enjoys leather trim and sat-nav.

We liked its chunky presence