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Vauxhall Antara news - Vaux in the box - 2007

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Ah,
the great gap between concept and reality.

We
rather liked the Vauxhall Antara concept that we saw a
year-and-a-half ago - a swoopy, funky little SUV with coupe stylings.

Eighteen
months on and this is what we get as a production model. A dull-as-daytime-TV
 soft-roader.

Targeting
the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4 - and impressively managing to be even more
anodyne and unthreatening than either - the Antara is Vauxhall’s first 4x4
since the Frontera died a little-mourned death in 2004.

Perhaps
its most telling feature is what Vauxhall is calling Intelligent Four-Wheel
 Drive.

Basically
it means that the Antara operates in two-wheel-drive mode for everyday, on-road
use, and only switches to the full-four when it hits the slippery stuff.

Call
us cynics, but we don’t reckon that’ll happen often in Bromley.

This
half-baked four-wheel-drive system does at least have the benefit of decent
 economy.

The
two-litre turbodiesel - yep, that’s the top-of-the-range engine - returns 38mpg
on the combined cycle, or for big thrills you could choose the 2.4-litre
four-pot petrol unit.

The
diesel comes with the option of a five-speed manual or auto gearbox, while
you’ll have to make do with the manual ‘box if you specify the petrol engine.

Elsewhere,
kit levels are pretty comprehensive with top spec ‘SE’ models getting, well,
just about everything. Good thing too, as a range-topping Antara will set you
back £27,695 when it arrives in July.

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