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The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Antara
For:Erm... It's a big improvement on the Frontera
Against:No seven-seat option
2.2 CDTi  SE 5dr
Last year, Land Rover sold 15,492 Freelanders in the UK. A middling
year for sales (2007 was better), but enough to keep the Midlands firm...
What we say:
A little better than the monstrosity that was the Frontera, but expensive and unrefined. Not vauxhall's finest hour
What is it?
Last time they had this urge they came up with the excruciating Frontera - a soft-roader so lame it broke down in tears. The Antara could not be, and is not, as bad.
The Antara corners well for a tall off-roader, taking bends without much roll and with much of the deportment of a car. The steering is quicker-acting and more accurate than most other 4x4s.
The Antara is more supple than many mini-SUVs, which, taken with the reasonable cornering manners, is a good effort. There’s plenty of room too, but the 2.4 petrol version is noisy because you have to cane it.
The diesel is the one, because of its torque, although it’s laggy in the very low rev range. It’ll do 0-62mph in about 10 seconds, which is par for the course, no better. The cheaper petrol engine takes 10.5sec to do the same job.
On the inside
The interior trim is quite nicely done, apart from a terrible wood-u-like in the top version. Everything fits together well in the Antara, so a pat on the back to the Koreans who build it.
The Antara uses the same platform as the Chevrolet Captiva and is built at the same factory, but doesn’t feature the Captiva’s seven-seat option, which limits versatility. On the other hand all Antaras are at least 4WD, unlike the base Captiva. Oh and you can get Vauxhall’s neat Flex-fit pushbike carrier.
Vauxhall servicing isn’t too bad, and nor is insurance on the Antara. But we worry about depreciation: with so many similar vehicles flooding onto the market and sentiment turning against them at the same time, you might end up taking a cold bath.