Vauxhall Antara: the lowdown
After a few years away from the thriving SUV market, Vauxhall is returning with the new Antara. Priced from £19,850 for the entry-level 2.4, the Antara is pegged slightly above the £17k Nissan X-Trail and £18k Honda CR-V. Rather awkwardly, it’s also around £3000 more than the Chevrolet Captiva, its sister car with which it shares its mechanical gubbins. And the Vauxhall comes with only five seats, whereas the Captiva is available with a family-swallowing seven chairs...
If it’s not the cheapest of the bunch, what’s it got going for it?
Apart from being the new kid on the block, the Antara sports a healthy standard equipment list. The 2.4 E comes with MP3 compatibility, ESP and a hill descent control system. Step up to the 2.0 CDTi SE for DVD sat-nav, a built-in Bluetooth phone kit and an electro-chromatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror. The SE starts at £26,295 for the manual, and an extra £1400 for the automatic. Generous kit or not, that’s an awful lot of cash for a 2.0-litre diesel Vauxhall.
Might be a silly question, but is it any good off road?
The Antara uses Vauxhall’s Intelligent Four Wheel Drive system, an on-demand four wheel drive system that apportions torque where it’s needed. Like the majority of soft-roaders, it’s unlikely that the Antara will outrun a Sherman tank on anything but bitumen, but that’ll be fine for 99% of users. We were pretty impressed - if emotionally untouched - by our first test of the Chevrolet Captiva , and we’d expect the Antara will offer a similarly positive, if plain, driving experience. Vauxhall is taking orders for the Antara now, but don’t expect to see it in showrooms until July.