Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Latest Model Fails to Inspire; ROBIN ROBERTS Drives the Vauxhall Antara and Finds It Has a Lot to Offer for the Family

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Latest Model Fails to Inspire; ROBIN ROBERTS Drives the Vauxhall Antara and Finds It Has a Lot to Offer for the Family

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBIN ROBERTS

VAUXHALL earned a strong reputation after it launched the Zafira and hopes to do the same with the larger Antara.

As families turned their backs on small estates and 4x4 models, they looked to the middle ground and while the Zafira is perfectly good in the smaller-MPV sector, if you want more room then the Antara is available .

This provides a choice of up to five seats or maximum 1,420 litres carrying capacity with minimum 370 litres available and it's a generously proportioned and sized model with a wheelbase of 2.7m and a lot of head and legroom inside.

The topping SE comes with standard manual box, cruise control, electronic stability control, climate control, cd-player, satellite navigation, powered windows, mirrors, leather trim and parking sensors among other features. For the price that is a very good, attractive package.

The simple four-model range is powered mostly by the turbo-charged 150bhp four-cylinder diesel engine but it opens with a 140bhp 2.4 petrol model from pounds 20,000. Intelligent four-wheel drive is standard along with electronic stability control.

The engine is adequate when very lightly loaded and you can move it along on the gearbox but put in a lot of people, partly fill the loadspace or try to tow and you may be seriously struggling.

The standard selectable four-wheel drive with hill descent assistance is useful on the UK's wintry roads.

With all seats in use the effort behind the wheel rises noticeably, as do the noise levels and fuel consumption. The combination of just four cylinders with four valves each and just 2.0 litres pulling along a model with a 1,810kg kerb-weight is telling. It is slow revving, ponderous underhand and it also rolls around a lot on twisting roads while letting you know how hard it is working.

The ride quality is mediocre with a lot of noise coming from the suspension as well as jarring occupants over bad surfaces taken slowly. …

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