Good-look­ing An­tara fills the gap

Cynon Valley - - MOTOR WALES - PETER HAY­WARD news­desk@waleson­

THE Vaux­hall An­tara shares all its un­der­pin­nings and is built in the same fac­tory as the Chevro­let Cap­tiva, which came out at an al­most iden­ti­cal price, so take a look at them both if one might suit your needs.

After the demise of the Fron­tera, so beloved by sec­ond­hand buy­ers for its cheap prices and good looks, the com­pany’s range was short of a 4x4.

But the gap was rea­son­ably well-filled by the An­tara – a good look­ing 4x4 with the right diesel en­gine giv­ing de­cent ac­cel­er­a­tion and rea­son­able econ­omy.

There is one petrol en­gine – a 2.4 which is rare and thirsty – and a choice of two diesels – an ear­lier 2.0-litre with 147bhp and a later 2.2 with 161bhp or 181bhp.

I’ll dis­count the petrol as far as this ap­praisal is con­cerned but the diesels are not up to the best of the op­po­si­tion ei­ther.

They are both fairly noisy at slower speeds but do smooth out once up to cruise. The later 2.2 is the best, so I’ll con­cen­trate on that.

There are front and all­wheel-drive ver­sions, and ob­vi­ously, the two-wheel-drive (2WD) mod­els give bet­ter econ­omy and slightly bet­ter per­for­mance.

The 161bhp model comes with or with­out four-wheel drive (4WD) and the more pow­er­ful 2.2 is only avail­able with it.

The 161bhp man­ual front-wheel-drive model man­ages a cred­itable 0-62mph in 9.9 sec­onds, while the higher power vari­ant takes 9.6 sec­onds.

An au­to­matic gear­box was avail­able, but af­fects both per­for­mance and econ­omy. For the man­u­als, that should be a rea­son­able 42mpg-46mpg.

Both diesels of­fer de­cent ac­cel­er­a­tion off the mark, but nei­ther is par­tic­u­larly re­fined and the man­ual gear­box can be a lit­tle notchy.

The An­tara is easy to park and to drive around town, but the sus­pen­sion is too soft and al­lows it to wal­low through cor­ners.

This isn’t helped by steer­ing that is lack­ing in feel most of the time.

It is not perfect then, but it does have neat styling, a well-laid-out and spa­cious cabin and the lev­els of standard equip­ment are pretty good.

Ev­ery model comes with sta­bil­ity con­trol, six airbags, air con, elec­tric win­dows all round, re­mote lock­ing and a CD stereo with MP3 con­nec­tion.

Higher SE trim adds cli­mate con­trol, leather up­hol­stery, cruise con­trol, al­loys and blue­tooth.

Pay about £8,300 for a ’12 12-reg 2.2 SE all-wheel-drive (AWD), £11,000 for a ’15 15-reg 2.2 Ex­clu­siv AWD au­to­matic.

Vaux­hall An­tara

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