Vauxhall Antara review

Our Rating: 
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Vauxhall Antara rivals the Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan, with plenty of kit and distinctive looks

Rugged looks, competitive price, lots of standard equipment
Cheap interior plastics, high running costs, limited choice

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The Vauxhall Antara has struggled to make a real impact on the compact SUV market, which is odd, considering it comes with lots of kit, stylish looks and a favourable price tag.

Instead, it's been overshadowed by competitive rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan and Toyota RAV4. It received a facelift in 2012, which brought in a new engine and a higher-quality interior. 

There are only three trim levels to choose from - Exclusiv, Diamond and SE Nav. It's also available in either two-wheel or four-wheel drive, and all models benefit from hill decent control.

Our choice: 2.2 CDTi (163) Exclusiv AWD



Granted, the Vauxhall Antara isn't the best looking in its class, but it definitely has more charisma than the bland Volkswagen Tiguan.

A facelift in 2012 did help to bring the Antara up to date slightly; it's got Vauxhall's new front grille and Griffin logo meaning it fits in with the rest of the line-up.

Pre-facelift, the Vauxhall Antara didn't have much to brag about in terms of its interior, but now it has lots of extra storage spaces, new trim materials and improved instruments, too. The quality just isn't there compared to rivals, though.

There are three trim levels to choose from - Exclusive, Diamond and SE Nav. All versions get 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated front seats, front fog lights and tinted windows. 

Opt for SE Nav and you'll get huge 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, Xenon headlamps and extra chrome trim. The Diamond trim level gets all the perks of Exclusiv models, as well as leather seat facings, and a driver's seat that can electronically adjust for reach, rake, height and tilt adjustment.



Thanks to the diverse, adjustable seat, it's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel and the high driving position gives you a great view of the road ahead.

There are two engines on offer with the Vauxhall Antara - the first is a 2.2 CDTi diesel, which is available with either 161bhp or 182bhp. There's also a 2.4i 16v petrol engine, which manages 40.4mpg.

A six-speed manual gearbox is available across the Vauxhall Antara range, while four-wheel drive models are available with a six-speed automatic. The Vauxhall Antara offers precise steering and good body control, but it simply can't match the Ford Kuga or Volkswagen Tiguan in terms of driver enjoyment.



The Vauxhall Antara hasn't yet been featured in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, but all versions come with lots of safety equipment, including front, side and curtain airbags.

There's also a whole host of driver aids including electronic stability control (ESP), anti-lock brakes, traction control, hill star assist and adaptive brake lights - these flash rapidly during an emergency stop.

Vauxhall as a manufacturer finished 13th overall in the 2013 Driver Power manufacturer rankings. It managed to beat BMW and Audi, so it's a reliable brand to go with. Plus, the Vauxhall Antara's parts have been tried and tested in other Vauxhall models, so should prove to be reliable as well.



The Vauxhall Antara offers 420 litres of boot space, which expands to 1,420 litres when the rear seats are folded. It's not bad, but rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe are a lot more practical.

Still, the Vauxhall Antara comes with a large tailgate, which has a low loading lip - so putting large items of luggage in isn't a problem at all. Plus, SE Nav models come with a folding front passenger seat as standard, meaning you can carry even larger items. 

The interior of the Vauxhall Antara is pretty spacious and there's plenty of headroom and legroom in the back. As well as a foldout armrest, you'll find useful storage cubbies and lidded compartments, too.

Running Costs


The Vauxhall Antara comes with a class-leading price tag and lots of standard equipment to go with it, too.

Unfortunately, though, it's pretty expensive to run. Even the entry level 2.2 CDTi diesel emits 160g/km of CO2, and manages a combined fuel consumption of 46.3mpg.

The 2.4i 16v petrol emits a whopping 206 g/km of CO2 and returns only 32.1mpg. It's not great, especially when competitors such as the Volkswagen Tiguan offer efficient engines like the 2.0 TDI BlueMotion.

To add insult to injury, residual values are poor, and the Antara will struggle to return 40 per cent of its value after three years.

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Highly underrated by everyone except those that own them. An excellent car worth looking at with an open mind and you might be surprised

bought an 2009 Antara last September. It had been serviced by Vauxhall for the first 2 services but they hadn't filled in the anti perforation inspection part of the service book. I went to a local Vauxhall dealer today and was told that even though they had broke their own rules they wouldn't even consider repairing it. This means that if you own a Vauxhall car they can invalidate their warranty and you are left with sub standard car that will rust and they just don't care as they already have your money. I am going to trading standards with this to see how it can be that I have less than 4 year old car that is in this state. The rust is starting to come along the top of the chrome strip that is on the tailgate with the name and model on it. This is my first and will be my last Vauxhall. Has anyone else had the same problem?

I bought my antara in December 2012 and for an SUV for £20k I must admit it not bad, yes you could buy a landrover for £35k+ and say the antara doesnt live upto its rivals but it is more than 35% cheaper. I get fuel economy of around 39.5mpg with the 2.2l front wheel drive. The interior is spacious, and sturdy looking and very comfortable, if your looking for a SUV for a price of a family saloon, you can't go wrong with an Antata.

Last updated: 18 Dec, 2013

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