Used Vauxhall Antara Review (2006-2015) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Vauxhall Antara Exterior Front

Vauxhall Antara (2006-2015)

At such great value for money, the Vauxhall Antara is a solid choice within the mid-sized SUV segment, thanks to its spacious interior and good range of kit

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  • Neat interior
  • Affordable
  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Thirsty engines
  • May feel outdated
  • Rivals are more attractive to look at
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What's the Vauxhall Antara like?

After the demise of the Vauxhall Frontera so beloved by used buyers for its cheap prices, 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 engines giving decent acceleration and reasonable economy.

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

Antaras are about the same size as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, but they lag behind these top sellers by some margin, and this makes them more affordable year for year.


There's one petrol engine – a 2.4-litre with either 138bhp or 164bhp - giving 0to 60mph in 11.5 or 10.2 seconds, but it’s rare and thirsty, giving a very best of 32mpg.

Diesels are a 2.0-litre with 147bhp, and a 2.2-litre with 160bhp or 181bhp. But the 2.0-litre, which was dropped well before the end of production, was sluggish and noisy, despite being capable of 37mpg.

The 2.2-litre is better all round, and in manual form is good for a sprint of 9.2 seconds and 42mpg

It’s still fairly noisy at slower speeds, but smooths out once up to a cruise. The later model is the 160bhp, and it’s smoother and more refined.

There are front (FWD) and all-wheel drive versions, and obviously, the FWD models give better economy and slightly better performance. All come with a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional 5-speed automatic, although this does affect both economy and performance.

The 160bhp model comes with or without 4WD, and its more powerful brother is only available with it.

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

Driving Experience and Practicality

It's easy to park and to live with around town, but the suspension is too soft and allows it to wallow through corners. This isn’t helped by vague steering that is lacking in feel much of the time.

The Antara has neat styling, a well laid out and spacious cabin, a huge boot, and high levels of standard equipment.
Peter Hayward


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

Mid-range SE trim also has such little luxuries as leather upholstery with heated front seats, climate control, Bluetooth, alloys, audio remote, heated mirrors, and cruise control.

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You won't be disappointed with the Vauxhall Antara if you're looking for a practical SUV with space for the whole family and more. With a neat, comfortable cabin and a range of handy equipment, the Antara is more than capable of taking on the challenges of everyday life.

Production ended in 2015, however, so if you're looking for the latest technology, you may want to consider a more recent Vauxhall SUV such as the Mokka X.