The Verdict

Vauxhall Antara

A big beast rolls out of the GM crop: Vauxhall's Antara is a Chevrolet Captiva beneath the badge. David Wilkins is in favour, but our readers are unimpressed

Specifications:

Model: Vauxhall Antara 2.0CDTi SE

Price: £26,320

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel

Performance: 111mph, 0-60mph in 11.1 seconds, 148bhp, 37.2mpg

CO2: 198g/km

Worth considering: Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fe, Land Rover Freelander

If you're a regular reader of the Verdict, the Vauxhall Antara may have a familiar look about it, given that it bears more than a passing resemblance to the Chevrolet Captiva, which we featured last year. That's globalisation for you; what amounts to the same car can be sold with a few adaptations around the world under several different brands. One man's Chevrolet Captiva is another man's Vauxhall Antara (UK), Opel Antara (continental Europe), Saturn Vue (US) or Holden Captiva (Australia). All are sold by branches of the vast General Motors empire, which sources them from its operation in Korea – where this car is called the Daewoo Winstorm.

That's probably some of the best evidence around for the commonly held opinion that the world of cars is sinking into bland, depressing uniformity, but it's worth considering an alternative view; if Vauxhall were a small, self-contained, UK-only operation, its chances of producing its own modern SUV, like the Antara, and a full range of competitive cars would be small – just look at how long MG Rover survived once it was expelled from BMW's embrace. But as part of GM, Vauxhall can tap in to a worldwide network that gives it a model for every sector, and still manufacture in the UK; international specialisation means we get Antaras, Corsas and the rest, while other countries get our Astras and Vivaros.

You won't be surprised to hear that the Antara is very similar to the Captiva, sharing virtues such as its smart, roomy, sharply styled body, and its flat, car-like handling. Compared with the petrol-engined Captiva we tried last year, though, the version of the Antara featured here had one major plus and one minor minus. The plus was its diesel engine, which does a much better job of pushing a big heavy SUV like this around. The minus was that the Antara's top-spec SE interior featured lashings of wood and leather that rather jarred with the modern grey plastic of the car's basic cabin architecture. Sometimes there is such a thing as trying a bit too hard.

The Verdict

Paul Bones, 65

Retired NHS official, Halesworth, Suffolk

Usual car: Renault Megane

This imposing five-seater SUV looks big and is (16 feet long, 6 feet wide, 1.8 tons). First impressions were of good build quality. Interior impressions were mixed, with finishes and textures not working well together. Hardish leather seats were comfortable over 70 mixed road miles. Engine noise exceeded expectations over 60mph. Given the Antara's size and weight, 150bhp produces moderate performance only. Driving was "carlike", with well weighted brakes and steering, and good tracking without continual steering corrections. Climate control worked well, as did the computer, showing 37mpg from easy driving. A buyer spending £26,000-plus might expect more performance.

Carol Florey, 59

Retired teacher, Felixstowe

Usual car: MG TF

Never having been impressed by 4x4s, I wasn't expecting a positive experience. But I was pleasantly surprised by the looks, interior, gadgets (this was the top model), leg and headroom (I am tall), suspension and drive. It felt sluggish in second but took fifth easily and ran at low revs while achieving good speeds. Parking in supermarket spaces was easier than expected. But I do wonder who would buy it. The engine may be powerful and relatively quiet for a diesel but fuel consumption is not good. By today's standards, I would have expected better economy and any one of the aforementioned positives could be better achieved with other cars. In the end, it's a 4x4. And I'm still not impressed.

Nicholas Dixey, 52, Caroline, 48, Max, 11, Felix, 10, Louisa, 6

Printing company owner, Rockland St Mary, Norfolk

Usual cars: Fiat Multipla, Rover 75 and a Triumph Stag

It's a handsome machine, the over-40mph ride was smooth, it was very quiet at all speeds, the interior was smart and the children, despite sliding around on the leather seats, claimed there was enough room in the back for them all. It was my first drive of a "soft-roader" and the body roll and approximate steering were not as bad as predicted. Drawbacks were the risible luggage space and extremely uncomfortable and jittery ride at slow speeds on poor roads. My beloved Multipla hammers this car on most counts and is half the Antara's list price. It just didn't feel worth the money.

If you would like to take part in The Verdict, email verdict@independent.co.uk or write to The Verdict, Save & Spend, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, giving your address, phone number and details of the car, if any, you drive. For most cars, participants must be over 26 and have a clean licence.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Civil Engineering

    £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Business: This company is going thro...

    Tradewind Recruitment: KS1 & KS2 Teachers Required

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment are currently working...

    Recruitment Genius: Lift Repairs Sales Account Manager

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea