But with the introduction of the new Frontera, the Monterey dies - and in truth few people will miss it. In its place is an all-new Frontera line-up that gets a wider engine choice, including a 3.2-litre V6, and it's this that becomes Vauxhall's new 4x4 range topper. The new car brings a host of improvements over the old Frontera - and not before time. The most significant are new engines, which include a new 2.2-litre direct injection turbodiesel as well as the V6 and a revised version of the existing 2.2 petrol, the option of automatic transmission for the first time, a new shift on the move 4x4 mechanism, less weight, and economy improved by up to 16.5%. There's also a new interior and more handsome styling as well as improved refinement levels - it's quieter by up to 50% compared with the old model.
Prices for the new Frontera start at ú16,795 on-the-road for the three-door Sport 2.2i, while the cheapest five-door estate, equipped with the same 2.2-litre petrol engine, costs ú19,095. Diesel models start at ú17,970 for the three-door and ú20,270 for the five-door, while the top of the range V6 Limited (five-door only) costs ú22,470 in manual form - as tested here.
That makes the Frontera competitive in the face of its competitors: the new Mitsubishi Challenger V6 five-door costs ú24,495 and the Isuzu Trooper 3.5 Duty five-door is ú23,500. But add automatic transmission to the Frontera, at an extra ú1,000, and it works out more expensive than the ú23,220 Jeep Cherokee 4.0-litre Limited, available only with automatic.