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Vauxhall Frontera 3.2 V6 5dr



FUNNY what badge identity can do - especially if it's in the 4x4 sector. No matter how Vauxhall marketed the old Monterey - fundamentally a rebadged Isuzu Trooper - it never gained the recognition, credibility or running cost profile of its blood brother. Nor, indeed, did it achieve anything like the sales success, even though on a money for metal basis it was actually cheaper and better-equipped spec for spec.

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.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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