Vauxhall Frontera 2.0 Sport Review

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  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

AG.'s review of Vauxhall Frontera 2.0 Sport

★★★★☆

“4 years ownership of 2.0 litre Sport Vauxhall...”

Written on: 16/08/2002 by AG. (1 review written)

Good Points
Absolute reliability, simple, understandable mechanics, macho urban styling. Good performing vehicle offroad. Cheap parts.

Bad Points
Accessibilty to rear, rear seat, plastic interior. Lack of refinement compared to other Japanese designed vehicles.

General Comments
4 years ownership of 2.0 litre Sport Vauxhall Frontera. Faultlessly reliable which is something Landrover seem unable to achieve! Tows caravan with relative ease. Good offroad - as long as all 4 wheels are kept on the ground as of course no difflock or limited slip diff. Exhaust system (not cat.) perished at an unreasonably early stage. Removable moonroof and windows just a nonsense in British climate as they cannot be stored in the vehicle. The power unit is proven over millions of Company car miles - it's the same one as used in Cavaliers and Vectras. First time 4x4 buyers should not get their fingers burnt with a Frontera, but don't buy pre-1995 as the build quality was appalling.

  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

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49423_Ed.'s Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 08/11/2002

I agree fully..being a first time 4x4er I needed something practical, reliable and sensibly priced. I have a very low mileage late 95 2.0i (now on cherished plate) and so far so good !!..loads a well priced accessories available. Not a refined vehicle but loads of fun to drive...especially abroad !!! Plus nobody will mess with you, or try and intimidate you. Not yet gone off-road but will do soon !...I Would certainly go for another one a couple of years down the line.8/10 so far !

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Awg's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 09/06/2009

Am the Original Poster (AG) on Vauxhall Frontera Sport. It is now 2009 and the vehicle is STILL in my ownership (12 years nearly). It's used as a runabout to carry cycles to local trails and tow a trailer to the refuse tip. It costs me around £2.50 a week to insure TP Fire and T. I am now 60 and have owned this vehicle within 3 decades of my life (was in my 40s when I bought it). It is now reduced to 2 seats as I've done away with the folding back seat. Still runs just like clockwork! Thought they said these were no good . . .

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181503_Fronty1's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 12/01/2005

Hello
<br>I've got a 94 sport and while the build quality isn't Bentley it seems fine. The cam belt to change is easy but make sure you know which way the fan undoes, network Q do not. rear diff noise was a wheel bearing, got at 4x4 birmigham for c.£40 and fitting was about the same. It's basically a cavalier with a big bum and 'hat-he-chewed' so it is not scary to fix. No rust problems. Admired by most the school kids who think it's mega looking. 'Cool car' a 7 year old girl said to me outside school today jan 05 and I was parked next to a shogun. It's a great fun jeep, affordable and just as Landrover types say the 90 is better offroad than the 110 so the estates are for safaris and the sports are for fun :)and being a kid, as us blokes like to, we like fun and wimmin like safari (arguably). Back to build quality? I just don't see what the whinge is, mine is fine and I've spent most of my life in the trade and the build compares to most decent vehicles. maybe it hasn't all the bells and whistles but look at the problems these cause like the Toyota townace which has all gadgets and most owners commit hare kare after owning one. It's just a fun car, not too complicated and for the purists? well you can find fault in anything. What Car checked a new XJS and found 77 faults. It's a jap pickup chassis, cav engine and practical interior and reasonable performance. Change the air filter for better noise (fans a bit noisy) K@n or similar (buy on ebay universal type less than £15) get a set of alloys from ebay (alloys weaker off road though) for less than 200 squid inc tyres. And if in any doubt about build quality why not drive a landrover and when you've unstuck your frozen hands from the archaic steering wheel and the steroids have worn off to allow you to steer it, you can remove your ear plugs and bathe in the glory of thinking you are Rambo and then have a lie down to recover. The new later model is like most 'facelift models' in the trade (to quote John Delorean) "it's the same car with different bumpers!" my 94 was complimented by the RAC when fitting windscreen "it's not at all rusty like later ones". There is a P reg sport here (North west) which is rusting quite badly on the roof and arches and mine is not at all at all at all (father Ted ). Course if you buy cheap you buy twice, so buy a good pre 95 or a bad pre 95 you've as much change as buying a good post 95 or a bad un...same old same old. The more gizmos you want the more hassle you'll get when they malfunction..like the townace...all good fun till they go wrong.
<br>And lighten up for bejesus sake..it's just a car init....buy some lettered tyres cos that's what the yanks do and have some fun..get some lighty up valve caps from the quid shop and your wheels will light up at night..tacky? of course but it's fun...Or buy a diesel volvo, a pipe, slippers and a subscription to '101 ways Volvo owners have fun' available every 25 years in magazine.

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David Mckay's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 16/03/2004

I own a Frontera 95, 2.0i Sport, and it is definately a reliable car, I must add though that being a frequent off-road driver, this car has survived a lot of difficult territories, one of which is a militarized zone I sometimes drive the car at (I currently live in Germany), tank tracks and huge holes in the ground + loads of 3 to 5 foot dirt/mud holes, the car is a true gem. And recent snowfalls in the west of Germany where so extreme most people couldn't drive to work because of the weather on some days, with 4x4 Long not a problem at 80km/h over Snow and Ice! (I must mention I do not have original wheels on the Car, the wheels used are All-weather extra wide, which unfortunately adds a huge ammount of steering sensitivity). The front grid has also been changed for a more aggresive black one and extra large fog-lights have also been added, I have had people ask me if I was driving an american Jeep, plus a couple of people asked if it was a Hummer (god knows why).
<br>
<br>In other words, it kicks butt!

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Gary Jenkins's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 27/01/2004

I own a 95 1.8 Mondeo I use as a towcar,
<br>while towing a caravan it still gives about 24 mpg
<br>I love the look of the frontera, and note that others have used them for towing caravans, can anyone give more information on towing.
<br> In particular towing mpg,kerb weights nose weights ect, is a 2ltr frontera really up to the job for an average 4 berther.
<br> Any information would be much appreceated.

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Awg's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 15/01/2004

Yes, I found out to my delight (I had a large caravan on tow at the time), shortly after making this 2002 review, that the Frontera does become a useful rigid 4x4 when selected. (I'd previously just had the Range Rover experience.) In fact I believe you can lose traction altogether on one axle and the other will still operate. Unfortunately these reviews cannot be amended by reviewers. Although this commonly used 'part-time' 4x4 system (Suzuki, Toyota etc.) is effective I, as I am sure the previous poster would also agree, - would wish to draw attention to the subject of 'wind-up' caused by incorrect useage of 4WD. Vauxhall have not been helpful to the 2nd hand buyer of Fronteras in this respect I feel.

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Chrisjgibbins's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 06/01/2004

Frontera Sport RS. Excellent equipment level. Good enough on the road for a truck, very competent off-road, even to the extent of having to tow Discovery's out of trouble. Tester's comment on "no diff-lock" is misleading. The Frontera doesn't need one as front and rear axles are always 'locked'. I guess this shows the level of knowledge of the tester, so perhaps his comments should be read in light of his limited knowledge.

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Tubeway Army's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 05/12/2003

hi
<br>great reviews....im a biker..but i have to sell my bike..take my driving test and hopfully get a frontera...now the thing is..what would the insurance be for a first car..secondly...as im buying second hand..what should i look out for (i know not to get a pre 95) but any advice would be great
<br>cheers
<br>les

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Awg's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 29/11/2003

Thanks for your several comments on my original (under 'AG') review. So it's now FIVE years we've had this car. I'm 54 years old and have owned lots of weird and wonderful vehicles as you can imagine, and have never ever kept a car for 5 years before! The Frontera (along with my other 4x4 - a Jap.) both sailed through the UK MoT test a few days ago without even an advisory comment. How do we feel about it after 5 years? Well, I am a compulsive car maintenance freak, all work done by myself. Am also a compulsive valeting freak (even though 4x4s look so good under thick muck in Winter)! It's obviously a greatly outdated vehicle these days - even the 'new' Frontera, which finishes production in the UK December 2003 (as does Ford's Maverick) is now as hackneyed as a Salford TV Soap! I am looking seriously at the present Suzuki range of vehicles - the 5 door V6 Grand Vitara especially, as I like "real" 4x4s as opposed to some of the quite ridiculous SUV designs appearing on our streets these days. Altogether I think the 're-creation' of the Isuzu MU into Opel/Holden/Vauxhall Frontera, the Rodeo and the Honda badged version has been a memorable piece of motoring history between GM and Isuzu over it's decade or so of production, but I can only advise anyone thinking of buying a Frontera for the first time, - especially a pre-'95 bargain, to be very careful indeed, - check for a history of engine management faults, noisy rear diff., failed heater matrix etc. Corrosion should still not be a major problem - but nevertheless check it out.

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Adam01's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 31/10/2003

I my self have a late 95 m reg 2.0i 2 door sport.
<br>It's the biz love it, i get a round 28per gallon not bad ha, well i've had her now for 2 mths. The only thing I hated was the steering on the motorway has it seemed to go from side to side? Only very little but can be scary to say the least.
<br>Is this normal? The boot is a joke have to put all food shopping in back seats, not funny if you like myself have a 10 mth old baby. The drive is good lots of room at back, looks great for the money I paid I feel that money well spent. Better then a boring old car.4x4 any day wont go back . frontera for me from now on Adam from London

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Nolan's Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 05/08/2003

what is the fuel consumption like with a frontera?
<br>I currently own a rover 200, which was bought for work purposes. A good car but totally boring and conventional, so i fancy buying a 4x4. Im interested in knowing what fuel consumption is like for the frontera, as i still undertake around 4/500 miles a month.

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76326_Lol.'s Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 28/02/2003

I have been the owner of a late 1995 frontera for 2 years now, this was my first venture into a 4x4 vehicle, but I have to say that although it does not have all the luxury refinement of the more up market 4x4's it is a fun car to drive. I have a towed a caravan and gone off road with it and encountered no problems, in fact it does 4x4 better than some of the more expensive vehicles on the market, if you look at it for what it is and not compare it to the more expensive 4x4's on the market then you will not be disappointed.

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52965_Ag.'s Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 23/11/2002

In Romania you will probably pick up the Opel version. They are marketed all over the world under Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, Isuzu etc. The 2.0 is good off road due to the gearing. If in any doubt visit www.my4x4.co.uk This site is primarily Fronteras (nice change!)

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49640_Sebastian.'s Response to 33480_AG.'s Review

Written on: 09/11/2002

Helpful info, although I'd like to know more about current owners' feeling of the engine off-road. 2.0 is quite small for serious off-roading but at least the price tag is incomparably cheap to LandRover Defenders or other meaner machines.

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