Vauxhall Frontera reader test team

A familiar name is making a comeback on a new small SUV with petrol or electric power, but will this Frontera be well received? Our readers give their verdicts...

Vauxhall Frontera readers with car

The original Vauxhall Frontera was one of a slew of rugged-looking, affordable 4x4s introduced in the 1990s. While the new model that takes its name is expected to be good value, that’s where the similarities end. The new Frontera is a small SUV that’s available as a pure electric model or a 1.2-litre petrol with mild hybrid electrical assistance.

Replacing the Crossland, the new Vauxhall Frontera will rival the Ford Puma, Jeep Avenger and Peugeot 2008. It’s larger than the Vauxhall Crossland and promises to be roomier inside, with a comparable 460-litre boot. The Frontera might also be available as a seven-seater in the future.

The Frontera Electric is expected to offer an official range of up to 248 miles – similar to those of the Avenger and e-2008.

Prices are expected to start at around £20,000 for the petrol Frontera and £25,000 for the electric version. The latter would make the Frontera one of the cheapest new electric SUVs available in the UK. Deliveries will begin in late winter.

To find out how well the Frontera is likely to be received by buyers, we asked six readers to check it out and give their verdicts on it.

Mark Ashmore

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Mark

Age 53

Job Teacher

Drives Skoda Superb Estate

“The Frontera looks and feels like a proper SUV, unlike other recent Vauxhall models, such as the Crossland. I like the high roofline, front and side profiles and the overall stance of the car; it looks purposeful.

“There’s acres of space inside; I’m 6ft 5in tall and I fit in comfortably in both the front and back seats. Unusually for me, as a tall driver, the curve of the lumbar support is in exactly the right place. And the steering wheel, while fairly large, has a flat bottom, improving leg room, and it has plenty of adjustment, enabling me to find a good driving position.

“The boot is larger than I was expecting, and there’s a slight downward slope to the load lip that should help when sliding heavy items in and out.

“I like the fact that the electric version’s charging port is located on the rear wing of the car. Having it there is more discreet and practical than if it were on a front wing or in the front grille.

“The official range of up to 250 miles would be plenty for me, and I think it’s great that Vauxhall has partnered with Octopus Energy so owners only need a single Electroverse card to use lots of different public charging networks; it will make charging away from home far simpler.”

Rating 5 stars

Brian Colquhoun

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Brian

Age 60

Job Retired bank executive

Drives BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Volkswagen T-Roc

“I’m impressed with how roomy the Frontera feels up front, and there’s enough leg room in the back for me to sit behind someone who’s 6ft 5in tall.

“Although there’s also a good amount of head room in the rear seats, the car isn’t particularly wide, so it really only feels like a four-seater for adults. That said, we often take our two grandchildren out and need space for two child seats, which would fit easily. The only area in which the Frontera feels smaller than our T-Roc is in the boot.

“It’s good that Vauxhall is offering a mild hybrid petrol version of the Frontera alongside the electric one, so buyers who aren’t ready to go electric still have an option to choose from.

“I like the fairly conventional interior and controls, in contrast to some electric models that feel too space age and would take a lot of getting used to.

“It’s good that the seats are made from 100% recycled materials. The quality of the fabric is impressive, and having different colours and textures adds to their appeal.

“We visit family and friends in Scotland fairly often, and I wouldn’t want to use the public electric car charging network, but I’d be interested in finding out more about the petrol version. If it has good economy and is well priced, it could be a strong contender to replace the T-Roc.”

Rating 4 stars

Daren Delsol

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Darren

Age 58

Job Senior technical delivery manager 

Drives Audi Q3, Vauxhall Corsa

“The exterior design of the Frontera is very appealing. The boxy styling makes it look a bit like a mini Range Rover. And the doors close with a nice thud, making it feel well built.

“The front seats are well padded and feel nice and snug, and the interior looks good, although there aren’t as many useful cubbies as I’d like.

“The rear seat base is lower than I’d prefer, because I’m 6ft 2in tall and have to sit with my knees raised, but there’s enough space for me in the back. Boot space is good, too, plus the load lip is low, and an adjustable boot floor is a handy touch.

“It’s good that you can specify roof rails that can carry 200kg, because families might need to fit a roof box if they’re using the car for holidays or long trips. I’m concerned about the rear foglight being in the middle of the bumper, though. This could make fitting a towbar tricky.

“I’d like to see Vauxhall offering a longer warranty, too; some other mainstream brands now offer more than three years.

“Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by the Frontera. It feels more premium than my wife’s Corsa and makes me more positive about the brand.”

Rating 4 stars

Shaun McElheron 

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Shaun

Age 64

Job Retired police officer

Drives Morris Minor, Skoda Kamiq

“I used to drive an original Frontera for work and didn’t find it very durable, but the new model looks like a completely different proposition. It looks much more rugged and outdoorsy, and from what I can see here, it’s very well built. Many new models are bland and look very similar to each other, but the Frontera’s blunt front end and flared wheel arches help it to stand out.

“The door sills stick out from the door frames, so you’re likely to get wet or muddy trousers when you get in or out in bad weather. However, the front and rear doors open wide and the openings are tall, making it easy for me to get in and out.

“There’s plenty to like about the interior, too. The dual-screen dashboard layout, with an infotainment screen that blends into the instrument panel, looks great and ensures there’s plenty of information in the driver’s eyeline. I’m glad to see that there are physical controls on the centre console, too, so you don’t have to delve into the touchscreen all the time.

“There are plenty of storage cubbies, including one under the gear selector that’s large enough for an iPad.” 

Rating 5 stars

Andrew Jolley

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Andrew

Age 67

Job Retired finance director

Drives Vauxhall Grandland, Volvo V90

“I like the design of the Frontera; it looks very modern and has good street presence, while the slightly extended wheel arches and chunky body cladding are very appealing.

“Unlike some small SUVs, the Frontera has quite an elevated driving position, making it feel more like a proper 4x4 and no doubt providing good visibility.

“The biggest improvement over my Grandland is in terms of comfort. The Frontera’s front seats are far more supportive, and the interior is surprisingly spacious.

“Some areas are similar, though. There are useful buttons on the centre console to control the air-con and other functions without using the infotainment touchscreen, and the small gear selector and parking brake switch both look familiar.

“My current car is a diesel, and I’ve been nervous about switching to an electric model, but the 250-mile range of the Frontera should be enough for most of my journeys, and it’s reassuring that there’s an eight-year warranty on the battery.

“If the Frontera drives well and the pricing is competitive, it will be on my list as a possible replacement for my Grandland.”

Rating 4 stars

Alan Woodhouse

Vauxhall Frontera reader test team Alan

Age 68

Job Surveyor

Drives Audi Q3, Toyota Yaris Cross

“We’ve had a number of Vauxhall Corsas and Vectras in our family over the years, and I’ve found them to be solid, reliable and economical, so I was keen to see the Frontera.

“The car looks great on the outside; the shape is really appealing, and being rather boxy helps to free up space inside. There’s loads of room up front and there looks to be enough head room in the rear for my son, who is 6ft 4in tall, but leg room might be a bit tight.

“That said, we usually only have our dog on the back seat, and he’d fit in without a problem and be able to get in easily via the wide-opening rear doors.

“The boot is a reasonable size, which is good, because we need a car with enough capacity for shopping and a couple of suitcases.

“The Frontera is a great car for the driver; the front seats are very supportive, and I like the long dashboard display, which gives you lots of useful information.

“The maximum range of 250 miles on the electric version could be an issue for us, because we drive from Hertfordshire to Devon and Cornwall fairly often to stay with friends, but the mild hybrid petrol version would be a good option for us.”

Rating 4  stars

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