1997 Vauxhall Frontera Sport 2.0


Don't bother with this rubbish - if you need a cheap 4x4, go and buy an old Cherokee!


I can't remember all the parts; all I do recall (I sold the car 6 months ago so my memory is not fresh) is that I ended up spending £1000 on this retched piece of junk.

General Comments:

Every winter I buy an inexpensive 4x4 as I live out in the country and we often have deep snow. Usually I buy a Jeep Cherokee XJ, but as these are becoming thin on the ground (in decent condition) I was struggling to find one. When I found a blue 2.0 Litre Sport Frontera, it looked like it was a bargain, especially as it had very low miles for its age (55,000 miles in 17 years).

Unfortunately this did not turn out to be a bargain: I paid £750 for the car and ended up spending £1000 fixing all the problems, yet only got £400 for it when I sold it!

Now you could say that’s what I get for buying such an old car, but I've owned 4 Jeep Cherokees from that same era and they have all been vastly better than this great lump of pig iron.

Let’s also talk about the size of the thing: it’s a 3 door 4x4 which is almost the same size as a 5 door Cherokee, but with only a 2+2 seating configuration! It has terrible packaging - the car is huge but the interior is cramped and badly laid out. The seats are low to the floor and uncomfortable, the gear stick is set so far forward that if you're tall you have to lean forward when you change gear so that you can grasp the stick. The rear seats are damn near impossible to access.

Acceleration could be timed using a calendar rather than a stop watch, it didn’t like making tight turns (it just crabbed), and even though the engine was small, the huge body meant that the MPG was only in the mid – high 20s.

The only good feeling I had for that car was the day it was taken away by the new owner. I’m about to go and buy another winter car today (09/09/2015) and I’ll be going back to a Cherokee – never again will I buy a Frontera!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th September, 2015

1997 Vauxhall Frontera TDS 2.5 turbo diesel


Did its duty, but nothing was ever simple


Starter motor went every 6 months.

The engine cut out when I turned the head lights on.

The engine stopped when I went down hills.

The clutch disk wore out twice in 3 years.

Differential over heated and clutch slipped when carrying around 300 kg up a hill in a forest.

Diesel filter pump broke (replaced it with an old tractor pump).

General Comments:

I bought this jeep as a disposable car for GP 1000.

To be honest it did its duty, and I gave it some tough challenges, but parts are expensive. It's a hard engine to fix, as things are very tucked away and hard to get to.

It's one of those vehicles where you just never know if you'll make it home. It's the cheapest jeep of its class; if you can afford something better, get something better because you'll pay the difference in parts and repairs. I recommend a older Toyota over a new Vauxhall.

I work in the forest, I use jeeps for work, and the Frontera 2.5 TDS engine is a good engine, made by Alfa Romeo and BMW, and will run forever, but the rest of its parts are made by different companies, and are of a lower standard of quality, so there was always something wrong with it. I replaced lots of parts with parts from old tractors; in the end it was like the car of Frankenstein, but it still runs to this day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2011