1997 Vauxhall Frontera TDS 2.5 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


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

1997 Vauxhall Frontera TDS 2.5 from UK and Ireland


Great looking vehicle


Finish is not the best, and the seats don't wear too well, but other than that, no different from other cars of this vintage.

General Comments:

Real value for money, and in my opinion underrated.

Noisy but strong engine. Smooth gearbox.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2008

1997 Vauxhall Frontera LWB Estate 2.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Highly durable, low cost 4x4 motoring, and a lot of fun, but not for the non-mechanically minded.


First thing you may ask is who am I to comment after only a 1000 miles? Good question. I have had Fronteras since 1998, and also have a 1996 Sport, so maybe this answers the question.

Nothing has 'gone wrong' with the car at all. I have however had to correct a handful of known Frontera faults that had not previously been addressed. Fronteras rattle, bump and bang! Most of this is design fault. The most frightening to a newcomer is the bonnet making grounding noises around the rear hinges. I found that adjusting rubber buffer heights does not work, - so make one (or two) well folded cloths, toweling is excellent, and jam them in the corners next to the hinges. Hey presto! Problem solved. Just change them every now and again.

You may get vibration from the spare wheel housing, especially in freezing temperatures. As long as everything is secure then ignore it. Door panels rattle and bump on the LWB Estate, as do partially opened electric windows. Interior light fittings may dislodge in the LWB too.

On the Sport, a whole host of small interior plastic embellishments of absolutely no consequence come away. Just chuck them in a bag and save them!

General Comments:

If you think you can buy just ANY Frontera, wash it, polish it and just drive it, then think again. There is appalling rubbish out there - just as there is with Land Rovers and others.

Fronteras tend these days to now be going to enthusiasts like myself who are knowledgeable and willing to work on them. The offroad performance is absolutely first class, as YouTube videos and enthusiasts sites bear out. They are highly durable machines with tremendous 'road presence' and VERY cheap to buy and maintain by 4x4 standards. But keep away from main dealerships, and if you insist upon paying someone else to service your Frontera, seek out a small independent 4x4 specialist, like a Land Rover workshop.

If you are in the UK or Australia why not join www.fronteraowners.co.uk. This is a private forum operated by highly knowledgeable enthusiasts and members.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2007