1998 Vauxhall Frontera Reviews

1998 Vauxhall Frontera 2.2 16v from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.2 16v Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Previous carTata Gurkha

Summary:

Best 4x4 by far

Faults:

Head gasket blew.

Radiator was blocked, so fitted a new one.

General Comments:

Brilliant car, as long as you accept that it is a bit of a truck.

The previous owner had driven it all over Europe without any problems.

I fitted Monroe heavy duty gas shock absorbers, used it both on and off road, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

We used to drive from Surrey to Cornwall in it regularly when we only had two children.

I sold it when the cam belt tensioner broke, causing the cam belt to jump, however the tensioner had not been replaced when the new cam belt was fitted, so I would not blame Vauxhall for that.

I bought a Renault Espace once we had four children; horribly unreliable car and appalling dealer attitude, but now my wife drives a Ford Galaxy, and I am looking for another LWB Frontera.

I would quite like a 2.5 TDI this time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2012

1998 Vauxhall Frontera TDS 2.5 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.5 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired83000 miles
Most recent distance92500 miles

Summary:

Absolutely brilliant

Faults:

Apart from the clutch and slave cylinder, absolutely nothing has gone wrong, but this was caused through towing heavy boats up and down slipways.

General Comments:

Brilliant; tows boats and caravans with ease. It goes everywhere I point it, and never refuses.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th July, 2009

1998 Vauxhall Frontera Sport S 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Passat

Summary:

One word - brillant

Faults:

Both front wheal bearings.

Clutch at 130000.

General Comments:

What a machine, an entry level 4x4 at an entry level price. You won't do better for your money, and that's a fact. It's fun, practical and mine's been so great I got the wife one as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2009

1998 Vauxhall Frontera 5-Door LWB 2.2 Injection from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
Engine and transmission 2.2 Injection Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 miles
Most recent distance68000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Frontera

Summary:

Usual truck like character - but bulletproof

Faults:

The car never refuses to start, but can occasionally be difficult, i.e. second or third turn of the key.

A few rattles and bumps needed sorting out. There are still a few, but I've become accustomed to them, i.e. electric windows when partially opened; air vents on dash panel etc.

General Comments:

I always resisted the 2.2 Ecotec engine, as I knew that it's not as bulletproof as the larger units, diesels or the single cam 8 valve Sport. One of the first things I did was whip off the cambelt cover and have a look. As it was everything was new, - the belt, the two plastic runners and the adjustable runner. I also checked the water pump for squeal etc. The plastic runners will kill your car if they disintegrate! It's as simple as that! Also checked and changed the large serpentine drive belt, as I've heard of one of these snapping and slicing open the cambelt cover, and bringing the cambelt off.

Checked online to see if any advisory notices were given on the car during its last MOT test. They were slight corrosion of fuel and brake pipes and minute leak on the exhaust (so quite pleased about that, - as no problems rescuing those pipes from getting worse!). This car had an unusually high back end for a 1998. No wonder, it's never had a tow bar fitted, so no catering trailers, horseboxes or caravans. Shock absorbers perfect and rear diff. completely silent.

We only travel very small mileages in our cars, we are both turned 50 so insurance is peanuts. In addition I can do most jobs on these cars myself. So you take your chances as with any car.

I've always found Fronteras a brilliant rigid framed offroader, and a reassuringly safe car to drive in heavy traffic. The visibility is wonderful, the heaters are magnificent, and the load carrying capacity of the LWB is simply stupendous!

As a final note I would advise you do shop very carefully for these cars though, as some (many?) of them have led very, very hard lives! The galvanised bodies still look terrific even on very early models, but you do need to get underneath and check the chassis and pipes for corrosion. Also check the hi/lo 4x4 settings are ok (yes, they will lock up on tarmac, that is normal!); check for oil trails, oil leaks, check the ground where the car is normally parked; check for excess wear and pitting on the brake discs (although they are cheap to replace by 4x4 standards); get yourself a Haynes Manual and get your hands dirty! Buy with your head and not your heart, as there will always be another one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2007

2nd Oct 2007, 12:27

I don't know why people have a fear of the ecotech power plant, I have a mate who has run these engines in his company cars and he says as long as regularly serviced and maintained they give good service,some have done close on 200,000, his biggest gripe about them is the sensors, IE, crankshaft, camshaft, and lambda. also some minor electrical problems.

7th Nov 2011, 09:29

This is quite possibly the most helpful review I've ever read. Thank you!

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 12 reviews