2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Opel's absence in the SUV segment lasted three years. With the Antara, the people of Rüsselsheim want to climb to the top again. In view of the Asian competition, a difficult undertaking.
By Thomas Flehmer
Three years after the Frontera was discontinued, Opel launched a new attack in the SUV segment. Despite the delay compared to the competition, the Rüsselsheim-based company is aiming for research with the Antara, which celebrated its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September. “There is certainly a gap between Frontera and Antara. We would have liked to have had the car two years earlier,”said Opel managing director Alain Visser to Autonews24 before the presentation in Athens.
Dynamic lines are missing
Even if the car arrives some time too late, Opel again claims a leading position in the segment due to the Frontera success, which found around 285,000 buyers in Europe from 1991 to 2003. The carmaker from Rüsselsheim emphasizes that it is the first European manufacturer to enter the segment again, but the competition from Asia with the Toyota RAV4, the Kia Sorento or the Hyundai Tucson has already secured some market shares in the growing segment.
It is all the more incomprehensible that the study presented at the IAA in Frankfurt last year had some dynamic lines removed from the body. So the Antara can't really set itself apart from the competition. The new model certainly looks impressive, but it also fits in too much with the uniformity of the SUV segment. A crease here and there would have been better. So two folds remain on the outer line, which at least suggest a bit of sportiness.
Accent on sportiness
And that should make the difference to the off-road vehicle developed together with its sister company Chevrolet - the importer from Bremen has already celebrated the market launch with the structurally identical Captiva. With the Frontera successor, Opel is focusing more on sportiness. For example, the SUV, which will initially come on the market with two petrol and one diesel, does not have the option of a third row of seats to emphasize the sporty aspect.
However, the 2.0 CDTI, which should account for around 80 percent of sales, did not necessarily show itself to be an athlete in the SUV segment during the first test drives. The 110 kW / 150 PS are sufficient to make rapid progress, but the dynamism is already missing when rolling. Second gear has to be engaged at high speeds in order to generate or maintain the necessary speed. The maximum torque of 320 NM is only available at 2000 rpm. If, on the other hand, upshifting is already at the lower speed limit, the Antara only chugs slowly.
Another obstacle to sportiness is the diesel volume. The diesel engine produced by the Italian VM Motori in Korea, which, according to the manufacturer, swallows an average of 7.4 liters per 100 kilometers, is quite loud despite common rail technology and, especially in the city, reminds of almost forgotten golf times with its nailing. But that ends the series of negative aspects. The diesel moves the body smoothly on the autobahn and country road. A top speed of 180 km / h and a start from zero to 100 km / h in
10.3 seconds are not bad for the 1.8 ton truck and in comparison with the competition.
Even if the users of the all-wheel drive hardly ever drive their car off-road, the Antara can score there. 20 centimeters of ground clearance and a well-sprung chassis compensate for unevenness in the self-supporting body. A hill descent aid, which will especially make the winter in rural regions easier, leads safely to the goal.
The seats provide the necessary lateral support so that you do not get thrown back and forth. And the interior is also of high quality with its applications. As with the competition, Opel is also promoting entry into the premium segment. The fittings are well lit, the center console with the on-board computer is inclined a little - and therefore easier to see.
Thanks to a phenomenal wheelbase of 2.7 meters, the occupants in the rear seats also have very good legroom - unlike the competition, where the legs have to be bent very sharply. By dispensing with the third row of seats, holidays are also saved. 370 liters of luggage space, which can also be expanded up to 1420 liters, are sufficient.
The entry level for the 2.0 CDTI Ecotec, which will be available from mid-December, starts with the Edition equipment variant at 30,765 euros. This includes automatic air conditioning, heated seats in the front, a right-hand tailpipe and 17-inch alloy wheels as well as automatic low beam. For the Cosmo version, which costs 33,265 euros, there is also a leather steering wheel, cruise control, park pilot, on-board computer, rain sensor, a windshield with heat protection glazing and other equipment components.
The Antara is sure to find its lovers and old Frontera fans. 30,000 to 40,000 units are to be sold in the coming year. But the crossover does not expect a paradise like its predecessor Frontera. In addition to the Asian competition, Volkswagen will soon enter the segment - not to mention the BMW X3.