Despite the marketing effort put into making people believe the Antara is a city dweller by definition – a sort of urban cruiser – when looking at the mildly high ground clearance and the fact that it has an all wheel drive transmission actually made some of us think this might behave quite reasonably outside the city. Well, it turns out this is not exactly the case, from quite a few points of view.
First of all, although benefitting from the expected low-down torque of a diesel engine and a pretty fast-shifting automatic transmission, the vehicle's enormous mass counteracts any sign of dynamism. It is simply far from easy to overcome the inertia of almost two tonnes with just 150 horsepower and 320 Nm (236 lb ft). The Antara 2.0 CDTi is so slow on the move that it can even make you scared to pass a long(ish) truck on the road if another car is seen coming towards you in the distance.
The five-speed automatic gearbox inefficiently tries to squeeze every bit of power from the engine in order to propel the car as fast as you'd want but that is technically impossible. You can't bend the laws of physics. The sad part is that it's not even the engine's or the transmission's fault; it all sits in the enormous weight of the car.
That same weight is also the main reason behind the Antara's boat-like movements whenever tackling a corner with too much optimism or when braking harder than usual. On the good side the car appears to be very comfortable when driven for longer distances, but only if you're not in that much of a hurry, since then it would become a bit tiring.
But wait, that's not all, what about its off-road capabilities? It DOES have an all-wheel drive system after all. Sure it does, but it's not a permanent one. In other words, for more than 99% of the time the Antara is a FWD, while the rear wheels should in theory only provide traction when the car is trying to pass over a small swamp or something. Other than that, only the front tires are pulling. In other words, no, the off-road performance is average at best.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm into stylish cars. I like to dress up and I like to drive or at least be seen in fancy-looking automobiles so that I can better impress my peers. Does the Antara look like it could do that? Impress my peers I mean. Yes, apparently it might just as well do that.
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