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Compact 4x4 Antara from Vauxhall

Vauxhall Antara fits a load of features onto a small footprint

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Vauxhall's new compact SUV, the Antara, is available at prices starting from just under £20,000.

In view of the continuing assumption that all SUVs are enormous, Vauxhall is stressing that the Antara actually takes up about the same amount of road space as an Astra estate, though it's considerably taller. That means a load space of 370 litres with all seats in place and 865 litres when the 60:40 split rear seat is folded, or 1420 litres if you load it to roof level.

The FlexOrganiser system of nets, dividing walls, rods and hooks is carried over from the Astra and Vectra estate models, while FlexFix (a £475 option available from early next year) allows you to carry bikes without using the towball or roof rack.

Vauxhall is almost compeltely confident that diesel will be the fuel of choice among Antara owners, so it offers only one petrol engine - a 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit - with the entry-level £19,995 E. All other versions use the two-litre CDTi turbo diesel.

Cars in the E trim level have part-time four-wheel drive, air-conditioning, an alarm, front foglights and 17" alloys as standard, while the diesels have self-levelling suspension and a trailer stability program which recalibrates the ESP software as required.

Antara S models get 18" alloys, electronic climate control, heated front seats, a trip computer, cruise control, a rear central armrest, a chilled glovebox, chrome door handles and automatic headlights and wipers, while the range-topping SE comes with DVD-based satellite navigation, a 6-CD changer, leather seat and door facings, a Bluetooth phone system, xenon headlamps, dimming mirrors (inside and outside), a tyre pressure monitoring system and parking sensors.

Apart from the petrol E, prices range from £21,095 for the Antara S CDTi manual and extend to £27,795 for the SE CDTi automatic.