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If you're looking for a 4x4 that's just as capable as comparative 4x4s but at a Fraction of the Price, here it is.
Mine's an L (93/94) Reg but still runs well now. It is a Short Wheel Base (SWB) 2 Door Model, so bear with me if I include/miss out things other Frontera Sports have.
I Chose the Frontera as it was Cheaper and known to me as Capable to handle anything I threw at it and it doesn't look as boxy as most 4x4s do these days!
Driving Experiences: (On & Off-Road)
A very Smooth Drive at 30mph along the Tarmac, the Leaf-Sprung Rear Suspension does tend to increase the Bump Effect from Joined Sections of Road or Drains but it is negligable. The Frontera SWB doesn't like to acellerate hard and will creep up to 70mph on the motorway but once She's there She is very solid and you get Minimal Buffeting going past Trucks. The additional height makes it easier to see ahead and possibly avoid an incident. The Fronteras 2.0i Engine doesn't like long Up-Hill Gradients and does slow down considerably.(So Don't get behind one in Wales!!!)
Off-Roading the Frontera will go virtually anywhere, I've had Her to 40 Degrees Going Up and Down inclines and at 35 Degrees on Her Side, She eats the Mud and as long as You keep at a Constant speed You don't need to even contemplate switching into 4wd. In 4wd the Frontera will attempt to tackle any incline, mud or water you can think of, in most cases You back off before the Frontera has even come close to Her limits. The Leaf-Sprung Rear Suspension does give a harder ride but you do feel the bumps/terrain better.
The Vehicle .....
You have a very clear Dashboard with 6 readouts, rev counter, speedometer/Odometer, Battery Voltometer, Fuel Gauge, Oil Gauge & Water Temperature Gauge. All the usual lights underneath the Readout/Dials as well comprising Battery Warning Light, Engine Managment Warning Light, 4 Wheel Drive Selected Light, Oil Light and Hazard/Indication Lights.
The Front seats only move Forwards and Back so as To allow basic Height Issues to be addressed and access to the Rear 2 Seats.
You've got Manual Windows on the Front and the Rear-Side and Rear-Windscreens can all be removed as well as the huge Roof Section over the Rear Seats this makes it very suitable for the rare hot days we do get and the windblast when the Roof and Windows are off are negligable in the Front Compartment, Heated Rear Windscreen, Electric headlight beam levelling knob and Manually Moved Side-Mirrors all easily accessable from the Drivers seat all without having to look for them or having to stretch too far when setting Her up for Yourself.
You've also got twin front map reading lights as well as the standard door activated lights in the front and rear sections.
Air blend heater with four speed fan and air recirculation system and its adjustable face level air vents and front side window demist vents this is just as good as AirCon but while Static it does get a bit warm at times.
I've got 4 lights on the front, 2 main beam, 2 dipped beam & 2 sidelights on the standard Car Body & 2 Spotlight/Main Beams on a full front bull bar Not the A-Frame Polycarbonate Bar which seems to be the Standard fit now. you've got 2 gear selectors in the Center Console, one comprising 5 forward & reverse gears. And a Smaller one which gives you the selection for 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive in high & low ratios.
There's enough room inside for 2 kids in the back 2 adults in the front and in the boot a 2man tent & maybe (I say Maybe as I haven't Tried yet) everything needed for a Weekends camping (food/clothes/cooking equip). The amount of Legroom for the Rear 2 Passengers is Amazing, it's huge! Certainly a Bonus if You know You're going to be carrying 4 Adults and they won't be cramped up in a small space like other 2-Door Vehicles. The Boot/load Area is very Small with the Seats up but certainly Big enough for a 31" TV in its Box when the Seats are Down the Boot/Load Area could be better with a Light by the Boot Door,it also has 4 fixed tie-down points that are available with the seats down. The Spare wheel could be mounted better as it blocks a chunk out of your rearview mirror and the Motor for the Rear-Windscreen Wiper is Window Mounted so You have to keep an eye on the connections for the Electrics in case they start to get damaged.
Rear-door opens with the Door opening sideways! But the Hinges are prone to Rust or Warping so Maintenence is a must..
Insurance: The Frontera Estate is a Group 12 But You can get Very Reasonable Priced Cover from Adrian Flux.
Security: This Frontera has the Standard Immobilizer fitted but can be Modified to accept anything available Top Speed: I've not "Opened Her Up" as yet but She sits nicely at 70mph which is enough.
Engine: There are quite a few engine sizes 2.0i (sport) to 3.2i V6 and the choice between Petrol (like mine) , Diesel & some are LPG now. I have a 2.0i Cn20 8 Valve Engine in the Sport so it does struggle a bit on constant gradients But I cannot complain yet .... Fuel: (mine) I can get 480 miles from the tank sometimes but with the rising costs on Fuel I'm looking into Modifications to further increase this amount
Tyres: (on mine) 225/75R15 (109mph rated) And have recently had to replace both Front Tyres for the Huge Cost of £115! Now say that £160 for a Low Profile Tyre on another Vehicle is a good price! But that's on-road tyres. For Off-Road and All-Terrain Tyre Prices they Range from £43 each for Budget Tyres at 31"/10.5". Not bad at all Rims: I've currently got the Standard Steel 15" Rims on this Frontera but I'm looking for 16" Steel Rims instead.
The Price: You can pick up a Frontera Sport from around £400 or less for a "TLC Needed" Version up to £2000 for a "Pristine" Conditioned Sport. Stereo: Radio data system (RDS EON) with Traffic Programme with MP3/WMA compatible CD-Player and removable function button for security (I swapped this off my 1st Frontera) with 4 Speakers as standard in the Front doors and in the Pillars behind the Front Seats.
Modifications: The Frontera is Very Easy to Modify, everything From Suspension Lifts, Chassis Lifts, Roll Cage Fitting (There is already a Roll-Cage in the Rear-Section but Some Owner/Drivers do like to Add Their own) and Winches can be added safely to the Vehicle I've got the Full Sidestep/Running Boards under the doors which also Double as Rock-Sliders
Power-assisted steering is standard on this car.
P.S. New Review coming Soon on a New Family-Based 4x4 Off-Roading Site & Forum