Parkers overall rating: 2 out of 5 2.0

There are eight different engines. The first generation (to 1998) came with 2.0i, 2.2i 16-valve and 2.4i petrol engines, or turbo-diesels in 2.3 TD, 2.5 TDS and 2.8 TD form. The current second-generation models have the 2.2i petrol engine, a 3.2 V6 or a direct-injection diesel 2.2 DTi. The 2.2-litre petrol perfectly adequate for the undemanding user, 2.2 DTi turbo-diesel though is powerful, but refined and ready for some hard work (older 2.3, 2.5 and 2.8 TD units are rougher, but offer lots of pulling power).

Automatic gearboxes seem clunky and are far from smooth, so stick to manuals. The V6 offers the best performance getting smoothly to 60mph in just over nine seconds. It's not economical, though.

There were significant handling improvements for Frontera from 1998. The steering was made more responsive and bodyroll through corners was tightened. Off-road performance was also improved. Push-button engagement of four-wheel-drive on the move was added, combined with a proper low ratio gearbox. The ride is choppy at all speeds and hard in town.