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Vauxhall Vivaro Life 100kW Combi L 50kWh 5dr Auto 11kWCh

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door mpv
  • 13.1 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 136 bhp Engine power
  • 136 mi Combined range
  • 50 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

Need a really large MPV? Perhaps you need a full-electric one? Here's Vauxhall's take on this concept, the Vivaro Life Electric, now improved with a larger 75kWh battery. This model is, as its name suggests, based on the marque's medium-sized Vivaro van but it's actually pretty sophisticated as well as being light, airy, and seriously spacious, with room for up to 9 people, depending on variant. If anything, its commercial vehicle roots serve as a strength and the huge interior, tough build and uncomplicated design might prove ideal for family buyers.

Background

Really large People Carriers are these days almost exclusively based on vans - and it's easy to see why. Previously, with a car-based large MPV like, say a Ford Galaxy, once you'd filled the vehicle with a family, there was usually no room for a family's luggage. But with a model based on a boxy van, there's usually space for both. But prior to 2016, the only way to get a really large LCV-based people carrier of this sort was to pay the high prices required for either the Volkswagen Caravelle or the Mercedes V-Class. It was to offer a more affordable alternative that the Vauxhall Vivaro Life was launched in this year, based on the Vivaro van. It was introduced alongside two identical clones, the Peugeot Traveller and the Citroen SpaceTourer. In 2021, the diesel versions of all three models were discontinued in favour of a single all-electric drivetrain. But they could only be had with the compact 50kWh battery used by small Stellantis Group cars, so driving range was correspondingly feeble and sales were slow. Hence the urgent need for a bigger battery, which Vauxhall has introduced at the same time smartening the exterior styling and upgrading the cabin screens. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

You might have previously dismissed the original 50kWh version of this Vivaro Life Electric because of its restricted 143 mile range. Well there's been a big improvement there thanks to the installation of a new 75kWh battery pack that boosts range to 217 miles. A useful improvement, but we're a little disappointed that Vauxhall hasn't also installed the even bigger 110kWh pack that's now available with its larger Movano LCV (which gives an even better range of up to 260 miles). Perhaps the thinking was that a battery of that weighty size might have rather over-whelmed the 134bhp (260Nm) electric motor which is carried over from the original model. Three driving modes are available, but you'll need the most frugal of them - 'Eco' - to get anywhere near the claimed range figure - and that restricts power output significantly. The other two settings are 'Normal' and 'Power'. There's also a new regenerative braking system with three different levels, using paddles located behind the steering wheel. Through the corners, as you would expect, there's plenty of body roll if, rather unwisely, you start throwing the thing about. If you can ignore both that and the slightly vague steering and find yourself absolutely having to push on, you'll find that there's reasonable grip and traction. For outdoor activities, the Vivaro Life Electric can come with an Advanced Grip Control system, incorporating Hill Assist Descent Control and adjustable traction control. This set-up's ideal for use on low grip surfaces, with modes for sand, mud and snow.

Design and Build

This Vivaro Life Electric certainly doesn't shout 'school bus' in terms of the way it looks. Not in this updated form anyway, which gains the brand's signature 'Vizor' grille design along with revised bumpers. Narrower LED headlights can now feature the brand's IntelliLux matrix technology. As before, this flexible People Carrier is available in two lengths - 4.9m. and 5.3m. The cabin can be configured for up to nine people - three in each row. For business users wanting a VIP shuttle, it can be ordered with four individual seats in the rear. At the wheel, there's a new 10-inch digital colour instrument cluster which provides an optimised and customisable display of the essential information, including that of the navigation system and information relating to energy flow and recharging. Vauxhall has also revised the dashboard to incorporate a larger 10-inch HD central touchscreen for controlling the multimedia system and connected navigation. This includes a voice assistant which allows drivers to control the main infotainment functions without taking their eyes off the road. The battery installation hasn't compromised passenger or cargo space in any way. All the rear seats can be removed to reveal a van-like cargo area, but they've heavy and awkward to lift and you'd need a big garage to store them in. Depending on the configuration, the Vivaro Life Electric can carry up to nine people with a boot volume of 1,500 litres, or five people and 3,000 litres, or even offer up to 4,900 litres of load volume with two or three people on board.

Market and Model

Prices sit mainly in the £40,000-£55,000 bracket. There's a choice of two body lengths, M and L. Entry-level 'Combi' models can seat nine, while the mid-range 'Design' model seats eight. The top leather-lined 'Ultimate' version also seats eight and prices from nearly £50,000. In total, the Vivaro Life Electric offers up to 18 driver assistance systems. The highlights include Adaptive Cruise Control with a stop & go function, as well as a high-resolution 180-degree rear-view camera. Intelli-Grip with hill descent control provides a firm grip on difficult surfaces such as snow, mud or sand. Sensors at the front and rear as well as flank guard and blind spot warning facilitate safe manoeuvring. Numerous additional systems such as Driver Attention Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert with Emergency Braking complete the portfolio. If desired, customers can order the fully digital 10-inch driver information display, which delivers all important information (including from the navigation system) and also provides information on energy consumption and charging. The new infotainment systems with 10-inch colour touchscreens use the integrated Snapdragon Cockpit platform from Qualcomm Technologies and enable, among other things, state-of-the-art graphics, multimedia and computer vision functions. In addition, important functions can be operated via the 'Hey Vauxhall' natural voice recognition. Compatible smartphones can be wirelessly connected to the vehicle's multimedia systems using 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' and charged wirelessly.

Cost of Ownership

Because the Vivaro Life Electric supports up to 100kW rapid charging technology, an 80 per cent charge will take 45 minutes. This EV People Carrier also features a 7.4kW on-board charger. A full charge from a 7.4kW domestic wallbox takes 11 hours 20 minutes. With the alternative 11kW wallbox, you can reduce that to seven and a half hours. For peace of mind, the lithium-ion battery pack in this model comes with an eight year/100,000 mile warranty, for up to 70% of the initial battery capacity. To get close to the quoted 217 mile range figure, you'll need to engage 'Eco' mode frequently - which reduces power output to 80hp. To maximise range, you'll also need to regularly engage the fiercest of the regenerative braking settings, activated by steering wheel paddles. Owners can set up deferred charging or to pre-condition the vehicle via a 'Vauxhall Connect' mobile app on their smartphone. This app also allows drivers to initiate or schedule thermal preconditioning and view, schedule, start or deferred charging remotely.

Summary

With this larger 75kWh battery fitted, this Vivaro Life Electric at last makes some sort of credible sense for larger families and businesses needing to provide comfortable shuttle transport. We're disappointed though, that the brand couldn't have offered the larger 110kWh battery available in the big Movano van, which would have given this model a range even more appealing to combustion users. Still, if all you want to use this Vauxhall for is short-to-medium trips, what the 75kWh battery provides could well be quite sufficient. And the front-of-cabin experience you now get certainly feels a lot more up-to-date. The other practical attributes are as before. And if you're attracted to the all-round package, it just comes down to whether you want the Vauxhall version of this design rather than the Peugeot or Citroen variants. Vauxhall's dealer network and bargaining power might sway that decision for you and if so, there's plenty to like here if for you, space is the ultimate luxury.

  • Flexible roof mounted aerial
  • Nearside and offside sliding side access door with fixed windows
  • Side protection mouldings
  • Vehicle charging socket
  • 12V socket in cargo area
  • 12V socket in saloon area
  • 3 spoke design steering wheel with satin chrome effect bezel
  • A4 storage compartment in facia
  • Curitiba cloth upholstery
  • Facia mounted gear lever
  • Floor mounted handbrake lever
  • Front door pockets with three separate compartments
  • Lower shelf
  • Open lower glovebox with 12v socket and aux-in facility
  • Open storage compartments in facia
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Seatbelt unfastened audible warning
  • Storage pocket in front of gear lever
  • Two facia mounted drinks holders
  • Upper glovebox
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Child proof locks on rear doors
  • Deactivation switch for front passengers front and side impact airbags
  • Driver and front passenger airbags
  • Drivers and front passenger lap belt pretensioner system
  • Front seatbelt force limiters
  • Full length curtain airbags second and third row seating
  • Full-size curtain airbags for driver and front and outer rear seat passengers
  • Height adjustable lap and diagonal inertia reel seatbelts
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings incorporating top tether anchor points located on second row rear seats
  • Two front seat side-impact airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Electronic engine deadlock immobiliser, steering column lock, lockable fuel filler cap and anti-theft spare wheel cradle
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Remote control door locking, two keys with integral remote, door deadlocks and selective door locking
  • Remote control security alarm system - engine compartment protection, ultrasonic detectors in load area and siren
  • System monitors doors, tailgate, bonnet and the passenger compartment
  • Visible vehicle identification number
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 50
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 1305
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 300
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 30
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Front
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 100
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 47
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 25.7
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 25.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 2.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 2.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City - TEH: 296
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City - TEL: 303
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 219
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 217
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 220
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City - TEH: 184
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City - TEL: 188
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 136
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 135
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 137
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 136
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: Combi L [11kW]
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 25000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 13.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 192
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 26.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 260
  • Top Speed: 81
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: False
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/65 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/65 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 16" STEEL
  • Height: 1935
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 5306
  • Wheelbase: 3275
  • Width: 1920
  • Width (including mirrors): 2204
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3030
  • Max. Loading Weight: 1003
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1000
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2027
  • No. of Seats: 9
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.4