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Vauxhall Vivaro Electric review

Overall Rating: 6/10

Vauxhall's Vivaro has always been a van offering choice and that is still true with the electric version. As a van it’s available in two body lengths although just one roof height, but also with Crew Van and platform-chassis versions. Its load volume is the same as the diesel with up to 6.6m3 and there’s up to 1,000kg of payload. Standard vans have a total length of 4959mm allowing L1 models to transport 2512mm for the L1 and 2862mm for the longer length L2. Expert rating: 4/5 InteriorThe inside has been substantially revamped with a new 10-inch infotainment and navigation system, more impressive is the 10-inch digital instrument cluster that contains all of the data you’ll like to keep an eye on like battery charge and range. IF you like to use voice commands there’s natural voice recognition activated by saying “Hey Vauxhall” and wireless smartphone mirroring for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s plenty of space with a revised storage layout that has slightly increased the size of some of the storage compartments and adding a cooled glovebox for your sandwiches. There’s a new multi-function heated steering wheel with controls for infotainment and telephone, as well as the new paddle shifters for the regenerative braking function.

Charging the Vivaro Electric will certainly be cheaper than its diesel equivalent if you stay away from the ultra-expensive rapid chargers on the motorway network, but you’ll get a lot less range from a full charge. It has a claimed range of 217 miles for the 75kWh battery. It’s also still nearly double the price of a diesel van at just over £42,000. However, that does come down to £37,805 with the current plug in van.

Vauxhall has been topping the sales charts ever since the electric Vivaro was launched. During that time there haven’t been any significant issues except for a minor niggle with the air conditioning units in some vans. It’s proven to be a reliable runner with no battery or powertrain issues.

Despite the numbers remaining the same for the second-generation van, there’s actually been a complete overhaul of the electric driveline. New composition for the battery, as well as the electrical architecture and motor have all resulted in slight improvements to the Vivaro Electric. Power remains at 100kW (136hp) with 260Nm of torque, but the 75kWh battery is now capable of 217 miles rather than 205 miles. Performance when laden is acceptable for a mid-sized van with a decent level of power and torque. It’s also enough to tow a small trailer, which you don’t find with all electric vehicles. Unladen, it flies off the line and doesn’t stop all the way to its 80mph top speed.

What's it like to drive?

Even with plenty of upgrades, one thing that hasn’t needed to change is the Vivaro Electric’s handling and ride comfort. It’s always been first-rate with precise steering and well-mannered ride. The driving experience is further enhanced by the addition of the steering wheel-mounted paddles to control the three levels of regenerative braking. The first mode allows a good level of coasting, while the second applies a more meaningful amount of braking. The third, and most severe mode, is enough to bring the van to almost a complete stop without touching the brakes. It’s a big upgrade from the previous system which was either on or off.

How safe is the Vauxhall Vivaro Electric?

There are an impressive 18 driver assistance and safety systems with rear parking sensors, intelligent speed assistance, lane keep assist and driver attention alert all standard. Additional systems include Dynamic Surround View to help with parking, blind spot assistant and adaptive cruise control. It’s a comprehensive offering for anyone with an eye on safety. Expert rating: 5/5 EquipmentThe Vivaro Electric comes in two trim levels, Prime and Pro. The 10-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring is standard on all vans along with a digital instrument cluster, rear parking sensors and all the standard safety systems mentioned above. Not a huge amount on the base level van, but Pro trim adds a bucket load of better kit with even more safety systems, most notable of which is the Dynamic Surround View with digital rear view mirror and passenger side camera. But also satellite navigation, LED headlights and a FlexCargo load-through bulkhead.

A good range, top levels of practicality and a respectable payload are all huge pluses for the Vivaro Electric. Sales speak volumes and the fact that it’s been Britain’s best-selling electric van – although the electric Transit Custom coming soon, might have something to say about that – means that it’s hitting all the right spots with the people that matter the most, van buyers

The Vivaro Electric was the UK’s best-selling electric van in 2023 and from Spring 2025 will begin limited production at Vauxhall’s Luton manufacturing plant. Drivers of the latest version will benefit from a range of up to 217 miles (WLTP), an increase of 12 miles over the outgoing model. The New Vivaro Electric’s 75kWh battery can be charged using the standard 7.4kW onboard charger (an 11kW charger is optional), while a 5-80% charge takes just 45 minutes at a 100kW public charger. A unique feature in this segment is the ‘e-Power Take-off Unit’, which can be used to supply smaller tools or fridge units for cooled vans with power from the traction battery.

Internal combustion versions of the New Vivaro are available with either a 1.5-litre (120PS) turbo diesel engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, or a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine in two states of tune – 145PS or 180PS. The former can be combined with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, with the more powerful variant available exclusively as an automatic.

As standard, the New Vivaro is equipped with a 10-inch HD touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring and Vauxhall Connect. The infotainment can also be operated through voice recognition and the steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Key driving information is displayed in a 10-inch digital instrument cluster, while on the Vivaro Electric paddle shifters allow drivers to choose from three levels of regenerative braking.

Prime trim includes a wide range of safety and driver assist features, such as a full-height steel bulkhead, rear parking sensors, intelligent speed assistance, lane keep assist and driver attention alert. Pro trim adds Dynamic Surround View, which includes a digital rear view mirror and passenger side camera, blind spot detection, flank guard detection of fixed obstacles, a 180-degree rear parking camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Other key additions on Pro trim include an upgraded infotainment system with satellite navigation, ECO LED headlights and front fog lights. Visual enhancements include 17-inch steel wheels with full-diameter wheel trims (or optional 17-inch alloy wheels), body-colour front and rear bumpers, side-mouldings and door handles. A FlexCargo load-through bulkhead, power-folding door mirrors and fold-flat centre seat backrest providing a flat work surface offer even greater ease of use.

Prices for the New Vivaro start at £28,625 OTR (exc. VAT). The New Vivaro Electric starts from £37,805 OTR (after Plug-in Van Grant, exc. VAT) representing a saving of £2,580 over the outgoing 75kWh model.

Should I buy a Vauxhall Vivaro Electric?

The Vauxhall Vivaro Electric really does everything the diesel van does but with a green twist. The plus side of that is that it also has cheaper running costs. With a high payload for an electric van, as well as a very useful carrying capacity, the electric Vivaro is a lot more practical than you might think. It's also a fun van to drive and pleasant to be in. Don't be put off by the high upfront purchase price, there's a lot to like about the Vauxhall Vivaro Electric.

ModelTrimVersionPrice (exc. VAT)OTR RRP after PiVG (exc. VAT)
Vivaro ElectricPrime136PS 75kWh Panel Van£42,055£37,805
136PS 75kWh XL Panel Van£42,855£38,605
136PS 75kWh Doublecab£44,755£40,505
136PS 75kWh XL Doublecab£44,955£40,705
136PS 75kWh Platform Cab£41,705N/A
Pro136PS 75kWh Panel Van£44,730£40,480
136PS 75kWh XL Panel Van£45,530£41,280
136PS 75kWh Doublecab£47,430£43,180
136PS 75kWh XL Doublecab£47,630£43,380

Vauxhall Vivaro Electric

Price: £- £

Power: -
Torque: - Nm
Payload: - kg
Volume/Area: -
Loadspace Length Max: - mm
Things We Like:
Great range and usability, comfortable and fun to drive, excellent safety systems
Things We Like Less:
Overall: 6/10

Driving: /10
Interior: /10
Practicality: /10
Value: /10
First Published: March 15, 2024
Last Modified: April 17, 2024  
Written by: thevanreviewer

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