Vauxhall Combo Life Electric and Vivaro Life Electric MPVs given new lease of life

Both MPVs can now cover over 200 miles on a charge, with full pricing and specifications to be released early next year when order books open

After giving its compact Combo, medium-size Vivaro and full-size Movano vans mid-life facelifts, it was high time that Vauxhall showed some love for its van-derived people carriers. And so it has: meet the updated versions of the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric seven-seater and the Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric, which offers seating for up to nine.  

We guess Vauxhall couldn’t come up with snappier names for the pair, however it has added its signature ‘Vizor’ grille design to both, meaning all its passenger cars, stretching from the Corsa supermini all the way to the Grandland family SUV, now share a common design language.

The front end tweaks aren’t limited to the new grille though, as both cars have received more aggressive bumpers and much slimmer LED headlights with a more distinctive lighting signature that add a few extra style points. The Combo Life even gets Vauxhall’s adaptive IntelliLux LED Matrix light technology that helps illuminate the road without blinding other road users. 

The cabin of both cars has also been redesigned, and now features a 10-inch touchscreen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and a wireless charging pad. Meanwhile, the new steering wheel design, as well as looking more modern, has a set of paddles behind it for toggling between the different strengths for the regenerative braking system. Buyers can also add a 10-inch digital driver’s display that provides navigation information and energy consumption data.

There are up to 18 driver assistance systems also offered on both models, including driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition and lane keep assist. A 180-degree reversing camera is standard-fit on both cars, too.

Range has also seen significant boosts, with the Vivaro Life Electric receiving the largest increase – up 62 per cent to be exact, courtesy of a new 75kWh battery that gives the nine-seater EV a range of up to 217 miles. A 50kWh unit will remain available in the Vivaro Life Electric, offering closer to 140 miles of range on a charge but a lower price tag, too. 

The Combo Life Electric gets the same 50kWh battery as it before, but developments to the drivetrain mean it can go 205 miles between charges – around 31 miles further than it could before. The front wheels of both MPVs are still driven by a single electric motor producing 134bhp and 260Nm of torque, and have a maximum charging speed of 100kW. 

Practicality is unchanged too, with the smaller Combo Life Electric available in two lengths – 4.41 and 4.76 metres – the latter adding a third row of seats so it can accommodate seven, or up to 4,000 litres worth of stuff when all but the driver’s seat is folded down. Meanwhile, the Vivaro Life Electric measures either 4.98 or 5.33 metres long depending on the version, can seat nine people in the right configuration, or carry 4,900 litres of cargo if there’s just two people onboard. Handily, the Vivaro Life Electric only stands at 1.90 metres tall, so shouldn’t have any issues squeezing into underground car parks.

Click here for our list of the best 7-seaters on sale...

News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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