Vauxhall Frontera to be reborn as affordable electric family SUV
An all-new Vauxhall Frontera will serve as the replacement for ageing Vauxhall Crossland, but grow in size to rival popular family SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai
The Vauxhall Frontera is being reborn as an all-new mid-size SUV that’s focused on being versatile and affordable – words we like to hear. Better still, the new Frontera is due to be unveiled very soon, and an all-electric version will be available from launch with an “attractive” price tag.
For those who don’t remember the original Frontera, it launched in 1991 and was one of the early crossover SUVs. However, we wouldn’t consider the first or second-generation Fronteras to be among Vauxhall’s more fondly remembered cars, which could explain why the name is making a comeback only after a 20-year hiatus from showrooms.
As well as giving value-focused brands like Citroen and Dacia something to be worried about, the all-new Vauxhall Frontera will serve as the replacement for the ageing Crossland – Vauxhall’s more practical small MPV/SUV offering that’s sold alongside the more style-focused but much newer Mokka.
However the Frontera is expected to be a good deal bigger than the Crossland, with Vauxhall’s customer site suggesting the car will be “bigger and better than ever”. This will allow the car to build some distance from the Mokka, and become more of a rival to popular mid-size SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai – the UK’s second best-selling model in 2023. Vauxhall is promising “high level of space and versatility” from the new Frontera, along with “functional features and tech to ease your longer road trips,” but has yet to reveal exactly what these are.
The new Frontera will also sport a “more rugged” interpretation of Vauxhall’s latest design philosophy, hinted at by the boxy silhouette seen in the teaser images of the car. Compared to the Crossland, the new Frontera looks to have a more robust, SUV-like shape and taller roofline, which should help with both passenger and luggage space.
We can also see the Frontera will have a bluff front end with what looks to be a fairly pronounced bumper. The Frontera will, of course, be getting Vauxhall’s ‘Vizor’ grille design worn by all the brand’s cars now, including the Astra hatchback and facelifted Corsa supermini. The only other details we can pick out from the image are a sculpted bonnet, roof rails and short overhangs at the rear.
While the reveal of the new Frontera isn’t that far away, we already have a clear idea of what it will look like after we spotted a prototype undergoing testing last year, and created our own exclusive image to preview the car’s design.
Vauxhall Frontera Electric
The only technical detail released by Vauxhall at this stage is confirmation that the all-electric version of the new Vauxhall Frontera will be available from launch, which based on Vauxhall’s naming strategy is going to be called the Vauxhall Frontera Electric.
The EV "will be offered at an attractive price point, as we support access to electric cars for all, according to the brand. If Vauxhall is targeting a genuinely affordable price tag for the Frontera Electric, then we suspect it will use the new ‘Smart Car’ platform from parent company Stellantis. It’s the same architecture found on the forthcoming Citroen e-C3 supermini and will also underpin the next-generation Citroen C3 Aircross.
This will make the Frontera cheaper to produce than the Mokka, which sits on a different platform called CMP. The Frontera Electric could use the same 44kWh battery and 112bhp electric motor found in the e-C3, but being a significantly bigger car, it may also be offered with a larger battery pack.
Considering the cheapest version of the Mokka Electric starts from over £36,000, and an entry-level Corsa Electric from nearly £34k, this could mean a sub-£30,000 starting price for the electric Frontera.
The Frontera Electric is likely to be the focus, but the flexible ‘Smart Car’ architecture leaves the door open for petrol-powered models. Pure-petrol models could use Vauxhall’s familiar turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech engine, producing either 99bhp or 128bhp. Meanwhile mild-hybrid versions would pair a similar engine with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with an integrated electric motor powered by a small 48-volt battery. In the Corsa Hybrid, the e-motor provides an extra 28bhp and 55Nm of torque, and can drive the car for short distances on battery power alone.
This isn’t the only new EV Vauxhall is launching in 2024. Later this year it will introduce the next-generation Grandland family SUV, which will use the same platform as the new Peugeot 3008, and will be available with all-electric power. At that point, for the first time in Vauxhall’s history, every model in its range of both cars and vans will be available in fully electric form.
What will the new Vauxhall Frontera have to beat? Click here for our list of the best small SUVs on sale right now...