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Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life all-electric MPV goes on sale from under £35k

Vauxhall has announced the pricing for its first electric MPV – the Vivaro-e Life. At less than £35,000 and available to order right now, it undercuts numerous electric SUVs and cars, but underneath it is essentially a converted van. How does it stack up on paper?

The electric MPV segment is expanding. Several are either available to buy now, or will be very soon with the French arm of the PSA Group – Peugeot and Citroen – accounting for two of the options. We've known that Vauxhall's version, based on the EMP-2 platform like its French counterparts, was on its way, but the UK-based company has now announced the prices and specifications of its Vivaro-e Life.

Powertrain, performance and range

Powering the Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life is PSA Group's 'do-it-all' EV powertrain comprising a 134bhp, 192lb-ft motor at its maximum power setting. This endows the Vivaro-e Life with a 0-62mph time of 13.1 seconds and a perfectly usable top speed of 80mph. It'll even tow up to 1000kg.

As with other vehicles that use this powertrain there are three selectable power outputs, the lower of which help to increase the Vivaro's range. In Eco mode, power is limited to 80bhp and 140lb-ft and auxiliary functions are shut down to maximise range. For everyday driving, Normal mode offers 107bhp and 155lb-ft to give a blend of performance and range.

Two levels of regenerative braking help to claw back energy are available. D setting imitates the sensation you get when lifting off the accelerator in a petrol or diesel vehicle, whereas B increases the regeneration significantly, meaning there is pronounced deceleration as soon as a driver releases the accelerator.

A 50kWh battery means that the Vivaro-e Life is good for an official range of 143 miles. A maximum 100kW DC charging input delivers 80 per cent state of charge in just 30 minutes. As standard, the MPV gets a 7.4kW AC on-board charger which enables overnight charging in seven-and-a-half hours. Using the optional 11kW AC on-board charger reduces this to 4h 45min. As with other PSA Group vehicles with this powertrain, the battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Medium or large size options

The Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life is available in two different lengths – medium and long. In the latter the MPV can be configured with up to nine seats, with further options for five, six, seven or eight seat configurations. A maximum luggage capacity of 4500 litres, with space for objects up to 3.5 metres long thanks to folding passenger seats, makes it truly cavernous.

If Lounge trim is specified in the top-spec Vivaro-e Life Elite, the MPV gets massaging and heated front seats and four large, movable leather chairs in the rear which can be configured to face one-another for a more luxurious experience.

Interior and technology

Alongside a huge amount of versatility, the Vivaro-e Life gets a decent level of equipment. A central 7-inch touchscreen controls infotainment, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as navigation which benefits from Vauxhall Connect real-time traffic updates. In higher levels of trim, a ten speaker sound system can be specified.

As well as infotainment, the central touchscreen can display images from the 180-degree bird's eye rear view camera or, alternatively, these images can be displayed on the interior rear-view mirror. Additional low-speed driving aids include front and rear parking sensors and a front-mounted radar which can recognise pedestrians and other hazards and initiate emergency braking at up to 19mph.

At higher speeds, semi-adaptive cruise control can decelerate the Vivaro-e Life down to 12mph. Lane keep assist, drowsiness alert, high beam assist and a head-up display all add to the convenience of driving. Integration with the MyVauxhall app allows for cabin pre-conditioning, charging programming and live vehicle status updates.

Price, availability and rivals

For the basic 'Edition' model, which can seat up to nine, the Vivaro-e Life costs £34,645 after the plug-in van grant is applied. For something a bit more luxurious, the aforementioned Elite model can be had for £46,415 – and both versions are available in medium and long body styles. It's possible to order one now, with deliveries starting in October.

As we mentioned, Vauxhall's PSA Group compatriots each offer an electric MPV in the form of the Citroën ë-SpaceTourer and Peugeot e-Traveller. Nissan's take on the electric MPV comes in the form of the E-NV200 Combi which is V2G-capable, offers similar range and undercuts the PSA Group vans by a couple of grand. If you have deep pockets, the Mercedes EQV Sport offers over 200 miles of range for a cool £70,665.

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