Super-spacious Vauxhall Combo Life and Vivaro Life electric MPVs get 2024 facelift

Vauxhall’s van-based MPVs get a new lease of life for 2024, with tweaked looks and an improved range

  • Combo Life gets improved range
  • Larger battery option for Vivaro Life
  • Pricing to be revealed next year

Got people to move? Vauxhall has you covered with its Combo Life Electric and Vivaro Life Electric MPVs, both of which have received a fresh facelift for 2024. The updated people carriers, both based on commercial vans, offer seating for up to nine people and will be available to order next year.

What’s new with the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric?

Kicking things off as the smaller of the two people carriers, the Vauxhall Combo Life shares its underpinnings with the recently updated Peugeot E-Rifter and Citroen e-Berlingo. As with those cars, it is available in two lengths – ‘L1’ at 4.41m and ‘L2’ at 4.76m – and shares the same choice of five or seven-seat layouts. With 134bhp, it certainly won’t feel like a sports car, but there are three driving modes to choose from – Eco, Normal and Power – and a regenerative braking system helps top up the battery during deceleration.

So what’s new? The battery remains the same size at 50kWh, but improved efficiency means the Combo Life can now drive for up to 205 miles on a charge – around 31 miles more than the outgoing model. This is thanks to upgrades to the electric drivetrain, as well as a new heat pump that can warm the battery to its optimum temperature in cold conditions, improving range. As before, there’s 100kW rapid-charging capability, so a 10 to 80% charge should take about 30 minutes.

You’ll spot some tweaks to the styling too. The Combo Life receives Vauxhall’s latest visual treatment, complete with the black ‘Vizor’ fascia that has been gradually rolled out across its entire range, from the Corsa to the Grandland. The LED headlights are new, but other than that, the exterior is much the same as before, with sliding doors and boxy proportions.

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Vauxhall has treated the cabin to a few modern touches, including a new steering wheel and a larger, 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system – pay extra and you can have a 10-inch digital driver’s display as well. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both present, and there’s wireless smartphone charging. Thankfully, the Combo Life hasn’t lost the flexible interior of the outgoing model, with individual seats that can be folded down to create up to 4,000 litres of cargo-swallowing boot space in the ‘L2’ model. 

During our in-depth test of the outgoing Combo Life we noted its relative lack of safety assistance features, but Vauxhall has rectified this for the new model. There are now 18 systems on offer, including driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition, a lane keeping assistant and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking.

What about the facelifted Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric?

As the Combo Life’s bigger sibling, the Vivaro Life is also available in two lengths and can seat up to nine occupants with a cargo capacity of up to 4,900 litres. It shares the same 134bhp electric motor as the Combo Life, but buyers can now upgrade to a larger 75kWh battery over the more affordable 50kWh item. More kW results in a bigger range – up to 217 miles is now possible, a healthy increase over the smaller battery’s range of around 140 miles.

The refreshed front-end appearance is practically an upscaled version of the new Combo Life, with a similar ‘Vizor’ fascia and new headlights. Features carried over from the outgoing Vivaro Life include electrically-powered sliding doors, 100kW rapid-charging capability, and the option for a six-seat variant, ideal for chauffeuring passengers in maximum comfort.

How much will they cost and when can I order one?

Vauxhall is yet to release pricing and availability information – we will have to wait until early next year for further details.

What does it mean for car buyers?

Vauxhall’s two electric people-carriers provide a more practical alternative to the vast array of SUVs currently on sale. Whilst some may find their van-based styling too conventional, the small upgrades included in this 2024 facelift could win over those with large families or taxi drivers in need of a new set of wheels. We will have to wait until next year for pricing information, but the Combo Life and Vivaro Life are likely to remain as great value options in the electric people-carrier segment.

Need a new family car but don’t want an SUV? Read our list of the best people carriers...

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