New Vauxhall Combo-e Life electric MPV breaks cover

Van-based Combo-e Life offers 174-mile range and can ordered with seven seats

  • Huge boot
  • 100kW fast charging
  • On sale in autumn

The new Vauxhall Combo-e Life has been unveiled. It’s an electric version of Vauxhall’s Combo van-based MPV, and offers the choice of five or seven seats. Prices and specs will be announced closer to the car’s launch in autumn 2021. Given that the petrol Combo Life starts at around £23,000, we’d expect the electric version to cost around £30,000.

Like Vauxhall’s other electric models - the Corsa-e, Mokka-e and Vivaro-e Life - the Combo-e Life is powered by a 136bhp electric motor, which is linked to a 50kWh battery. Here, it gives a range of up to 174 miles between charges and an 11.2-second 0-62mph time.

Using a 100kW public charger sees the battery topped up to 80% in around half an hour, while you can also use a 7.4kW home wallbox or a standard plug socket if you don’t need the battery charged so quickly. Regenerative braking allows the battery to recharge a little when you’re slowing down too.

Vans are often available in multiple sizes and lengths, and there are Medium and XL body styles to choose from on the Vauxhall Combo-e Life. The former can be specified with five or seven seats and the boot is huge at 597 litres. XL versions all come with seven seats; even so, the cargo space is even more vast at 850 litres. With the rear seats folded, you can fill 2,126 and 2,693 litres in the Medium and XL models respectively.

The front passenger seat can also be folded forwards, meaning you can carry long items like surfboards in the cabin. A 750kg towing limit isn’t great but it’s better than nothing, and there’s trailer stability assistance. We’re pleased Vauxhall has fitted three ISOFIX points for child seats across the middle row.

All versions get a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sat nav is available for extra cost but most buyers will be better off using smartphone mapping apps on the car’s screen anyway. Available safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, a 180-degree rear-view camera and lane-keeping assistance. Vauxhall’s clever Intelligrip traction control system can also be specified.

The Vauxhall Combo Life is mechanically identical to the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Rifter, so we expect electric versions of these will follow soon. Other rivals are few and far between, but you might also consider the Nissan e-NV200 and the much more expensive Mercedes EQV.

Read our guides to the best small vans and best large MPVs.

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