Vauxhall Frontera to return as “affordable” all-electric SUV

The classic model makes a comeback and promises to be a versatile and affordable small SUV option for families

A return of a giant, but the giant, is a familiar one. It’s also electric now. The classic SUV, a frontrunner in the emergence of the crossover-style SUVs in the early 90s but far from being a memorable model, is making a comeback with Vauxhall deciding to revive it after a 20-year hiatus and add it to its already extensive lineup of all-electric vehicles, along with the likes of Mokka, Corsa, and Astra.

Vauxhall has promised that its latest electric SUVs will be “affordable” and will come with a “high level of space and versatility”, making it another interesting and practical option for families as well as people with active lifestyles, making it a suitable ride if you want to go for those mountain biking adventures or a trip down to the river or beach with your kayak.

The arrival of Frontera, expected to be presented later this year, also means the departure of one of Vauxhall’s other SUV mainstays, the Crossland, a model released at the early stages of the current run of  modern, stylish SUVs.

> Read our review of Vauxhall Mokka Electric

But the new Frontier is not being touted as a looker, at least not in the sense of Vauxhall’s other stylish SUV, Mokka, which seems to continue to retain the moniker of the cool crossover. But instead, the Frontier will have a more “rugged” aesthetic, based on the company’s current design philosophy. So of course, expect the Vizor grille to be there, as it is not on all of Vauxhall’s models.

James Taylor, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “The name ‘Frontera’ is ideally suited to our exciting new SUV model. It will have a confident character and be positioned right in the core of the market.”

The British brand is also set to launch next-generation Grandland family SUV, which will use the same platform as the new Peugeot 3008 (also owned by Stellantis) and will be available with all-electric power.

As of the Frontera, we suspect Vauxhall to continue using its tried and testeed e-CMP platform, also used on the Vauxhall Corsa and Mokka, as well as several other models from Stellantis-owned brands like Citroen, Peugeot and DS.

> Fresh face, longer range, better tech: Vauxhall Corsa Electric 2023 review

We suspect that to keep the price point “attractive”, Vauxhall will be using the same 50kWh batteries found in both Corsa and Mokka for the entry-level models, while the extended range top-tier options might have the 54kWh. With that sort of battery, we’d expect one again a range pretty similar to Vauxhall’s other two models, somewhere between 220 and 250 miles. However, Frontera’s boxier and bigger profile could influence it a bit.

Vauxhall has the already begun 2024 on the front foot, with the company announcing last week that it’s opening orders for its updated Mokka Electric, with longer range, rapid charging, and some extra performance. When we reviewed it on, we found the car to be quite agreeable, with all the funks and quirks of a cool crossover while also offering the practicalities of a modern, urban SUV.

Now if the Frontera gets a similar reception is yet-to-be-seen. The company has surely been brave to revive a nameplate after two decades despite not being remembered too fondly by many drivers, so we expect Vauxhall to have a trick or two under its sleeve.

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