Vauxhall Frontera: petrol and electric power for small SUV

All-new Vauxhall Frontera SUV revives 1990s name and will arrive later this year with petrol and electric power...

Vauxhall Frontera, orange, front three quarters

On sale Late 2024 | Price from £25,000 (est)

Reuse, recycle. In the drive to become more sustainable, we’re told to make more of what we have. And when it comes to car naming, it’s an equally familiar concept: Citroen Ami, Fiat 500, Mini Cooper – the list goes on.

Now it’s time for Vauxhall to revive a name from the past: the Vauxhall Frontera. The original 1990s model tapped into the trend for rugged, affordable family SUVs, but the new Frontera goes in a different direction: rather than rugged off-road ability, it's now a small SUV with the choice of electric or mild hybrid propulsion, which pairs a petrol engine with 48-volt electrics to improve economy.

Vauxhall Frontera, orange, rear

It replaces the Vauxhall Crossland in the maker’s range, is smaller than the Vauxhall Mokka, and will count the Ford Puma, Jeep Avenger and Peugeot 2008 among its closest rivals.

Vauxhall is yet to reveal engine specifications, other than it will be available as an electric SUV – likely with a similar engine and battery combination to the Jeep Avenger, which should translate to a 240-250 mile official range. A mild-hybrid version will also be offered, which could be related to the 1.2-litre Avenger e-Hybrid.

The old Frontera was more about bull bars and lurid graphics, but the new Vauxhall Frontera takes a more subtle approach with an upright stance, which should translate into decent interior space, and the ‘Vauxhall Vizor’ grille that’s fitted to other models in the firm’s range. 

While the exterior styling is rather conservative, the interior has a far more modern look. Here, a pair of 10in displays which ‘float’ proud of the dashboard are the stars. It’s a similar ‘Pure Panel’ setup to the Vauxhall Astra, a system which we found a little tricky to operate, although the Frontera has more physical buttons which should improve usability.

Vauxhall Frontera interior

Vauxhall is yet to reveal full specifications, but models will feature an app-based system to allow drivers to mirror their smartphone on the car’s infotainment screen and operate it through the buttons on the smartly-designed steering wheel; Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility is also likely to be offered. Alongside multiple USB sockets and integrated smartphone pockets in the front seat backrests, the Frontera also has cooled wireless charging to reduce the heat build-up that’s common with some devices.

The seats have been designed to reduce backache, and have an Intelli-Seat slot in the front seats to relieve pressure on the tailbone. The rear seats fold in a 60:40 configuration and the boot measures 460 litres – more than the Nissan Juke and Skoda Kamiq. It’s comparable with the Crossland, meaning you’ll easily get a buggy or a pair of medium suitcases stowed. More than 200kg can be carried on the roof with optional roof rails.

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