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Vauxhall Vivaro-e review

Category: Electric Van

Section: Performance & drive

Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall Vivaro-e with Van Awards logo
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall Vivaro load area
  • Vauxhall Vivaro-e with Van Awards logo
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall-Vivaro-e
  • Vauxhall Vivaro load area
What Car?’s Vivaro-e deals

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Noisy, rattling diesel engines are already a thing of the past in the van world, and the regular Vivaro is already a well insulated van anyway, but the Vivaro-e's electric powertrain takes the quietness to the next level. It is therefore about as serene and relaxing as a commercial vehicle can be.

It is also very interesting to drive. The 100kW motor, producing 134bhp, might not sound that punchy compared to a top-end 200bhp diesel, but with no gears to change and instantaneous torque from the moment you press the accelerator, the Vivaro-e feels far quicker than you would expect. One stab of the pedal is all that’s needed to dismiss fears that the Corsa's powertrain might not be up to the job.

As well as the three driving modes there are also two levels of regenerative braking. Twist the key to power up the Vivaro-e and by default you’ll be in Normal driving mode, with the standard amount of gentle but noticeable regenerative braking.

The B mode button, again on the dash, increases the regenerative braking to the point that the automatic braking force is enough to activate the brake lights. It’s effective, but a third, more powerful, mode would be more welcome, while having the selection controls on the steering would also make toggling to the optimum setting easier. The implementation of the same controls on the Mercedes eVito are our pick for how these settings can be best deployed.

On the whole, though, the Vivaro-e stops and goes admirably well. Power mode is really only needed if you are carrying a heavy weight or towing (the Vivaro-e is the first electric van with a towing rate and can pull up to one tonne).

Vauxhall’s claimed range for the Vivaro-e is 143 miles for the model with the smaller 50kWh battery and 205 miles with the larger 75kWh pack. In reality those figures are unrealistic, although not as widely off the mark as you might think. We would estimate around 110 miles and 175 miles respectively are achievable with a modest load.

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