The Vauxhall Frontera returns as a compact electric SUV | CAR Magazine

The Vauxhall Frontera returns as a compact electric SUV

Published: 08 April 2024 Updated: 09 April 2024

► Frontera nameplate makes dramatic comeback
► Electric and mild-hybrid versions available
► Replaces the Crossland

Of all the names that Vauxhall could have brought out of retirement, you’d think Frontera would have been quite low down the list, right?

Nevertheless, it’s seen fit to call its replacement for the Crossland the Frontera. No longer the thirsty 4×4 it once was, the name is now being used on Vauxhall’s new compact SUV that will be available as both an electric version and with mild-hybrid power. 

Vauxhall Frontera - top down

What’s in a name?

The Frontera is not one of Vauxhall’s greatest hits, so it’s an unusual name to bring back. I guess we should be grateful it’s not called the Antara – remember that?

The small families Vauxhall is targeting with the new Frontera will likely have never heard of the ‘90s version, and it’s probably best it stays that way. 

Vauxhall Frontera - rear

Where does it sit in the Vauxhall line-up?

The Frontera replaces the hire-car-special Crossland, which has been around since 2017 and joins the Mokka and Grandland in completing Vauxhall’s crossover line-up once again. 

There’s no word yet on dimensions or size, but if it replicates the Crossland, it will sit under the Mokka in terms of price and trade some of that car’s style in the name of spaciousness. 

Vauxhall Frontera - interior

Its 460-litre boot is more than 100 litres larger than the Mokka’s and makes it more spacious than the Crossland. With the rear seats folded , that volume increases to a giant 1,600 litres, which is close to that of the Grandland. Bit confusing, right. Vauxhall also says there will be ‘functional’ roof bars available as an option, as opposed to non-functional roof bars…

Vauxhall Frontera - boot

It looks like a Vauxhall inside and out

There are no massive surprises in the design department, with the Frontera adopting signature Vauxhall cues. A gloss black panel surrounds the black Griffin emblem, while the same three-pronged lighting signature as the new Corsa is present and correct. 

The Frontera is a noticeably higher car than the Mokka, with its roof not tapering away at all, and likely aiding its promised spacious interior. It reminds us of a Volkswagen T-Cross from a front three-quarter angle and there’s a new split headlight design at the rear. You get more black plastic cladding than you can shake a stick at too. 

Moving inside you get Vauxhall’s now-typical interior comprising a 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment and one of the same size for the dials. There’s a new steering wheel and also an optional ‘smartphone station’ where Vauxhall says the ‘phone becomes the vehicle’s infotainment control panel’. It sounds a lot like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though the firm adds that the steering wheel buttons can be used to control it. We’ll need to try it out to see what it entails, though. 

Electric and hybrid power

It’s business as usual in the powertrain department as well with the Frontera set to use those shared with a multitude of Stellantis products, such as the Jeep Avenger and replacement for the Citroen C3 Aircross. 

Powertrain details haven’t been confirmed but you can likely expect the same front-driven, 154bhp motor as the Avenger, with a 51kWh battery allowing for a claimed range of around 250 miles. There will be a 1.2-litre mild-hybrid model too. 

By the time Vauxhall replaces its Grandland later this year, which will also be sold as an EV, it will mean all its models can be bought with electric power.

By Ted Welford

Senior staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers. Loves a car auction. Enjoys making things shiny