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Vauxhall Vivaro Van vs Vauxhall Vivaro-e Electric Van

Vauxhall Vivaro vs. Vivaro-e
January 24th, 2023

In light of the mounting climate crisis and the increase of clean air zones in urban environments, the question of whether to opt for a diesel or electric-powered van has never been more pressing. Most mainstream manufacturers offer a varied range of both diesel and electric vehicles these days, so when it comes to making your next commercial van purchase, it is essential that you consider both options to determine which would be best for your needs.

The Vauxhall Vivaro has enjoyed widespread popularity since its UK release in 2001. Now in its third-generation (2019), it stands on the medium van market as one of the most capable models in its sector, offering huge payload capacity, plenty of tech and a low-roof design that is optimised for urban driving.

Thanks to the popularity of the diesel model, an electric variant was launched in the UK in 2020. Considered to be a gamechanger for electric vehicles, the Vauxhaull Viavro-e balances an impressive driving range alongside a payload that’s competitive with conventional diesel-powered rivals.

Both the Vauxhall Vivaro and Vivaro-e naturally have their own peaks and pitfalls. Read on to find out more about each model and which would be the best fit for you and your business.

Engines and Spec

The Vauxhall Vivaro range includes four trim levels and two body length options for the panel van, plus a double cab crew van and platform cab for conversions. Despite this, the Vivaro definitely leans towards the smaller side of the mid-size van market, with the single roof height option allowing you to comfortably enter most car parks. The third-gen model comes with a number of advantages, including a substantial increase in payload (up to 19%), towing capabilities (25% increase) and fuel economy (28% increase), as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions (19%). The payload increase takes a maximum load up to 1.4 tonnes – one of the highest ratings in the medium van sector, and a highly impressive number for its size.

Taking a look under the bonnet, there is a choice of two engines and four power outputs in the diesel Vivaro: a modern 1.5-litre diesel, offering 100hp or 120hp, or a slightly older 2.0-litre with 120hp, 150hop or 180hp. All models come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, except for the 180hp which comes fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Moving onto the electric variant, Vauxhall claims a whopping 205 mile driving range for the Vivaro-e. To achieve this you’ll need the larger 75kWh, but even the smaller 50kWh battery racks up a range of 143 miles – still very impressive for a van of its size. The list of strengths doesn’t end there, however, as the Vivaro- offers proper quick charging as standard, when most competitors don’t even have it as an option. As such, when plugged into a 100kW public charger, the smaller battery pack will reach 80% in around 30 minutes, while the larger battery will achieve the same in 45-48 minutes. With a more conventional 7.4kW charger, you can expect to achieve a full charge overnight.

The maximum payload for the electric Vivaro is 1,226kg, which despite being 130kg of what its diesel counterpart can manage, nonetheless rivals many diesel vans in the same sector. Naturally, the biggest payload corresponds wi9th the smallest van fitted with the smallest battery pack, yet even the largest variant can still carry 987kg. Given that the batteries are located underneath the floor, the load space is in no way compromised, and the towing rating stands at 1,000kg.


Drivers will be pleased to find that in the newer diesel and electric Vivaro models, the driving position feels very car-like, and the abundance of seat and wheel adjustment means that it’s easy to get comfortable for long drives. The seats are trimmed with wipe-clean fabric, and all vans receive a pair of passenger seats – although you might find that there isn’t quite enough seat room if you frequently travel three abreast. The middle passenger seat folds down to create a table, while the seat bases open to reveal underfloor storage. Despite a smaller glovebox thanks to the fuse box position, there is also dashtop storage and deep door bins.

The diesel Vivaro’s dashboard is identical to that of the Citroen Dispatch or Peugeot Expert, meaning that most functions can be found on the central touchscreen. In the Vivaro-e, the instrument cluster naturally differs – displaying remaining range and replacing the rev counter with a power metre, and the gear lever with push buttons for Drive, Reverse, Park and Brake. Build quality is pretty decent, with hard-wearing plastics that feel robust and durable.

The Verdict/Snap shot

When it comes to choosing between the Vauxhall Vivaro and the Vivaro-e, there is no right or wrong answer: it all comes down to whichever model is better suited to the requirements of your business. Naturally, however, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, making the switch to electric vehicles is a great way to achieve this.

Here at Van Sales UK, both the diesel and electric model are available for outright purchase or contract hire, and we include free UK delivery with every purchase. To find out more about our range of commercial vans, please get in touch.


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