Currently reading: Vauxhall Frontera name returns in 2024 for Crossland replacement
Chunky crossover dusts off a badge from the 1990s as it gears up to launch in electric form this year

Vauxhall is reviving the Frontera name for the chunky compact SUV that will replace the Crossland later this year.

Due to be revealed in the coming weeks ahead of deliveries starting at the end of the year, the new Frontera is larger than the Crossland and will introduce the option of an electric powertrain.

It will be launched shortly ahead of the replacement for the larger Grandland, which will be the final model in the Vauxhall line-up to get an EV variant. 

The original Frontera was Vauxhall's version of the Isuzu MU, a rugged, mid-sized SUV in the vein of the Land Rover Freelander that was sold over two generations from 1991 to 2004.

Built in Luton, the first Vauxhall SUV was available as a conventional five-door model and in short-wheelbase, two-door form with a soft top. 

The new Frontera will be sold exclusively as a five-door five-seater but will take cues from its 1990s namesake in adopting a chunkier, more overtly 4x4-inspired appearance than that of the Crossland. 

It will be, Vauxhall said, "a fun car with clever functional features" and "a high level of space and versatility" in a bid to appeal to "customers with an active lifestyle and families alike". 

All clues point to the new Frontera being a direct rival for the Dacia Duster, and like that car, Vauxhall has promised it will be offered "at an attractive price" - likely starting in the low-£20,000s.

Images of a camouflaged prototype reveal the Frontera is obviously a radically different proposition from the Crossland, with chunkier, flatter edges and a more overt billing as a small SUV, rather than a raised supermini. 

Vauxhall's new Vizor front end, with its slimline LED headlights and contrasting wraparound 'grille' panel, is just about visible through the heavy camouflage, but there – it seems – is where the similarities end. 

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Even at this early stage, it's plain to see that the Frontera's more robust silhouette comes with an increase in size - no doubt with an eye on better appealing to family buyers who prioritise practicality.   

The Crossland measures around 4.2m long and closely rivals the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Seat Arona. A subtle increase in size will take it into the realm of the Kia Niro, Skoda Karoq and Dacia Duster.

Nonetheless, the model is set to continue to share its basic underpinnings with the Vauxhall Corsa in both electric and petrol guise, which effectively makes it Vauxhall's equivalent of the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot e-2008 and Citroën ë-C4 - all of which use the same Stellantis CMP platform. 

Expect the electric Frontera to have a motor on the front axle giving 154bhp and 192lb ft of torque and a 51kWh battery between the wheels for a range of around 250 miles.

The maximum charging speed of e-CMP-based EVs is currently 100kW, but it remains unclear if this could be boosted in the future.

The petrol Frontera will most likely pack the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo mild-hybrid unit that has just been added to the Corsa and its Peugeot 208 sibling, with a choice of either 99bhp or 134bhp. 

Inside, the Frontera will follow the Corsa and Astra in gaining a more visually upmarket, tech-heavy interface, which Vauxhall calls the Pure Panel.

Instrumentation will no doubt all be digital as standard, and while some physical controls will surely remain, they will be tidied up for a more minimalist look. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: Deputy editor

Felix is Autocar's deputy editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 25 January 2024

Leave the Camouflage on?, it's just a generic Van.

scrap 24 January 2024

"Obviously a radically different proposition..."

Er, has the meaning of the phrase 'radically different' changed since I last checked? Because a slightly larger SUV with a slightly tougher appearance is not that different at all.

catnip 24 January 2024

Well, that name will bring back fond memories for a lot of people...