Vauxhall Viva 2015-2019 review

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Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

The original Vauxhall Viva was a larger model

Foglights come as part of the entry-level car’s standard equipment

Vauxhall’s griffin badge is big and bold on the grille

Rising accent lines on the bodyside add a certain amount of visual intrigue to the styling — but such flair is notable by its absence elsewhere.

Oversized tail-lights are one of the more successful design elements. Their contours form part of an arcing character line running the full width of the car and into each rear door panel

There’s barely room for the fuel filler on the rear quarter panel. You wonder if the designers couldn’t have made a feature out of it, perhaps by hiding the flap behind a hidden door

There’s plenty of legroom and adjustment for the driver here

Driver’s seat adjusts for height, steering wheel for tilt. Larger bottles in the cupholders will meet your knuckles, though

Space in the rear isn’t bad; adults will feel confined, but merely fitting them in squares with our city car expectations

To declutter the centre console, these buttons live elsewhere. You’re only likely to use the one for disengaging the lane keeping assist

It may not be phone-friendly in connections, but this cubby is at least an ideal place to stow the blower. Expect it to disappear when the multimedia update arrives

The boot is nearly 50 litres shy of a VW Up’s, but the proportions suggest that a typical grocery shop ought to fit

The Vauxhall feels a little more responsive than a Suzuki Celerio, thanks to its quicker steering

The Viva trades dynamic adeptness for benign comfort and compliance

The result is an undemanding, placid and highly tolerant city car

Competent and practical but with no clear advantage in a competitive class

Close by Matt Prior 15 July 2015 Follow @matty_prior Share

How we test cars

The enduring affection of the Great British public for Vauxhall, which remains our second-largest domestic power in terms of overall market share, tells you a lot about what really sells cars in this country.

‘Affection’, though, may be too strong a term to describe something that’s probably become more of an attachment than a true fondness for a lot of owners during the past three decades or so.

Over time, Vauxhall’s UK-built models have been replaced by cars that seem less distinct from their Opel sister models and are built at overseas production sitesMatt PriorEditor-at-large

Over that time, Vauxhall’s UK-built models have been replaced, in increasing numbers, by cars that seem less distinct from their Opel sister models and are built at overseas production sites. The same thing has happened to other ‘British’ volume brands, of course, while some have disappeared altogether.

But at the same time, the sense of Vauxhall as it once was – a proper British car-making brand, albeit one under US ownership since 1925 – has not only deteriorated but also been neglected.

So to the prickly question: does the UK car buyer honestly care about Griffin-branded Vauxhalls any more? You suspect the majority of those signing up for a new Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra, Mokka, Adam or Insignia today would be just as happy if their new cars had Opel’s lightning flash on the grille – provided there’s no change to the practicality, versatility and value for money that the cars represent.

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But given that it remains a company producing more than 200,000 new vehicles in the UK every year, doing plenty of engineering here and employing tens of thousands of Britons, you can see why Vauxhall would want its company crest to mean a bit more to people.

Related Vauxhall Viva 2015-2019 reviews

Vauxhall Viva Rocks 2018 first drive

Enter, then, a new small model with an identity to rekindle some warmth of feeling (at least among those with a long enough memory): the Viva city car. Although it’s a size smaller than its popular 1960s namesake, the new Viva has a similar mission: to bring the Vauxhall brand to the widest possible audience via remarkable usability and value for money.

Read on to find out exactly how remarkable we’re talking.


Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

Model tested: Rating: 7

Vauxhall Viva 2015-2019

GoodAgreeable ride qualityMechanical refinementFive-seat usabilityBadDisappointing economyVery modest equipmentBasic model isn’t VED-free

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