IT was like a trip down memory lane when I started driving Vauxhall’s smart new Viva for one of the first Vauxhall cars I drove over 40 years ago was the original model of the much loved Viva that was a great little car and a best seller writes Bryan Longworth.
The original Viva that was launched 52 years ago established new standards in the market at that time and the latest model with its cute styling is set to make a big impression in this very competitive city car sector where rivals include the VW Up, Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1.
Starting at £7,995 it is Vauxhall’s lowest priced car and it is also the lowest priced model compared to the aforementioned models and some others which along with all of its other qualities should help to make sure they move very swiftly out of dealer showrooms.
Viva is the latest member of Vauxhall’s small car family following Adam and Corsa and after driving it for a week I found it to be a fun car with a lot of plus points including that cheeky styling and a pleasant and roomy interior with excellent easy to see instrumentation.
My test car was the top model the Viva SL 1.0 costing £9,495 on the road which was powered by a 999cc three cylinder petrol engine pushing out 75PS with a top speed of 106mph a zero to 60mph time of 13.1 seconds with CO2 emissions of 104g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg - the on board computer showed it to be less than this but still a respectable figure.
Drive is to the front wheels through a five speed manual gearbox and while some three cylinder engines are a bit threshy and harsh I found this unit to be quite sporty and smooth producing some very spirited and enjoyable motoring.
It had also impressive handling qualities and while the Viva is very much a city car it also performed quite well when driven on motorways with its average fuel consumption making it a very economical small car and with having five doors access to the rear seats is so much easier.
I particularly liked the switchgear and the instrument panel where the designers have done an excellent job with the speedometer in particular which is quite easy to see right in front of the driver.
As one would expect from the top model the test car had plenty of standard features including electronic climate control, Bluetooth, 15 inch alloy wheels, lane departure warning, cruise control and multi function trip computer.
Boot space is average for this size of car but the addition of an emergency tyre inflation kit means there is no spare wheel which I would have preferred as I do not have much confidence in puncture kits after having a nasty experience with one while driving abroad.
As I mentioned earlier I was impressed all those years ago with the very first Viva which in its day was a nice small car that sold well and I am pleased that Vauxhall has given their latest baby the same name.
Not only that but the latest Viva is a good car in every way being fun to drive with tempting pricing and cute styling plus its economy and low emissions making for low running costs which all adds up to a car that should add a sizeable boost to Vauxhall’s UK sales.
Verdict: New Viva will boost Vauxhall sales.
Model: New Vauxhall Viva.
Engine: 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol.
Transmission: Five speed manual.
Top speed: 106mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 60mph 13.1 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 62.8mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 104g/km.
Price: £9,495 on the road.