The Viva’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine comes with a five-speed manual gearbox (there’s no automatic ’box available). It’s a smooth-revving engine that delivers its power progressively, so is perfectly acceptable around town. Get onto faster roads, though, and you’ll need to change down one or two gears and rev it hard if you want even a moderate burst of acceleration. There’s an Ecoflex version of the engine that has slightly lower CO2 emissions, but its performance is identical.
Vauxhall Viva ride & handling
The ride is generally composed, even over scruffy urban roads. There’s also plenty of grip, and while body lean through corners is noticeable, it’s fine by the standards of this class. The steering is light enough for parking and manoeuvring around town, but it feels a bit vague and doesn’t inspire much confidence in faster corners.
Vauxhall Viva refinement
This is one of the quieter cars in the class, mostly thanks to its engine, which keeps to a subdued hum unless you rev it particularly hard. There is noticeable tyre and wind noise at higher speeds, and a bit of vibration through the steering wheel, but it’s generally good for a budget car. It’s just a shame that the vague clutch can make smooth driving tricky.