Some people, wrongly, believe that Ford builds its vans in Britain. Unfortunately, full production of the Transit switched to Turkey in 2013, leaving just one commercial vehicle manufacturing facility left on these shores: the Vauxhall Vivaro factory in Luton.
Much is now made of the Vivaro’s “Built in Britain” status, and understandably so. Since the PSA Group bought Vauxhall, Luton has convinced its new owners of its worth and secured another 1400 jobs as it gets ready to build the next-generation Vivaro. For now, though, it’s business as usual, with the production line churning out the current model – one of the most popular vans on the market.
Anyone after an automatic gearbox will have to look elsewhere, because all Vivaro’s use a six-speed manual. However, you can choose from two 1.6-litre diesel engines: a single turbo version available with 94bhp or 119bhp, and the CDTi BiTurbo, with 123bhp or 143bhp.
Like its biggest rivals, the Ford Transit Custom and Citroën Dispatch, it’s also available in two lengths and two heights – as are the closely related but French made Fiat Talento, Nissan NV300 and Renault Trafic. Meanwhile, other versions of the Vivaro include a double cab van and a Combi minibus that can seat up to nine.