What Car? says...
The Vauxhall Vivaro is one of the best-selling vans in the UK and, importantly, it's built here too.
As such, there are some similarities: the turbocharged diesel engines, for instance, much of the interior and even some of the exterior all carry a familiar if not identical look.
Buyers must also weigh up new dimensions, especially if they have previously bought older versions of the Vivaro. The option of two different lengths remains, but both standard and long-wheelbase vans have become ever so slightly smaller, yet payload has increased by a massive 200kg on some models.
Trim levels have been updated too, with Edition and Sportive joined by a new Elite option. All three have received an uplift in specification , making the Vivaro better value for money than ever.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Vauxhall Vivaro buyers have a choice of two Euro-6d diesel engines: either a turbocharged 1.5-litre or a turbocharged 2.0-litre.
The 1.5-litre engine makes 99bhp or 118bhp and 199lb ft or 221lb ft of torque respectively.
The 2.0-litre engine makes 118bhp, 148bhp or 178bhp. The big difference between the three versions is the far greater torque available: 251lb ft, 273lb ft and 295lb ft.
If you’re planning on towing, the 2.0-litre engine will undoubtedly make all the difference, especially as the Vivaro can tow 2.5 tonnes, which is more than some rivals.
While the 2.0-litre engine is the more refined and gutsier option, it’s interesting that it and the 1.5-litre engine overlap at 118bhp. Back-to-back comparison reveals the added torque of the 2.0-litre makes progress more effortless, but that the 1.5-litre isn't lacking in pace; it's a capable performer with a moderate load on board.
As a result, if you’re not going to operate your van fully laden it’s well worth considering the smaller engine: the initial purchase price is slightly less and running costs sightly lower, thanks to official fuel consumption of 56.5mpg for the 1.5-litre engine and 52.3mpg for the 2.0-litre.
On the road, the Vivaro is secure and comfortable to drive. The car underpinnings upon which the front half of the vehicle is based really do help it feel more dynamic and far more connected to the road than some rivals. It rides quite softly compared with some of the other vans in the mid-sized segment, but it’s comfortable with or without a load on board.
The Vivaro also offers an automatic gearbox with the 118bhp and 18bhp 2.0-litre engines. It’s not the best unit in the class, but it shifts in a fairly smooth and hassle-free manner. The standard six-speed manual gearbox feels a little bit floppy as you pull or push the lever through the gates.
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