- Good acceleration
- Easy to park
- Steering doesn't have much feel
- Don't perform as well at low speeds
- Seats need a lot of adjusting to be comfortable
There were two Vauxhall city cars that came along around the same time in 2015.
First there was the supposedly sporty and sophisticated 3-door and therefore not very practical - Adam, which sold well because of its huge array of personalisation.
And then the company borrowed a 5-door design from Chrysler Korea and gave it a name that many older drivers will remember from the 70s – Viva.
Low prices when buying new mean that it’s very affordable second-hand and yet it’s also well up with the best in class like the VW up!, and gives a lot more bang for your buck.
Engine and Performance
The Vauxhall Viva boasts 74bhp for less money than the less powerful VW up! at 60bhp, despite having similar economy and lower running costs.
Being quite lightweight, this means this is enough for decent performance from the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine, which revs sweetly and remains quiet when cruising.
It can get to 60 miles an hour from rest in 12.7 seconds and, where allowed, will push on to a top speed of over 100 miles an hour.
And, it still achieved a very good 45mpg despite being very heavy on the accelerator, meaning in more normal use, it's likely to get around 50mpg for most owners
The engine's smooth revving nature means that safe overtaking is quite possible given enough distance.
The ride is a little unsettled in town, but that's the same with most small cars, and it improves greatly as speed rises.
There's very good grip and excellent roadholding on both wet and dry roads, making it very safe and enjoyable through the corners, despite steering that doesn’t have as much feel as I certainly would like.
Obviously, such a car is completely at home around town or city streets, and this is helped by a tight turning circle and almost vertical rear end, which make for very easy parking.
The seats are supportive and comfortable and although there’s no steering reach adjustment, I found that I could get a comfortable driving position using its height adjustment and the height adjustable seat.
Equipment and Practicality
Perhaps surprisingly, rear legroom is better than some, and the boot is also bigger than most city cars. There’s even enough room for five inside that diminutive body.
Add to that five seatbelts – some small cars only come with four – and very good equipment for your money, and you have quite a bargain.
Even the entry SE models come well-equipped, with electric mirrors and front windows, remote locking, stability control, alarm, audio remote, and internal headlamp beam adjustment. But you do have to go up to the next model for air conditioning.
SE Nav adds sat nav and air conditioning, and top SL models add alloy wheels and climate control.
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This new Vauxhall Viva was completely different to the original but aimed at the same market to give no-nonsense family transport.
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