Vauxhall Viva high

on value

Vauxhall Viva, front
Vauxhall Viva, rear
Vauxhall Viva, side
Vauxhall Viva, interior
Vauxhall Viva, interior

WAY back in my early working life, I had a couple of Vauxhall Vivas as company cars - when employers had a lot more cash to throw around than they do now.

Those front engine, rear wheel drive family saloons were way ahead of much of the competition in those days and gave me huge fun over many thousands of miles.

Now the company has come up with a new Viva city car, which slots into the bottom of its range.

But despite a price tag of just over £8,000, the little Viva is well up with the best in class like the VW up!, and gives more fun for your pound.

The basic VW only has 60bhp wheras the Viva boasts 74 for a lower price and with better equipment.

Light weight means this is enough for decent performance from the 1.0-litre three cylinder engine, which revs sweetly and remains quiet at the cruise.

With my leaden right boot it still achieved a very good 45mpg, and that means in more normal use, it's likely to better 50 for most owners.

The engine's smooth revving nature means that safe overtaking is quite possible given enough distance.

The ride is a bit lumpy and unsettled in town but that's same with most small cars apart from the Skoda Fabia and VW Polo, and it does improve as speed rises.

The great grip and excellent road-holding on both wet and dry roads make it very safe and enjoyable through the corners, despite steering that's rather numb.

Inside, the seats are supportive and comfortable and although there's no reach adjustment, I could get a comfortable driving position using the height adjustment for both steering and seat.

Rear legroom is better than some, and the boot is also bigger than most city cars.

FAST FACTS

Price: £8,400

Mechanical: 74bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 13.9 seconds

Combined MPG:62

Insurance Group: 104g/km

C02 emissions: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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