By Mike Torpey on 2016-05-08 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE
VAUXHALL certainly has things sorted on the small car scene.
With the supermini style of the Corsa, chic spirit of the ADAM and now compact car sensibility of the Viva there's no shortage of choice for buyers.
And that's without menton of offerings like the Meriva MPV, Mokka soft-roader and multi award-wining Astra.
Most recent arrival is the Viva, which hit UK streets last summer with the emphasis on simple, no frills motoring and prices from a tempting £8,395.
It's a name understandably revived by Vauxhall as the original became synomymous with the brand - 'load your clobber in the Viva, we're off to the seaside' proving a repeated weekend call by family motorists.
Like its predecessor the latest Viva is majoring on value for money and while the original, which was launched in 1963, was basic in the extreme by today's standards the new car is anything but.
It doesn't cut corners on durability or comfort and though we can't pretend there's acres of space in the back - and you feel every bump on pitted roads - four can travel in reasonable comfort, five at a squeeze, and there are five doors.
It is up for grabs with just one engine, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit that can return a handy 65.7mpg yet belch just 99g/km of CO2.
Fans can pick from four versions and there's a pair of trim grades called SE and SL, the latter of which is a name carried over from the original Viva.
Both feature kit like a tyre pressure monitoring system, city mode steering, lane departure warning, cruise control with speed limiter and front fog lights with cornering function as standard.
Technology includes ESP, and traction control, cornering brake control, emergency brake assist, straight line stability control and hill start assist are also on every car.
Add the likes of six airbags, AM/FM radio with aux-in and steering wheel controls, electric front windows, electric/heated mirrors and remote central door locking and you have a properly specced up car for the price.
It is the £8,570 Viva SE ecoFLEX that's the super-frugal model - it also comes with a front lip spoiler, LED brake light and ultra-low rolling resistance tyres - the entry version is eco aware in its own right with 62.4mpg average consumption and 104g/km emissions.
And recently available as standard on SL trim and as an option on SE, is the personal connectivity and service assistant OnStar, which operates 24/7.
With an acceleration figure of 0-62 in 13.1 seconds and top speed of 106mph you might expect the Viva to feel a bit lethargic, but that's not the case.
The experience may be deceptive but the little Vauxhall fairly flits around city and suburban roads and shows commendable strength and stability on faster roads once it picks its feet up.
Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE
Mechanical: 75PS, 999cc 3-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via five-speed manual transmission
Max Speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 13.1 seconds
Combined MPG: 62.8
Insurance Group: 4
C02 emissions: 105g/km
Bik rating: 18%
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles
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