New Vivaro is best

of British

Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, front
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, front, action
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, side
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, side, static
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, door bin
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, interior
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, rear
Vauxhall Vivaro, 2019, Made in Britain badge

A NEW Vivaro van is on the way from Vauxhall and it is British to the core.

While Vauxhall itself may now be part of the French PSA group the new Vivaro is built in Luton - the home of Vauxhall vans for almost a century.

PSA has pumped in some £100 million to ready the Luton factory for the new van and its production safeguards 1,250 jobs.

Priced from £22,020 excluding VAT the third generation of Vauxhall's mid-sized LCV shares its underpinnings with Peugeot and Citroen models.

It also sits on the same platform as the group uses for some of its SUVs and that gives the Vivaro quite car-like handling.

Powered either by a 1.5 or 2.0-litre diesel engine - the latter with the option of an eight-speed automatic - the Vivaro is available in a variety of power outputs ranging from 100 to 180bhp.

There are a variety of body styles ranging from panel vans to double cabs and in two lengths ranging from 4.9 to 5.3 metres.

The new Vivaro also has the option of being fitted with Intelligrip electronics which mimics the performance of four-wheel-drive but without any weight penalties.

The result is a line up which is not only cheaper than before - the previous range started from £22,525 - but can carry up to 1.458 tonnes, has up to 6.6 cubic metres of load space and can tow up to 2.5 tonnes.

Those are increases of 500kg in towing weight and 250kg in cargo over the previous model and help pitch the Vivaro favourably against the likes of the Ford Transit, Renault Trafic and Volkswagen Transporter.

The Vivaro also comes with the option of variable cargo configurations with through space in the cabin increasing to carry load lengths up to 4.02 metres.

On the double cab variants there is the ability to add more space by folding the second row of seats and all versions of the van come with sliding side doors.

Having just put both engines to the test each is nicely gutsy and pull the new Vivaro well.

We tried the 2.0-litre in mid-grade Sportive guise and the 1.5 in top Elite specification which includes sat nav as standard.

Both had 120bhp on tap and were six-speed manuals while the 2.0-litre was part-loaded with 400kg on board.

Fuel economy over similar routes was 38.7mpg for the 2.0-litre and 40.9 for the 1.5 which compares well to the official fuel returns of 40.3 and 47.0 at best under the new WLTP tests. Emissions are 211 and 181g/km respectively.

What impresses about the new Vivaro is its handling and manoeuvrability, aided by rear view cameras when reversing and a light touch to the steering.

Oddments space on the dash includes an opening glovebox, cut outs for pens and the like and cupholders at each end of the facia.

Large door bins were another feature and both had full smartphone connectivity, head up displays for the driver and a full set of safety aids including lane departure warning, blind spot alerts and emergency braking.

With options both cost £30,160 adding some £5,000 to the base prices which for the Sportive was £25,470 and £26,370 for the Elite.

Vauxhall says that the new Vivaro - complete with a Made in Britain badge on the tailgate - is some 28 per cent more economical, 19 per cent lower on emissions and has almost 20 per cent more payload capacity compared to the previous model.

An electric version of the Vivaro is planned for introduction next year and the new van will be on sale in July from Vauxhall's 62 van centres across the country.

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