- Practical interior
- Cheap to run
- Unlimited warranty
- Interior isn’t the most stylish
- Dreary aesthetics
- Only one engine on offer
Competitively priced city car that’s cheap to run
The Vauxhall Viva is the smallest car in Vauxhall’s small car lineup. First introduced in 2015, the Viva is a city car designed to compete with the Hyundai i10, the Renault Twingo, and the VW Up!/Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii triumvirate. The Viva offers a simple, no-frills small hatchback that’s cheap to run, practical, and safe. It’s not as complete as a fair few of its key rivals, but Vauxhall does have a reputation for reliability, and with an unbeatable lifetime 100,000 mile warranty, it won’t cost you anything if your car does for any reason pick up a fault.
Simple, effective, and enough room for four adults
Whereas the Vauxhall Adam focuses on trendy aesthetics, the interior design of the Viva puts solid build quality and practicality above all else. It’s not the prettiest to look at, but it’s spacious enough, and there’s decent levels of kit on offer.
The dashboard design of the Viva is functional more than stylish. Controls are however well thought out and easy to use, so new drivers will become quickly accustomed to being behind the wheel of the Viva. Material quality is decent, but not exceptional, as Vauxhall has chosen durable hard plastics, rather than the soft touch materials that some competitors used. There are some attractive gloss black inserts, borrowed from the Adam, which lift the dashboard out of dreariness, and into the 21st century.
Space is one area in which the Viva is pretty impressive. Rear passenger space is impressive for a city car, with plenty of leg and headroom. Interior storage is fairly limited however, and the 206 litre boot capacity isn’t the biggest in the city car class. The seats do fall almost completely flat however, and with the rear seats down, there’s over 1000 litres of storage capacity- pretty impressive for a city car.
Equipment levels in the Viva are pretty much what you’d expect from a city car. The entry-level SE trim comes with electric front windows, and electric door mirrors, but not a lot else. The sensible option to go for is the SE A/C trim, which adds air-conditioning into the mix, an essential for most drivers nowadays. SL trim adds climate control and Bluetooth connectivity, for that added extra touch of luxury, though it is significantly more expensive than the basic model.
All in all the interior of the Viva is fit for purpose, but unexceptional. The design isn’t the most striking, but it’s undeniably practical. There’s also a fair bit of space, whilst equipment levels are average for the class.
Great around town, but struggles at speed
City cars are engineered to be great to drive around town, and the Vauxhall Viva is pretty successful in this regard. The steering is light enough to make it easy to weave in and out of busy city centre traffic, and parking is a doddle, especially when you engage the city steering function. Get the Viva up to motorway speeds and it isn’t quite as composed, with noticeable body roll, and a fair bit of understeer. It’s certainly not a car for B-road blasts, but it’s capable enough at what it’s meant to be good at.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement is also pretty impressive in the Viva. Vauxhall has designed and tweaked the suspension system for British roads, and it’s pretty noticeable behind the wheel. The Viva soaks up pothole ridden city roads, speed bumps, and loose surfaces with relative ease, though at speed it can be a little jumpy. The Viva is also one of the quietest cars in its class, but wind and road noise become apparent on the motorway, so it’s not the finest motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Viva come only in one guise. No matter which spec you go for, you’re going to get a five-speed manual transmission. That’s not really a problem however, as it is sharp, responsive, and engaging around town. It isn’t the best for out of town driving, but that’s not what the Viva is about.
Only one petrol engine currently on offer
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Viva, you’ve only got the one option. The 3-cylinder petrol engine is decent enough though, feeling nippy about town, and returning impressive fuel efficiency, and emitting low levels of CO2.
Petrolheads don’t usually choose city cars as their weapon of choice, so it’s understandable that Vauxhall offers an engine that is punchy at lower speeds, rather than an all-out powerhouse. The 1.0 litre petrol engine is decent enough, producing 74bhp, and accelerating from 0-62mph in 13.1 seconds. Those figures aren’t going to whet the lips of speed freaks, but for a city car, the Viva offers more than enough clout.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pretty pleased with the engine on offer in the Viva. The ecoFLEX model is undoubtedly the one to go for though, as it produces just 99g/km of CO2 emissions. Other models in the range fall just above the 100g/km boundary, so will cost £20 to tax each year. The ecoFLEX model is also the best option for money savers, as it can achieve up to 66mpg. It’s not quite as impressive as some rivals, but it’s pretty standard for a car in the city car class.
The 1.0 litre petrol engine on offer in the Viva is ideally suited to what the Viva is all about. It’s good in the city, cheap to run, and good for the environment. More what could you ask for in a city car?
Four stars in NCAP safety tests, with decent standard safety kit
Like almost every car in its class, the Vauxhall Viva failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. The Viva scored the class-standard four stars, with 74% in adult protection, 72% in child protection, and 68% in pedestrian protection. Only the Seat Mii/VW Up!/Skoda Citigo triumvirate managed the full five stars, and the Viva is average for a car in its class. The Viva does however come with a full complement of airbags, lane-departure warning, a tyre-pressure monitor, and two Isofix points, which makes it pretty impressive all things considered.
Superb value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Vauxhall Viva offers buyers excellent value for money. As with all city cars, the Viva is both cheap to buy, and cheap to run. Rivals offer lower CO2 emissions on the whole, but the ecoFLEX model does creep just under the 100g/km threshold. Fuel efficiency is pretty impressive however, with no car achieving less than 63mpg, so you won’t be spending much money at the fuel pumps each week.
Insurance groups for the Viva depend on which model you choose to go for, though there’s not a great deal of variation. The range starts in group 3 for the entry-level SE, and slides up towards group 4 if you go for the range-topping 1.0 SL. Whichever model you decide on, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Viva, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Vauxhall Viva is the latest in the line of Vauxhall’s excellent small car range. The more expensive Corsa might have more space, and the Adam is certainly better looking, but neither can match the excellent value for money that the Viva offers. It’s practical interior, efficient engine, and impressive city handling make it a great option for buyers who value simplicity and practicality above all else.
Buying a used Vauxhall Viva online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Vauxhall Viva for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Viva. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Vauxhall Viva online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Vauxhall? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Vauxhall Viva, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Viva, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Vauxhall to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.