Still a contender, no question about it, and still looks great, but starting to date a little now in one or two areas. Revised versions with re-worked cab and dashboard arrived in June. One of the most remarkable things about Vauxhall’s Vivaro is how well its styling has lasted since its launch at the end of 2001.
Back then, critics reckoned that its cutting-edge appearance would soon date; and date horribly. But it hasn’t; it still looks as fresh as the day it first rolled off the assembly line and without any major updates.
Vivaro is up for grabs with two wheelbases and two roof heights and its load cube ranges from 5.0m3 to 8.4m3 depending on the model selected. Gross weights extend from 2,700kg to 2,900kg and the Luton-built cargo shifter — it’s made in Spain too — can handle payloads ranging from 1,016kg to 1,271kg.
Power is provided by a 2.0-litre diesel developing either 90hp or 115hp, with torque figures reaching a maximum 240Nm and 290Nm respectively. The alternative is a 2.5-litre diesel generating 146hp/310Nm.
Whichever version you pick, you get a six-speed manual gearbox. The extra-cost alternative is a six-speed semi-automatic Techshift ’box.
While Vivaro’s exterior hasn’t dated, its cab interior is starting to look a bit stale these days and would benefit from a radical re-jig. Opt for the high-specification Sportive model, however, and you can brighten your life with air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel cover and alloy- and chrome-effect trim among other goodies.
On the road Vivaro offers predictable handling with more than enough feedback through the steering wheel. Ride quality isn’t a major issue. Nor is the quality of the gearchange and while the 90hp model doesn’t pack all that much punch, its two stablemates offer sufficient performance to satisfy most buyers. Wind noise can be a slight irritation and seems to emanate from around the door mirrors.
Service intervals are set at 18,000 miles and Vivaro is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Remember that Vivaro is also on offer as a crew cab van, a minibus, a dropside and with a refrigerated conversion.