Review: Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019)
Impressive 1.6-litre diesel, very quiet and refined on the move, DAB as standard, similar cargo area (to old Vivaro and Trafic) means existing racking and conversions will still fit.
Doesn't quite feel as high quality as the Transit Custom.
Recently Added To This Review
Report of 2016 Vauxhall Vivaro suffering hydraulic lock of the engine after driving through floodwater only 8-10 inches deep. Read more
Information received regarding TSB on Renault 1.6 CDTI engines in Vauxhall Vivaro vans: "the current recall we have in place for the Vivaro 1.6 diesel engine is purely an upgrade and is in no relation... Read more
Priced at £27,094 on-the road, the entry-level 1.6 CDTi (95PS) engine with torque of 260Nm, has a combined consumption of 44.8mpg and emissions of 164g/km CO2. The new 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi (125PS),... Read more
Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure
Amazingly the original Vauxhall Vivaro soldiered on for 13 years and was still very popular at the end of its life. So it's no great surprise to see the second generation model stick very much to the same formula. It uses the same platform as the original Vivaro but with an all-new body and interior. However don't mistake this for merely a revamp, it's a considerable step forward from the model it replaces.
True it does look very similar, particularly the cargo area, but that's a deliberate move. It means that existing Vivaro owners who buy the new model can still use the same racking and panelling from their old model. At the front it gets a bold design with a large grille that marks this out as very much part of the Vauxhall family.
Of course, as before, the Vivaro is a joint venture with Renault which has its own version, the Trafic. However, the Vivaro is very much a British van. It's built at Vauxhall's Luton plant - the manufacturer is now the only commercial vehicle maker left in the UK - and 40 per cent of parts are sourced from the UK. It's a real success story for the British van industry.
The big changes come under the bonnet with an all new 1.6-litre diesel engine powering the new Vivaro. It may be smaller in size than the 2.0-litre unit in the old van but it has as much power, more torque and notably better fuel economy. Four versions of this engine are available starting with a 90PS version moving up to new twin-turbocharged models with either 120PS or 140PS. The former is the most efficient engine available in the range, with emissions of 155g/km and official economy of 47.9mpg.
The interior is significantly improved with a durable and solid finish, although it doesn't quite have the same quality feel as the Ford Transit Custom. But there are plenty of useful touches, such as a built-in tablet and mobile phone cradles, a laptop storage bin and plenty of cubby holes. The stereo seems a bit fiddly with small buttons but does come with DAB radio as standard.
There's plenty of choice in the Vivaro range with two lengths (L1 and L2) and two heights (H1 and H2), with load volumes of between 5.2m3 and 8.6m3. Thanks to a slightly increased wheelbase the L1 model is now capable of carrying three Euro pallets and there's a useful Flex cargo option for longer items that can slide under the passenger seat.
Despite all the improvements, the Vivaro is actually cheaper than before yet has a higher level of standard equipment with all models getting electric windows and mirrors plus ESP stability control with hill start assist. It's now far more refined than before thanks to the excellent 1.6-litre diesel and good to drive with a high quality ride whether empty or laden.
Used Buying Guide - Vauxhall Vivaro
The Vivaro a solid, dependable, and patriotic pick for a used van buyer. We tell you what to look out for when buying a one on the second-hand van market.
What does a Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019) cost?
Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?
This Vivaro has a very similar profile to the original one which means a near identical cargo area layout. This is good news for owners of the previous Vivaro who can transfer any racking or accessories to this new version, without the need for conversions. As before it has a wide floor and near vertical sides, but it's not merely the same load area - it is in fact slightly longer by 100mm while the overall payload capacity has increased to 1281kg, which means the standard L1 model can now carry three Euro pallets.
One clever feature is the FlexCargo bulkhead which allows longer items, such as pipes or planks of wood to be carried without having the rear doors open. Neat hatches in the base of the bulkhead and below the front bench seat allow items up to 4.15 metres to be loaded through into the passenger footwell.
The rear doors have been improved and feel more robust while the left hand door can now be locked separately, if you do have to carry overhanging cargo. The side and rear door handles are now horizontal making them easier to open 90° or swung through to 165° by releasing the simple door stops.
In the load area the floor has been lowered to make loading easier and there are eight or 10 floor-mounted lashing points as standard - depending on which vehicle length you choose - while 10 sidewall lashing eyes at half height are also available. Load volumes vary between 5.2m3 and 8.6m3 while a range of Vauxhall in-house factory-built load protection and load security options are also available.
Alongside the standard panel van, there is a Combi version which provides seating for eight passengers in three rows plus there's a Double Cab model which has seating for the driver and up to five passengers with a strong bulkhead between seating and the cargo area.
When it came to the interior, Vauxhall asked current Vivaro drivers what they wanted from the new van. The answer? Make it be more car-like to use. So it's no surprise to see much improved comfort and refinement. Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy thanks to good reach and height adjustment on the steering wheel which has a more upright angle.
The seats are a big improvement too with all vans coming with six-way adjustment, lumbar support and an armrest as standard. The bulkhead has been redesigned so that you can now actually adjust the backrest, even with the seat slid far back. It means that taller drivers don't have to have a near vertical seat back. The cabin is certainly more spacious and passengers get more legroom than in a Transit Custom.
The simple and clear instrument dials are far more modern than before and dominated by a large digital speedometer, so you know exactly what speed you're travelling it. Useful in 30mph zones through town. The steering wheel has a quality feel to it and on Sportive models has leather trim plus there is plenty of storage with various cupholders, a large glovebox, deep door pockets and a dash top cubby with a lid.
It's not perfect though, the glovebox cannot be locked and the DAB stereo feels cheap with fiddly controls and menus. Sportive models get a much better and easier to use system, but some of the switches and controls have been carried over from the old Vivaro and look a bit dated already but that aside, it feels a very well built and durable cabin.
What's the Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019) like to drive?
The big difference you notice between this and the previous Vivaro is noise. Or rather lack of it. Thanks to the new 1.6-litre diesel engine, the Vivaro is impressively quiet. And it's not just down to good sound insulation either, stand outside and the engine doesn't clatter on start-up, instead it idles quietly. Your neighbours will certainly appreciate that on those early starts.
The 1.6-litre engine is available in various versions. The two standard models have 90PS or 115PS. The latter should provide more than enough power for most with 300Nm of torque that's available from 1750rpm. It pulls strongly enough, even with a few hundred kilos on board, without becoming coarse or noisy while official economy is 43.5mpg.
The two other models are both BiTurbo diesels, which boosts power to 120PS while the top variant has 140PS. With both a small and a large turbocharger, these provide sprightly pace. At low engine revs, the smaller turbo means a fast throttle response while the larger turbo kicks in at higher revs for greater high-end horsepower. With 320Nm and 340Nm of torque these are the choice if you've got weight to carry or a trailer to tow.
But there is another reason for choosing the BiTurbo models - economy. Despite having more power, they are both impressively efficient, helped by an engine start/stop function. In fact the 120PS model is the most frugal in the Vivaro range with a claimed 47.9mpg and CO2 of 155g/km. Thanks to its 80-litre fuel tank that gives the Vivaro a theoretical range of 840 miles.
On the move the Vivaro has a very car-like feel, helped by the lack of noise and vibration through the cabin. The driving position is very good and the improved mirrors mean manoeuvering into tight spots for deliveries is easy. One useful extra is a wide angled mirror built into the passenger sun visor which helps you at blind junctions. All models also come with hill start assist as standard, again a useful feature to make life easier.
Along with improved refinement, the Vivaro now also rides better, especially when unladen. It's smooth and quiet over rough roads while with a decent cargo weight in the back, it's still agile enough in corners, albeit not quite as good to drive as the Transit Custom. The steering is a little on the light side, but that has benefits in tight spots while the gear change has a positive and easy shift action.
All Vivaro models have 25,000 mile, two-year service intervals and come with a three-year, 100,000 mile warranty, although strangely the Renault Trafic has a four-year warranty as standard.
Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
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