Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019) Review

Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019) At A Glance


+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.

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. 

Read the buying guide here >>

Vauxhall Vivaro (10)

Ask Honest John

What's a good short term van purchase?

"I am aiming to buy a car again soon. However I will shortly be moving house and this is likely to be a prolonged move. I have wondered about buying an older panel van in the short term? Due to my health it would need to be an automatic and easy to handle. I would also want it to hold its value as I would be trading it in against a more modern, but not new, SUV. "
The good news here is that if you buy an inexpensive van you won't find it hard to sell on, and are unlikely to lose much on it. If you want an automatic, then the best options at that prices are the 2007-2014 Vauxhall Vivaro/Renault Trafic or the 2004-2011 Mercedes-Benz Vito, both of which offer a durable automatic transmission and inexpensive second-hand prices.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Is there a minimum requirement for brake discs?

"Is there a minimum brake disc requirement on Vauxhall Vivaro vans or is it an upsell? "
Yes, the van will fail the MoT if the brake lining or pad is worn down to the wear indicator or below 1.5mm.
Answered by Dan Powell

Why is my van not showing on the insurance database?

"Earlier this year I purchased a Vauxhall Vivaro van. It was advertised as having the 125PS engine which is backed up by a code on the door frame and the V5. When I try to get van insurance it is coming up as a different model with a higher power output. I do not want to be paying more for my insurance than needed or indeed, in the event of a claim, having it turned down due to inaccurate information. I have extensively trawled through my handbook but cannot find an answer. Can you help? "
The insurance companies get their data from the DVLA. It may simply be a database error or something more sinister in regards to the history of the van. I would suggest taking it to your main Vauxhall dealer (ideally the one that sold the van when it was new) and having the VIN/registration and engine details confirmed. You can then approach the DVLA and ask them to amend the database if an error is found or take it back to the seller if the history of the vehicle fails to add up.
Answered by Dan Powell

Our work van isn't ULEZ-exempt. Can we retrofit tech to make it compliant?

"We have a company van (Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6 Bi-turbo, registered in March 2016). When we purchased the van from the main dealer in April 2016, he gave us the impression that the van would comply with the ULEZ - but it does not. Is there a cost-effective way to make this van comply, especially now that the grants have been suspended?"
The ULEZ scheme allows for some vehicles to retrofit emissions reduction technology to meet the ULEZ standards, so it may be possible to adapt your van. But the tech will not be cheap. It will also need to be certified by the Government's Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). The CVRAS currently has emissions reduction technologies certified for certain models of vans.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Vauxhall Vivaro (2014 – 2019) cost?