Added: 18 January 2018
In 2017, the highly regarded Vauxhall Vivaro won the What Van? Used Van of the Year Award for the second year running. To not only win this award again, but to defend its title, truly reflects its prolonged recognition as the best LCV available.
Its success can be put down to its all-round package which is pieced together by its user-friendliness, stylish looks and best-in-class Bi-Turbo engine. Also, the icing on the cake comes from the fact it is British built and therefore fully supports the UK economy – ticking all the boxes for domestic operators!
The Vivaro has been highly regarded for its reliability since it first hit dealership showrooms in 2001. Vauxhall have done well not to tinker too much with its dimensions and load space as they have been a big reason for its popularity with domestic operators. Access to the load area is made easy with asymmetrically split rear doors and chunky handles. An individual door locking system has also been put in to place so that you can safely carry elongated goods poking out either side of the rear.
The entire Vivaro range is powered by a 1.6-litre CDTi diesel alongside either one or two turbochargers to produce some impressive economy statistics. Vauxhall have also implemented their ecoFLEX branding to certain models which helps efficiency figures further by denoting the presence of stop-start ignition, regenerative braking technology and improvements to its aerodynamics.
For security, all Vivaros are fitted with deadlocks and engine immobilisers from the factory. Smart keyless entry options are also available however these come at a cost from the options list.
Driving and Performance
Now, I know a 1.6-litre engine might sound small for the daily hustle and bustle of a panel van, but its performance is actually quite deceiving. The sweet spot of the range is the CDTi 120 that produces around 118bhp. The twin turbo helps it to produce not only great power but also the best fuel economy within the range. This isn’t the engines main party-piece though, its refinement is the real highlight. The engine sounds consistently smooth at all speeds and revs and makes it feel better in quality than its rivals.
Alongside the Vivaro’s high standard of engine refinement, it boasts a smooth ride that offers drivers and passengers rehabilitation from the daily back hammering of bumpy British roads. If we’re being picky the suspension is known to be a little noisy but this is only because wind, road noise and engine noise has been so well suppressed by the Vivaro’s engineers.
The brakes and steering breed confidence behind the wheel as their responses are predictable and user-friendly. Despite it being a tall panel van, the Vivaro is designed to keep its body roll in check throughout the corners. The driving position is also highly commendable as it offers a huge variety of adjustments both for the seat and steering column.
To find out more about the Vauxhall Vivaro please click here. Alternatively, if you’d like to arrange a test drive then please click here.