News : Vauxhall Vivaro makes world debut in Birmingham

Vauxhall Vivaro (1)

Vauxhall has debuted the new British-built Vivaro van at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham. The new Vivaro continues the excellent record being built-up by the UK’s most productive van plant, where nearly one million of the outgoing model have rolled off the production line since 2001. It goes on sale this September with prices expected to start at around £18,500.

More than €200 million has been invested in bringing the new model to production in Bedfordshire, securing 1200 jobs in the Luton area.  More than 40 per cent of content for the new Vivaro is sourced in the UK.  The plant is also a major exporter with 52 per cent of production destined for European markets.

While it’s described as ‘all-new’ the Vivaro is more a thorough revamp. It sits on the same platform as the previous Vivaro and, as before, is a joint venture with Renault which has the Trafic, a van which was also on display at the show. Four engines will be available, starting with the entry-level 88bhp 1.6-litre diesel that offers a combined fuel consumption of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 170g/km. The same engine is also offered with 113bhp, but has the same emissions and economy.

The big news is the introduction of a new twin-turbocharged version of the 1.6-litre diesel with stop/start, offered with either 118bhp or 138bhp. The former is the most efficient engine available in the range, with emissions of 155g/km and 47.1mpg.

The interior gets an overhaul and has a durable and solid finish, and there are plenty of useful touches, such as a built-in tablet and mobile phone cradles suited to all sizes of device, 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.

The Vivaro comes in two lengths (L1 and L2) and two heights (H1 and H2), with load volumes of between 5.2m3 and 8.6m3. L1 and L2 crew cab versions are offered, with respective load volumes of 3.2m3 and 4.0m3. Thanks to a slightly increased wheelbase, the L1 model is now capable of carrying three Euro pallets. All models come with ESP stability control as standard along with hill start assist.

In the load area there’s a simple-to use through-hatch that allows the loading of planks or pipes up to 3.75m in the shorter L1 variant, with 40cm of extra load length in the longer L2. The hatch extends under the front seats and is very easy to operate, although it’s heavily sprung and might trap fingers. There’s also a system that allows you to secure one door, leaving visible tail lights and a visible numberplate with the other door partially open – useful for carrying the occasional oversized load.

The cross-section of the load area is identical to the previous version, meaning shelving kits and other conversions from the previous Vivaro will fit in the new versions with no modification. Vauxhall also offers a platform cab variant for conversion, for example, as a flatbed.

Vauxhall Vivaro (2)


Keith Adams


  1. From a style point of view. there was nothing very much wrong with the old Vivaro/Trafic/WhatevertheNissanversioniscalled. It drove well (better than the VW Transporter IMHO and certainly far better than the PSA/Fiat alternative) and still looked fresh many years after it debuted.

    The Transit Custom pays tribute to the design with very similar rear styling.

  2. looks hideous. bring back the old Bedford CF I say. It was a great van ….apart from its carburettor 🙂

  3. Good to see David Blunkett is working for Vauxhall in their front bumper colour match department.

  4. Why is it that vans are getting ever more chrome and big expensive sparkley headlights, yet family cars (most of which are now ‘crossovers’) are becoming more rugged with more plastic cladding etc.?
    Should it not be the other way around?


    Think it’s a GM thing. At one point I thought my Saab had had a respray on the bumpers…

  5. Not much of a looker, is it? And yes.. they all have big headlights now for some reason.

    Still, 1200 jobs is pretty good going. At least they’re not building it in Turkey!

  6. UK’s most productive van plant – marketing speak since it’s now also Britain’s only van plant?

  7. If its as well made as the previous model then it wins hands down over the VW offering.So easy and quite to drive

  8. @4, Will M,

    You’d be surprised how much pre-delivery ‘corrections’ take place with new vehicles.

    A lot of damage is done during transportation, especially the roofs, just watch a car transporter in transit- how closely packed they are, and how much the cars ‘bounce’- as they are only restrained round the diameter of the tyres. Clearances are at the discretion of the driver (but according to company directives and local laws).

  9. I have a theory that when cars or vans are designed, the final ‘look’ is established. Then the vehicle is deliberately ‘uglyfied’ so that when the facelift comes along it can get a new lease of life. The Uglyfying department have worked overtime on this one. VW will be laughing all the way to the bank. I certainly won’t be swapping my Vivaro for one of these

  10. Looks a bit ‘Toyota’ at the front, as not much different from the side and back… However good thinking for the tablet, phone and cup holders! You can never have enough of those! 🙂

  11. does the max load length mean you have to remove the seats? the arrow on the side seems to suggest this

  12. It is indeed, a proper minger, so to speak. Then again, most modern cars are at best odd to look at. Over-styling is the issue. Form follows function and good design derives from effective function. There were no stylists working on the Spitfire. Computer aided design produces ugly products, human eyes and hands can produce attractive ones.

  13. Re 17: ‘Computer aided design’ plays absolutely no part in the styling of a vehicle. This is done entirely by people, from sketch through to finished clay model. Only when this is signed off on does CAD come into play when the clay is digitised.

  14. Viewing clinic- aka Specsavers!
    @17. I dont know the ins and outs of car design but I think its moved on from there. I shall research it!

  15. …back to the looks of modern cars- why do they have to look like ‘Transformers’ or Klingon spaceships? There has been a very pervasive techno-organic design language going on now for a long time. Its really just a fashion and looks self conscious and rather teenage.

  16. I’m with alexscott – the CF was far better looking – but that was a time when styling was ‘restrained’. Now that manufacturers can bend metal, plastic and glass into a myriad of hideous forms – they will because they can.
    I don’t think styling can ever be described as ‘better’ or ‘improved’ – it’s just more ‘trendy’.

  17. would anyone seriously drive a CF these days over any new van…er… no thanks. I’ve had loads of vans since I started driving back in 1990 and I can honestly say I much prefer power steering ABS and leccy windows and turbo diseasels to the “good” old days of cardboard seated non pas naturally aspirated (lol 60 bhp or summat) Transits (for example) and having to phone Arnie to get you round a corner. All power to the new Vivaro, great to see a UK built van 🙂 Good on ye Vauxhall, hope Luton is here for another 100 odd years.

  18. I’d hardly define the CF as the high watermark in van aesthetics. Admittedly, it was far prettier than the current Ducato and its clones, but it wasn’t even as attractive as the Mk1 Transit that it tried to rival.

    I consider the second generation Renault Master to be the most stylish of full-sized vans, followed by the pre-facelift Trafic. The latest Master is a bit of a minger, and doesn’t improve on the not particularly wonderful interior. Oh, and where did they put the hazard warning switch- the one thing you reach for when you’ve practically stood the thing on it’s nose because the driver of the car in front has panicked and over-braked- and your mirrors are full of oblivious Audi drivers on the phone to head office? Why, of course, its just in front of where the rear-view mirror would be, if it was fitted with one. Just where you wouldn’t think to look, given it’s a bloody van.

  19. Ah Oui! The Master is good looking for a van, a bit of the Espace provides that. The Estafette and HY van, also the Fiat 850 rate too.

  20. Good god I wouldn’t want to be seen in such an ugly van….what a shame after all that investment, I hoped that it would have similar styling to the Transit…..won’t be upgrading my vivario thats for sure.

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