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.