• Engine 2-0 Diesel
  • Power (bhp): 120
  • Torque (Nm): 300
  • Load length (mm): 2512
  • Load volume (cu m): 5300
  • Payload (kg): 1039
  • Comb fuel economy (mpg): 44.2mpg
  • CO2 emission (g/km): 128
  • Price: £27,343

What is it?

The only van made in Britain and the new Vivaro, bult at Vauxhall’s Luton plant, has just been launched marking the third generation of the model.

It comes with smarter looks than its predecessor, more efficiency and loaded with technology – including, on our test model, head up display!

The van market is hugely competitive right now and the Vivaro has to cut it not only with the likes of rivals such as Ford and Volkswagen, but also with PSA Group design stablemates Citroen and Peugeot.

Then there’s Mercedes, Nissan, Fiat …… the list goes on.

So, buy British might not be a bad USP.

img 0374 1

Side door opening is a must – and electrically operated on our test vehicle

Why would you want one?

In brief, the Vivaro is nice and easy to drive – and in terms of looks, it’s easy on the eye.

There’s a choice of 1.5 or 2.0-litre diesels. The 1.5 comes in 100PS or 120PS outputs although not as muscly as the old model’s 1.6-litre diesels when it comes to heavy payloads.

The 2.0-litre Turbo D  comes in 120PS, 150PS or 180PS and feel a lot more punchy on the road, greater torque also leads to better economy.

All models use a 6-speed manual gearbox apart from the top spec 180PS which has an 8-speed auto as standard.

High spec models also get all sort of goodies such as reversing camera, speed limit recognition, lane departure warning and blind spot alert.

Pricing starts at £22,000 (exc VAT) and the new Vivaro is available in three trim levels: Edition, Sportive and Elite.

There’s also a passenger-carrying version, the Vivaro Life. And a Doublecab variant – priced from just under £26,000 excluding VAT.

This one features an innovative hinged steel-mesh bulkhead that articulates forward when the second row seats are folded and not in use.

img 0375

Head-up display anyone?

What’s changed?

The third generation comes with a shorter bonnet while the model is shorter and narrower than its predecessor. As before, it comes in two lengths – L1 form (39mm shorter than before) or L2 (89mm shorter).

Previously the longer version had a longer wheelbase. This time round the bodywork is extended behind the rear axle making the L2 350mm longer than the L1

There is no high-roof option but the standard model is a little taller than before.

Inside a three-person bench seat is fitted and there’s a bulkhead flap so that longer items can be pushed through from the cargo area.

img 0372 1

Enough room for the wardrobe

Our verdict

All models are decently equipped, even base-spec variants including cruise control, a speed limiter and a DAB audio system with Bluetooth.

Moving up the price range Sportive variants add things like air conditioning, rear parking sensors, a 7-inch Multimedia central touchscreen, metallic paint, front foglamps, auto headlamps and wipers.

Top-spec ‘Elite’ trim brings 17-inch alloy wheels, High beam assist, power-folding mirrors and front parking sensors.

While the load area is shorter than the old Vivaro, and there’s less width between the wheel arches, although only by about a centimetre.

There’s a bit more load area height than its predecessor which compensates for the slightly shorter load bay. Overall, the cargo capacity is slightly improved with a minimum load volume of 5.3 cubic metres for the L1, and 6.1 cubic metres for the L2.

As for fuel efficiency we achieved just over 44mpg over a mixture of town, country and motorway driving, including shifting a fair amount of furniture.

Overall, the Vivaro cuts the mustard and while it can stand part from the Fords, Nissans and VWs, its biggest issue is that its stablemates – Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dispatch or Toyota Proace – are pretty much the same thing.