In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Viva (2015-2019) review - Interior, design and technology

Looks sensible rather than interesting inside and out, but there’s no doubting the kit list and quality

The Vauxhall Viva looks nothing like the old HA, HB and HC Vivas it shares its name with – Vauxhall has shunned the retro theme that MINI and Fiat are caught up in right now. Instead, the Viva looks like a conventional city car.

The overall profile is very similar to a Hyundai i10, but the small Vauxhall has a smart and unpretentious look that should appeal to most buyers in this price range. Sloping shoulder lines, slashes along the doors and an attractive rear-end ensure the Viva doesn’t look like a bargain basement model.

It’s not got much in the way of style or character, though, and the list of personalisation options for the exterior is measly.  If you want to stand out, a Renault Twingo or Toyota Aygo are a better bet. Alternatively, the jacked up looks and exclusive alloy wheels of the Viva Rocks could swing you. 

The inside carries on with the smart and classy theme, with an attractive dashboard layout, instruments borrowed from more expensive Vauxhalls and gloss-black plastic on the centre console.  The plastics are hard and scratchy to the touch, but you would expect that from a car of the price, although like the outside it’s disappointing there are no extra colour choices to enliven the expanse of dark materials.

The Viva is well equipped, however. Remote central locking, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors and a trip computer are all standard, but buyers will want to spend an extra £500 on air-conditioning – you’ll struggle to sell one on without it. SL spec, with its leather steering wheel, leather-effect seat trim, climate control and alloys packs in a decent amount of kit. We’d probably save that and opt for the IntelliLink system, though. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Vauxhall is ahead of rivals in this area, at least in terms of the optional system on offer. SE models get a fairly basic FM radio with pre-sets and a dot-matrix screen, plus audio controls on the steering wheel. There’s no Bluetooth or USB connectivity as standard.

Vauxhall’s neat IntelliLink system puts it ahead of city car competition. While the standard R300 BT Radio is a straightforward unit that offers Bluetooth and USB connectivity, around £450 added the brand’s intuitive touchscreen arrangement.

Featuring a large seven-inch screen with crisp graphics, the R4.0 system is packed with useful features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These systems allow you to seamlessly link your smartphone and access all its features while on the move. The upgrade also includes a DAB radio tuner. The unit is simple to use, thanks to its clear layout.

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020