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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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.8 out of 5

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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.

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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.

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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.

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