The New 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Review
The 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van is now the only van made here on British soil. Well Luton soil to be precise. The 1st generation Vivaro was a massive success story, so with improvements all round, does the 2nd generation 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro van have what it takes to match up to its popular older brother? Let’s find out in our Vauxhall Vivaro Review.
With swish looks, extra efficiency and cool tech, the potential of the new 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van within the medium LCV segment can’t be ignored. The direct competition is fierce however with the talented likes of the Ford Transit Custom, VW Transporter, Mercedes Vito, along with the clone trio – Citroen’s Dispatch, Fiat’s Scudo and Peugeot’s Expert, not to mention the Vivaro’s very own development sibling, the Renault Trafic; all vying for supremacy in this crowded segment. So what can the 2nd generation Vivaro bring to the plate to differentiate itself when everything is so similar? As much as Vauxhall claims this van to be industry leading in many commercial aspects, they will really need to deliver this in order to have a fighting chance. Vauxhall are optimistic however.
To look at, the 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van is almost exactly like the Trafic, except in the front panels such as the bonnet, grill, bumper and flashy headlight setup which gives it a distinctly Vauxhall appeal. Inside the cabin is where you can really see the Renault influence in its design – specifically the Renault Clio-esque rev counter and fuel gauge display. There is something delightfully unvan-like about the quality of the cabin, resulting in an almost MPV feel. There’s more space than the previous model with an extra 160mm in cabin length. The view is commanding as you would expect. It’s got a middle seat, but the dash mounted gearshift might make for an interesting legroom situation. Not that the engineers can really do much about this, but it’s best to give this short straw to the least leggy/skinniest person if you want to use the middle seat. For the most part you probably won’t be using it the majority of the time. Instead you can fold the middle seat down to become a mobile desk surface complete with a rather plastic, but very useful clipboard attachment. This will be very useful for business users of all kinds. It’s perfect for a laptop to fit so that you can access a variety of the 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van’s infotainment options if you don’t have the optional touchscreen. It’s worth noting you can also hook up your smartphone in such a manner. Another great selling point is the storage in this cabin – there’s up to 75ltrs worth of compartments, holds and general cubby holes of which to store whatever you need.
If you lift up the passenger seat you can access a handy compartment, however this isn’t JUST a handy storage space, but it is part of the van’s most interesting cargo features – the Flexi-Cargo loading hatch. This means you can open up a bulkhead door behind the chairs and a door at the front of the passenger chairs in order to allow you to push long objects through from the cargo hold into the foot well of the cabin – allowing up to 400mm more room which is very useful. The need to do this will probably be relatively rare due to advancement in inner cargo space. There is 100mm more interior length (despite having the same wheelbase as its predecessor) giving it an impressive 2537mm (extending to 3750mm if you include the foot well space) total cargo space for the low roof version of the 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van and 2937mm (extending to 4150mm) with the high roof model. The general width and height of the cargo hold hasn’t changed from the old Vivaro so that’ll be good news for those wishing to simply upgrade from the old model since they can transfer racks and such directly.
The drive itself is actually nicer than the previous version, with an almost car-like drive quality that maintains the body roll well around corners. There’s a commanding driving position along with big door mirrors and an interesting wide angle mirror in the passenger sun visor, which helps a lot when manoeuvring. If you want to preserve the body paint even further, then it might be a good idea to invest in parking sensors and a choice of 2 parking cameras.
An interesting point about the Mk2 Vivaro is the fact that they’ve downsized the engine from a 2.0ltr to a 1.6ltr across the board, complete with a choice of single turbo or bi-turbo, depending on how much pulling power you’ll be requiring. Those who will be using their van for local deliveries will probably find that the simple 90ps single turbo unit is all that is necessary, which also comes with the great Eco-flex system, used to reduce running costs, making this a very economic and cash viable option for businesses. If you’re looking for a bit more power, as some will, then the 115ps version will have more torque. The 120ps 1.6 CDTI bi-turbo engine is the crown jewel of the engine line-up, which really proves the cutting edge of what this van is capable of. The small turbo kicks in at low revs and the larger kicks in later to successfully create the illusion of pressing fast forward when trying to get somewhere fast. There is also the 140ps model of this engine available should you fancy a bit more grunt.
Being a smaller engine, the payloads this van can take is marginally less than its 2.0ltr engined rivals. This might be seen as a black mark on an otherwise impressive resume, but as it can still lug around 1.2 tonnes and can reap the rewards of better efficiency and refinement, you’ll probably find yourself overlooking this. It’s also still a tough workhorse, being able to pull 750kg unbraked trailers and 2000kg braked.
All in all, what have we got here with 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro? In the medium range van market its very samey, so you’ll probably find your choices being made on the basis of deals or on little details. Vauxhall have done well with the 2014 Vauxhall Vivaro Van since they’ve packed it with some very useful little extras such as the mobile office section behind the middle seat and the Flex-Cargo hatch – all of which have been very well thought out and integrated. What is more likely to sway people is the low running costs due to smaller engines and the Eco-flex system. At the end of the day, despite all this, the Renault Trafic is practically identical in all these respects, however with Vauxhall you’ll be ‘Buying British’ which, aside from having a good ring to it, means you’ll be supporting local business. This is a small but perhaps crucial factor that will potentially swing UK customers towards getting Vauxhall vans.