Used Vauxhall Vivaro
The Vauxhall Vivaro was launched in 2001 and represented the fruits of a joint development with General Motors sister companies Renault and Nissan. The Renault traffic had been in existence since 1980 and in its 20 year lifespan had been through a number of facelifts. It had also been subject to re-badging appearing as the Opel/Vauxhall Arena as early as 1997. The range was scheduled for update in 2001 and designed by Renault's corporate design department and light commercial vehicle unit in France. It was built by the General Motors manufacturing plant in Luton. It is available in various configurations including panel van, bus van and platform cab; two roof heights and wheelbase styles. In 2006 the range was given its first facelift with new indicator and headlight arrangement and new diesel engine range. In addition, in 2010 an electric concept car was demonstrated at the IAA car show in Germany. A plug-in hybrid electric car, the Vivaro e-Concept features a 250 mile combined range and a 60 mile pure electric range.
Bang for your buck
The success of any light commercial vehicle is in its ability to transport equipment, people and produce. The Vivaro offers two wheelbase options of 3 metres and 3.5 metres and two roof heights which combine to give the Vivaro a potential load of over 8 cubic metres depending on the configuration purchased. To put this in context, the long wheelbase high roof version can load up to three Euro pallets. To maximise access the Vivaro features a 1 metre passenger side sliding door, with the option of fitting another for an additional premium.
Inside the cabin the Vivaro features a well-appointed car like arrangement of seats and equipment, with some typical practical tweaks from Vauxhall. The car features keyless operation and central locking and a Flex fix system for cargo fastening. The quality fabrics and upholstery ensure a modern fresh feel to the cabin which is complemented by a range of entertainment and navigation systems and the option of fitting full colour Satellite Navigation facilities. Higher up the range the interior fittings are further enhanced by alloy effect door trim and dials.
What you'll pay
The pre-facelift 2001 model Vauxhall Vivaro for sale can be found for as little as £3000 depending on the engine. The newer more desirable 2006 facelift edition begins at around £6000 with the 2 litre Cdti model available at around £7000 for a 2010 registered vehicle. Many pre-registered/delivery mile vehicles can be found at bargain prices with the aforementioned 2 litre Cdti starting at £11,000.
What to check
The approved used Vauxhall Vivaro is a business vehicle and therefore tends to rack up the miles and take a fair bit of abuse. This is not usually a problem as the vehicle is built for that purpose, but be sure to check that the timing chain has been maintained and that service schedules have been carried out at regular intervals.
With three versions of the van on the market (the Vauxhall Vivaro, Renault Trafic and Nissan Primaster) parts are readily available. In addition, the Vivaro features a 12 year anti-perforation warranty and extended servicing schedule with intervals of 18,000 miles or two years, which means very cheap motoring.
How it drives
The used Vauxhall Vivaro is a commercial vehicle and as such its driving style is functional and power options are included to enable bigger loads to be carried rather than the usual speed and acceleration requirements of motoring. As such, there are a number of engine configurations available. The 2006 facelift model features two Cdti which deliver 90PS with 240Nm of torque at entry level and 115PS or 290Nm in the higher powered version. Both 2 litre engines are Euro IV compliant. For those requiring a little more power, a 2.5 litre option is available. A Cdti variant, it offers 145PS and 320Nm of torque. The Vivaro features a 6 speed manual gear shift as standard. However, the beefier 2.5 litre Vivaro can have an optional Tecshift transmission fitted which gives the driver a semi-automatic gear shift. The upshot of all these options is a smooth power delivery and solid drive which minimises the vibration heavy ride that some commercial vehicles can suffer from. Even when loaded the vehicle responds well and feels more like driving a large car than a van.