The Vauxhall vans plant at Luton made the headlines of late due to the acquisition of Vauxhall/Opel by the PSA group of Peugeot-Citroen.
The Vivaro is a joint venture with Renault’s Trafic, but with PSA already dual-badging the identical Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch products, and having shared basics with Fiat and its Scudo through the Sevel partnership, it won’t be collaborating with Renault, so it’s possible this Vivaro may be the last substantially Vauxhall van to be launched.
This incarnation appeared in late 2013, boasting sharper styling, a revised engine range offering more power and torque with less consumption, and a raft of safety and driver comfort measures to keep it up with the best Ford and VW could muster.
The 1.6 CDTI engine – with a six-speed manual ’box – offers four power outputs. Two variants, 90hp and 115hp – with max torque of 260Nm from 1,500rpm and 300Nm from 1,750rpm, respectively – are equipped with a single variable geometry turbocharger, while the 120hp and 140hp engines use sequential bi-turbo tech.
The ABS system incorporates electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), which senses the load on each axle and optimises the braking response between the front and rear wheels accordingly. Emergency brake assist (EBA) automatically increases braking pressure in an emergency-stop situation, and hill-start assist (HSA) avoids inadvertent roll-back when the vehicle is moving off on a slope.
The standard electronic stability program (ESP) includes traction control for improved grip in slippery road conditions, roll-over mitigation, hydraulic brake assist (HBA) and adaptive load control, which manages ESP intervention depending on whether the vehicle is fully loaded, half loaded or empty. When a tow bar is fitted, a trailer stability program is also available, which decreases engine torque and brakes the vehicle when trailer movements or oscillations indicate a potential loss of control.
The panel van, combi and crew van all come in a choice of two body lengths, of 4,998mm or 5,398mm, while the panel van is also available in two roof heights. All variants retain the 3,098mm short-wheelbase and 3,498mm long-wheelbase dimensions of the previous model. However, the rear load space is 100mm longer and the front cabin extended by 116mm compared with the mk2. For the panel van, the increased cargo capacity ranges between 5.2m3 and 8.6m3, depending on body format, while the load-though option allows for a narrow 4.15m-long load. Payloads range from 899kg in the nine-seat Combi model to 1,281kg in the LWB van.
A few faults are known across the Vivaro range. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) pipes can fail, bringing on the engine management warning light and possibly putting the engine into limp-home mode due to the emissions imbalance; bonnet locks can fail; and there was a recall on the parking brake, so check service history well.