Vauxhall Vivaro long-term test – Final Report

Date: Friday, June 24, 2022   |   Author: James Dallas

After a six month stint on the What Van? fleet, James Dallas bids farewell to his long-term Vauxhall Vivaro double cab.

The Vauxhall Vivaro may share a burgeoning medium-van platform alongside its Stellantis brand stablemates the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Fiat Professional Scudo as well as the Toyota Proace, as part of a third-party arrangement, but it is the Vauxhall van that leads the charge in the UK. With its reputation as a treasured national brand and a dealer network stretching the length and breadth of the land – including more than 60 Van Business Centres and a competitive warranty of three years/100,000 miles with service intervals of 30,000 miles – it is no surprise that the Vivaro is the most popular of these Stellantis-built vans in the domestic market.

My top of the range Elite double cab came with a wealth of driver-assistance features, such as lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, drowsiness alert, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. Blindspot sensors and a rear-view camera were also part of the deal. A multimedia 7in touchscreen delivered phone integration with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The upgraded satnav purported to supply live traffic information (I was not convinced it did) as well as direct connection with roadside assistance and emergency call. Happily, I did not need to call upon the latter two facilities.

Unfortunately the satnav did not take account of recent road closures and traffic controlling measures taken during the Covid-19 lockdowns and nor did it like finding destinations via the input of a postcode, which meant I had to key in town and street names instead. 

My first few weeks with the Vivaro were mainly spent driving in the city and for a large, long-wheelbase van over five metres in length it proved to be manoeuvrable and easy to manage. 

A roof height of 1,935mm should ensure the Vivaro can safely negotiate most car park overhead barriers without mishap but caution is still advised, as a narrowly avoided close encounter with a 1.8m barrier at the Gatwick North short term car park proved.

The Vivaro Elite’s cabin is generally comfortable, if a little cramped. Reach and height-adjustable power steering takes the strain out of urban driving and a six-way adjustable driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support makes it easy to find the most relaxing position.

An efficient stop/start system cuts out the engine when stationary and I was impressed by the head-up display in the driver’s eyeline, which allows you to keep your eyes on the road while monitoring speed and satnav directions, for example.

The Vivaro’s driving position, in common with all the other vans built on the same Stellantis platform, is slightly off centre and the dashboard controls are poorly illuminated at night. Storage facilities are plentiful although some of the provisions are not overly practical.

The 2.0L 150hp engine is well suited to higher speed long trips out on the open road and combines nicely with sharp handling. External noise is unobtrusive and ride quality is decent, as is build quality, with no unexplained rattles or squeaks to disturb the peace and all components sturdily put together.  Adaptive cruise control takes much of the strain out of motorway driving and aids safety by maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

A full-height bulkhead protects the cabin from anything that may come adrift in the load area while an excellent reversing camera and all-round sensors make tight manoeuvres less hazardous. Other increasingly common but nonetheless laudable safety features include lane departure warning, side blind spot alert, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, driver drowsiness warning and speed sign recognition.

With fairly frugal fuel consumption thrown into the mix the Vivaro double cab Elite is a strong all-round performer capable of holding its own with the best in class. Backed up by Vauxhall’s strong support network, it is worthy of consideration.

End-of-term report

Desirability = 4/5

A sophisticated, refined medium-sized van well equipped to thrive in the most competitive market sector.

Cabin = 3/5

Generally comfortable but let down by some impractical storage facilities and an odd driving position. 

Driving = 4/5

A responsive engine combines with sharp handling and decent levels of comfort. 

Safety = 4/5

The Vivaro Elite comes with a comprehensive range of ADAS and safety kit. 

Fuel economy  = 4/5

Averaged slightly above the official combined figure. 

Build quality = 4/5

Reassuringly solid with no worrying squeaks or rattles. 

Overall score = 77%

Vauxhall Vivaro doublecab Elite 3100 L2H1 2.0 150hp 

Mileage 1,355mls

Official combined fuel economy 31.8mpg

Our average consumption 33.9mpg

Price range (ex VAT) £24,378-£30,518

Price (ex VAT) £30,518

Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls

Service intervals 30,000mls

Load length 2,365mm 

Load width (min/max) 1,258mm/1,636mm

Load bay height 1,396mm 

Load volume 4.0m3

Gross payload 1,245kg

Engine size/power 1,997cc/150hp  

Gearbox 6-spd manual

CO2 143g/km


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