Vauxhall Viva Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

An entry-level offer from Vauxhall, the Viva was introduced in 2015 as a small, practical and easy-to-drive city car. Efficient engines mean it’s cheap to run, with the most impressive feature being the generous space for rear passengers. A useful kit list and smart looks also count in its favour, but Vauxhall stopped production in 2019 when it decided to revitalize its line-up. One reason the Viva didn’t sell too well in its short life was its relatively high price tag. However, as a used car in today’s market, it offers great value. If you’re looking for a funky urban runabout with lots of great features, you’ll love it.

Visit the Vauxhall Viva model page to explore available cars and learn more.

What we think about the Vauxhall Viva

The Vauxhall Viva is a small, practical and stylish city car with lots of great features.



Easy to drive


Funky styling


Cheap to run


Lots of standard tech


Slightly more expensive than rivals

Uninspiring interiors

Small boot

The Vauxhall Viva was introduced in 2015. It was initially available in two trim levels, but an additional Viva Rocks model was added to the list in 2017. It’s only available with a 1.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, but you can choose between manual and automatic gearboxes.

Driving performance of the Vauxhall Viva

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

The Vauxhall Viva is tailor-made for city roads; the engines feel nippy and it’s easy to manoeuvre around tight corners. A high-driving position means great visibility, making it easy to fit into small parking spaces and gaps in the traffic. However, it’s not particularly fun to drive and the suspension could be a lot better, as a few big bumps can unsettle it. On the motorways, the Viva feels uncomfortable and fidgety at high speeds. But if you just want to get from A to B in urban environments, you’ll be more than satisfied.

Safety and reliability of the Vauxhall Viva

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

The Viva scored a slightly underwhelming three stars out of five in the Euro NCAP safety tests. This is likely because it lacks the autonomous emergency braking feature that has become common in modern cars. However, the good news is that it comes with other safety tech. Stability control, six airbags, tyre-pressure monitoring and a lane-departure warning system are all part of the standard kit list. Plus, Isofix points in the rear help make sure car seats are secure.

Under the bonnet of the Vauxhall Viva

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

The Vauxhall Viva is only available with one engine: a 1.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol. On older models, the three-cylinder unit produced about 74 bhp, but this was later revised to 72 bhp. The Viva can get from 0-60 mph in 13.1 seconds, and top speeds are capped at 106 mph. So, while it’s not the fastest choice, it’s lightweight and ideal for zipping through town. It’s also available with manual transmission as well as a traffic-friendly automatic ‘Easytronic’ gearbox.

What you'll find in the Vauxhall Viva

Our Design Rating7 / 10

With the Viva, Vauxhall went with sensible styling rather than experimental design. While other models like the Fiat 500 and the MINI are modelled on a retro theme, the Viva is far more conventional. The best-looking variation is the Viva Rocks trim with its chunky cladding, machined alloy wheels and roof bars. If you’re looking for a car that stands out, this may not be the one. However, if you’re happy to keep it simple, it’s not going to disappoint.

Comfort and interiors in the Vauxhall Viva

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

Right from the get-go, Vauxhall marketed the Viva as a city car that could seat five adults comfortably. Good news – it does just that. The boxy dimensions mean there’s plenty of headroom, while a range of cubbyholes make it easy to stow away small items. However, the grand interior space does come at the cost of the boot size. At 207 litres, it’s quite a lot smaller than rivals. While the cabin isn’t dull, expect to find cheap and rough plastics – somewhat disappointing for a car at this price point.

Vauxhall Viva Interior Dashboard

What features you'll find in the Vauxhall Viva

Our Features Rating8 / 10

Perhaps the Viva’s biggest selling point is that it’s kitted out with lots of great tech. Remote central locking, cruise control, electric windows and heated mirrors all come as standard. However, it’s best to find a model that’s fitted with air-conditioning for the most comfortable driving experience. The neat IntelliLink system is also a great add-on. It connects to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, radio, Bluetooth and USB for in-car entertainment. Upgrading to the Viva Rocks trim will get you several style upgrades, including 15-inch bi-colour alloy wheels.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Vauxhall Viva

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

Thanks to a light and compact engine, the Viva is very cheap to run. The entry-level model returns 62.8 mpg. There’s also an Ecoflex variant that’s capable of raising the efficiency to 65.7 mpg, while the standard model emits 104 g/km. For bigger tax savings, find an Ecoflex model that was registered before April 2017. This model cuts down emissions to under 100 g/km, so it’s free of road tax charges.

Running costs of the Vauxhall Viva

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

With insurance groups falling in the range of three to five, the Vauxhall Viva is not expensive to insure. However, rivals like the Skoda Citigo are cheaper overall. A fairly standard three-year, 60,000-mile guarantee is on par with most of the competition, but Hyundai’s 5-year and Kia’s 7-year warranties are more tempting. In terms of reliability, Vauxhall has performed somewhat poorly in the recent past. There have been some issues with excess oil usage, so be sure to check the car’s history thoroughly or you may find yourself requiring expensive repairs.

Our verdict of the Vauxhall Viva

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

If you're looking for a compact city car, the Vauxhall Viva is a practical choice.