In-depth Reviews

Vauxhall Viva hatchback (2015-2019) - Engines, drive & performance

The Vauxhall Viva copes well with most driving situations but shines in the city

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

Small engines are usually at their best in town rather than on the open road. The Vauxhall Viva’s single petrol engine lives up to this, as the car is better at being a city runabout. Top gear in the five-speed gearbox is long, meaning the Viva’s engine doesn’t need to work quite as hard when driving at the motorway speed limit. The trade off is that you’re more likely to need a gearchange before overtaking or climbing a hill.

The Viva feels quite nippy when driving around urban areas and body lean is minimal. Vauxhall says the car’s suspension and steering have been tweaked to work better on bumpy UK roads and the ‘city steering’ function makes the wheel very light at low speeds. This all sounds good, but overall the Viva isn’t much fun to drive – the Hyundai i10 is much better in this department. Road and wind noise are both quite loud, especially at motorway speeds, but it’s by no means deafening.

An 18mm higher ride is the sole mechanical difference between the Rocks and other Viva models, and it makes no noticeable difference to the way the car drives. It does feel marginally more comfortable over bumps, though.

Vauxhall Viva petrol engine

There’s only one engine available for the Viva – a 1.0-litre petrol. It’s economical and is as capable on city streets and motorway stretches as you'd expect from a cheap city car.

The Viva’s 73bhp means it can manage a 0-62mph time of 13.1 seconds, which is almost two seconds quicker than a 1.0-litre version of the Hyundai i10 on paper. On the road, the amount of power is perfectly adequate for most situations.

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 e front corner
Deals
24 Jun 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
2021 Citroen Ami
Best cars
16 Jun 2022

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022