In-depth Reviews

Vauxhall Viva owner reviews

"The Vauxhall Viva is cheap to buy and run, but it struggles out of town"

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

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Owners Rating

3.8 out of 5

65%of people would recommend this car to a friend.

Owner Rating

  • 2reviews
  • 3reviews
  • 9reviews
  • 1reviews
  • 2reviews

Common Problems

  • Gearbox / clutch (1 cases)
  • Suspension (1 cases)
  • Brakes (1 cases)
  • Engine, Gearbox / clutch (2 cases)
  • Other (2 cases)
  • Suspension, Other (1 cases)

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New
Review
I have owned this car since March and had the car several weeks weeks and had extensive gearbox work done. It had only done 13,000. I lost the car to the dealership for 13 days. When I got my Viva back the tracking was out and I had an oil leak from the gearbox and the driveshaft oil seal. Took the car back last week had a mechanic test drive the car yes there is a problem with the gearbox. Left the car again and on the Monday another mechanic test drove the car and yes there is a gearbox problem but then the head mechanic test drives the car for ten miles there’s no problem with the gearbox. So I have an intermittent problem with it and that means the dealer can't find it everytime.

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

SE

Year of registration

18

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

50
Review
I bought this car brand new, I got to 800 miles on the clock and could hear rattling from the front so I took it back under warranty who said it was how the car was built. Road noise drowns out the radio on the motorway, too, and it's a small car so has a small boot. It would be fine as a shopping car, but I won't be buying another one.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

50
Review
After looking around for a small City car the Viva seemed to offer much more than others in its class. I wanted a small economical first car for my daughter. The viva is cheap to insure, £20/year road tax and cheap to run. The SL model offered quite a bit more over the SE for a bit extra, alloy wheels, half leather seats, climate control, wifi with OnStar, and tinted rear windows which give our little white Viva a more sporty look and the wireless phone connection works well. Driving: the Viva pulls away well and feels nippy pulling through the gears in town. Mid range torque is pretty nonexistent but it is only 1-litre and this is typical with VVTI engines. You can get the revs up and it pulls OK and can be good fun. Gets up to speed OK on the motorway and sits very comfortably at 70 and 80 miles per hour. The seats are very comfortable. At 5'9" there's enough leg room in the seat behind when I'm driving. Four six foot adults would find the leg room a squeeze on long journeys I'm sure. Two adults in the back is fine with plenty of room. Too much of a squeeze for three adults in the back, the middle seat is very narrow. Three kids or three skinny people would be fine. Boot is small but it is a city car. Having said that we've had weekly shops in the boot ok. If you have a larger shop, being 4 door it is easy to pop some bags on the back seat. A pain to do with a 2 door car PROS: Easy to drive and comfortable Economical. Average 50 miles to the gallon (mostly short trips) 65 on longer runs. Sat on dual carriageway way at 60 with cruise control on, reset the MPG and got 75 to the gallon on a 10 mile trip home Cheap to insure and tax Good amount of tech over others in its class Cons: Low mid range torque Small middle rear seat City mode superfluous. It is so light and easy to steer anyway Radio could be better. Sound quality with speakers not the best. I will enjoy driving it until my daughter goes off to Uni in it next year.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

45
Review
Apart from a mysterious rear brake issue that was dealt with under warranty at the second service (no cost, no inconvenience) this has been a super little car thus far. It handles and rides well; genuinely agile and fun to drive with a willing little engine that is astonishingly smooth. Here's another thing - unlike the 'up' and clones, the interior is properly trimmed. There is virtually no exposed painted metal to be seen.
Reliability
Only one minor issue so far.
Performance

5 out of 5

Nippy and more that adequate for intended use.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

We run three cars - the Viva is the cheapest to run by some distance.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

1.0 Se

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

48
Review
I bought this car brand new for reliability and have had it for 2 years, out of these 2 years it has been back in dealership workshop for 43 weeks. It has had 2 new engines, 4 clutches, 4 slave cylinders in this time. Vauxhall feel this is acceptable. Neither Vauxhall or the dealer will replace the vehicle, they have offered me £500 towards a new car, now they are offering a replacement but are expecting me to pay £2800 as betterment fee. Apparently I am the only person in the country with this fault!
Reliability

1 out of 5

Not reliable at all as it has spent half its lifetime in garage workshop.
Performance

2 out of 5

Performance is good when I have been able to drive it.
Running Cost
Cheap to run

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

Se (a/c)

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

New
Review
I bought this car as an ex show car only 3 month old and had less than 1000 miles on got a great deal, or so I thought. Within the first 7 months it was in the garage every few weeks until it needed a brand new engine put in! A 9 month old car needed a brand new engine, put me completely off this car but now I am stuck with it. Touch wood only had one more little issue since its now 18month old.

Owner Review

3 out of 5

Version

hatch

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

46.5
Review
Runs well but poor MPG - hoping It gets better than that! Read the handbook before you buy, I spent Hours looking for straps to lower the back seats (none) stop-start (none) reverse sensors (none) wheel jack (none) offside door wants attention, its still running.
Reliability

3 out of 5

Too early yet
Performance
Good
Running Cost

2 out of 5

Poor up to now

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

SE AC

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

57
Review
My wife wanted a smaller and more economical car. The latest Corsa seems as big as her old Astra, so we chose a Viva. We get an average 57 mpg. We seldom exceed 3,000 rpm or 70 mph , hence the good fuel consumption. I do not think that the claimed 63 mpg is achievable, except maybe by a kerb crawler! My wife likes the Viva because it's in her favourite colour. I like the Viva because you can easily change a headlamp bulb in situ, unlike the Corsa which apparently involves removing the front end of the car! The tyres are too big for a small car- they're the same size as our old Astra. It's an easy car to drive, very flexible engine. We can drive through town at 30 mph in top gear with no vibration.
Reliability

5 out of 5

This has been a completely trustworthy car. I nave been in the motor trade all my life, so hope I have a little knowledge of my subject.
Performance

5 out of 5

Does everything we would expect from a small car, and more. A lot of (small) car for the money.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

Fuel economy is excellent. serviced the car myself at 10,000 miles. (Just an oil and filter change, for which I object to paying GM £150!). We have had no other expense.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

1.0 12v

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

52
Review
I bought this car due to wanting a small car and already owning a performance car. I wanted something different to a Corsa, and this seemed more grown up. Its alot lighter than the Corsa which saves you fuel. The standard kit the car comes with is great, I have the SL version with the half leather interior and steering wheel and tinted glass. Ive grown to love this car and the engine isnt bad for what it is. Where I live the car gets thrown up potholed lanes, filled with paintballing kit, filled with adults and yes it does the weekly shop. The button to make the steering very light comes in useful. This car is cheap on fuel, and I really mean that. A full tank is £25-30. It lasts 3 weeks... ive even made it last 4 but that was just a test by driving very, very smoothly. Its cheap to insure and tax too. The car handles well for a small car, it grips well in the corners if you chuck it about (most reveiws wont tell you this, possibly because its never usually tested by an audience like myself) Also, I dont know why you can turn the traction control off. Maybe its for smoking the tyres at Santa Pod, who knows. These are better than the Corsa and nobody knows it

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SE A/C

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

48
Review
This is a great little around town car and has some good benefits. The city button and turning circle is one of them. The lane departure warning system is a pointless addition and also the cruise control seems like it will never get used, so I would have preferred rear electric windows and USB or Bluetooth rather than these. Other than that the engine is a little noisy but not excessive and it does give enough power to make it good around town and acceptable on motorways.
Performance
Good for around town, and acceptable on motorways but not going to set any records.
Running Cost
Very cheap, £20 a year on tax and petrol is good

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

64
Review
Having looked at all of the city car alternatives I opted for the viva and have been very pleased with my experiences since. The level of specification on the SL is incredible for the cost of the car. Far better than any of the alternatives. The fit and finish inside is as good if not better than any of the other cars i tested. The engine is perky and quiet and even relaxing to drive long distance at motorway speeds. I have even had 5 adults in the car and although you feel the extra weight in acceleration it gets to speed quickly enough and is comfortable for all passengers.

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

1.0 SE

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

58
Review
I find this car very quick off the mark. It is fun to drive in town and on the motorway it spins along easily at 70mph with plenty of power left. The engine is not noisy but the tyres are a bit noisy. I am happy with how the car drives - it is fun, trim is good and safety is also good. It is a very good price for what you get and I would buy it again as I think it is a good car.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

1.0 SL

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

51
Review
When I was looking for a sensible small car in 2016, I went straight to Vauxhall to buy a Corsa. Being me, I wanted the top spec, so was looking at Design/SE models and quickly realised they were expensive. The salesman said that I should check out the Viva range, so I did. What a great decision it's been! I bought a White 1.0 SL with the Winter Pack installed for £8,962. That's less than a bog standard Corsa, with Climate Control, Cruise Control, Heated Seats & Wheel and so on. I've had no issues with the engine as others have mentioned, but I have my car serviced every 10k miles/6 months rather than 20k/12 months. The engine returns 51mpg with fast motorway/town driving and can catch 60MPG when driven sensibly. Noise is acceptable for it's class, ride is choppy on broken town roads but perfectly acceptable on A-Roads and so on. I'm 6'6 and get comfortable easily. The space in the back would be fine for three children but 2 adults is the best you can hope for. Handling on the dry roads is spectacular for the class of car, wet roads is firm and steady and on snow/ice without winter tyres is appalling. On winter tyres, however, snow and ice is tackled in a capable manner. The ESP system hampers pulling away on snow and ice, but keeps you on the straight and narrow should it be needed on the white stuff! (Ask me how I know). Pros; Equipment, road manners, handling, economy, comfort & peppy engine. Cons; 2nd Gear from 1st always causes kangarooing until you're well in tune with the car, ride quality on broken surfaces, squeaking from the rear only noted as an issue recently - It's been a problem since the Viva was launched. If you're looking to spend little money on a safe car, buy a Viva over an Up/Citigo/Mii. Make sure you buy winter wheels and tyres (£400) for when they're needed and you'll keep going through the worst of it.
Reliability
Always starts in the morning. It drove from London to Inverness without breaking sweat.
Performance

5 out of 5

As can be expected. 1st gear could be longer, 5th gear could be longer also. Revvy little lump that comes alive at 4k RPM!
Running Cost

5 out of 5

Pennies.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

50
Review
A great value for money car that drives very well and is easy around town with the City button. The SL version is highly specified, with a heated steering wheel, heated seats and lots of technology including Sat Nav, Bluetooth phone and a link to Apple CarPlay - Brilliant! Phone call quality is better than my Insignia. It's cheap to run, too. Some reviews mention its road noise – I have driven it on the motorway and in heavy rain and it is a bit noisy, but around town and normal motorway driving it's fine. I'm looking forward to many years of safe motoring with this stylish car!

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

58
Review
I have been looking and driving all the small city cars, and reading the reviews, if I have learnt one thing that is to totally ignore all reviews in future, This Viva is by far the best city car I have EVER driven - it's punchy around town and on the motorway easily keeps up with the flow of traffic, this is a well put together car and is by far the quietest 1.0 3 cylinder I have driven. As for the interior all reviews state that the VW UP/SEAT Mii/Skoda Citigo are better cars and built better. Sorry, this is not the case and way off the mark, the Viva has twice the kit as standard and feels far superior, so if you're considering a city car do not leave this one out for a test drive.

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

1.0 SE Ecoflex

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

48
Review
I bought this car brand new for practicality reasons, low tax, low insurance group and good fuel consumption. I get average 45-55 MPG as I mostly commute on the motorway. The ride is uncomfortable on poor roads. Road noise is quite loud on the motorway. The rear of the car makes a squeaky noise when going over ramps and potholes. It came from the factory like that and not something that developed over time. I took it to the dealer to get it fixed under warranty and they said it was the rear brakes. I had new rear brakes put in and it still makes the squeaky noise. I also get a metal rattling noise when the front wheels go over ramps. The dealer couldn't find anything wrong again. The car seems to be poor quality build to me. It just gets me from A to B. Not that exciting to drive but it was a cheap car and you get what you paid for.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

SL

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

New
Review
I commute on the A127 against the rush hour traffic, on a 2 lane 70mph road. I keep up with the fast traffic in the right lane, as the left is too dangerous with the many and close together entry points. My average speed is 50mph, but the Viva can get to 70mph quickly when a gap forms. There is a chicane with a 40mph limit and a recommended speed of 20, which I can easily do at 40mph if there is no one blocking me. The cruise control is very useful where the average speed check is 50mph and the climate control means I don't have to keep adjusting the heat and fan, and can get a blast of heat when I need it, and then set it back to exactly where it was before, via the digital temperature setting.

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