Vauxhall Viva unveiled: it’s Opel’s new 2015 mini

Published: 03 December 2014

These are the first official photographs of the new 2015 Vauxhall Viva – the city car to slot beneath the Adam and Corsa in Vauxhall and sister brand Opel’s urban line-ups.

The company’s styling traits are present and correct (check out the twin-blade slashes along the car’s flanks), but the rear is the car’s pertest angle (if a little similar to Korean rivals the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10). Unlike many city car rivals, the new Viva will be available only as a five-door hatchback.

UK sales are due to begin in spring 2015, priced from around £7000. Today’s Corsa kicks off just below £8k, so expect a handy saving on the smaller Viva.

Click here for background on why Vauxhall’s bringing back the Viva name

Vauxhall Viva (2015): the lowdown

The new Viva is a compact city car, its 3680mm length creating a footprint a slither bigger than a 3540mm VW Up or 3546mm Fiat 500.

Yet despite those bijou dimensions, Vauxhall is making great claims about the Viva’s people-carrying capacity, pledging ‘more than enough room for up to five people.’ Sounds like they’re keen to appeal to youngsters wanting to transport their mates around.

Engines, tech…

The new Vauxhall Viva is based on the running gear of a Chevrolet Spark, and rolls on wheels spanning between 14-16 inches in diameter, driven by a single petrol engine in the UK.

It is GM’s latest 1.0-litre three-cylinder, already seen in the new Corsa. In the Viva, it develops 74bhp and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. No performance or economy figures are published yet, but this promises to be an efficient fuel-miser.

Some surprising big-car features will be offered on the 2015 Viva, including lane-departure warning, park assist and even a heated steering wheel.

That Viva name

Vauxhall unashamedly references the 1960s Viva in the new mini’s name. The original Viva was launched in 1963 and GM Europe claims the two are linked by ‘the original’s philosophy of clean lines, durability and practicality.’

The new Viva has electronic gizmos its forefathers could only dream of; IntelliLink is the name of GM’s smartphone integration, which syncs seamlessly with your iOS or Android devices. Now that would have sounded like gobbledegook when the original slid quietly off sale in 1979.

Vauxhall’s masterplan

‘Short, crisp and full of character, Vauxhall’s new entry-level model is a proper small car and will hold great appeal in this rapidly growing sector,’ said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director. ‘Viva joins new Corsa and the Adam in a compelling small-car portfolio, giving Vauxhall an unrivalled position in the small car market.’

Vauxhall does extremely well with the Corsa in the UK, regularly hogging the no.2 spot in the best-sellers’ list. The new Viva is designed to underpin that small-car strength further.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet