The ‘made in Britain’ Vauxhall Vivaro van will enhance public and client perception of your company.
Nowadays, most clued-up business owners understand that a van is much more than just a vehicle to lug goods around from one place to another.
Cruising the highways of the UK, a commercial vehicle is an advert for the company which owns it. And that advert can be hugely positive or immensely negative, dependent on the van and the person who drives it.
The upshot of the dawning of this new era of enlightenment is a whole host of new models that not only do the business but look smart and stylish too.
Turn up at a client’s premises in a neat tidy vehicle and it will give the impression of a competent and upmarket firm. Pitch up in a rusty 10-year-old banger and the reverse will happen.
So while vehicles like the one on test here, the Vauxhall Vivaro Limited Edition L2H1 double-cab, are mainly aimed at small firms which are doing well and want something more than a standard van in which to conduct their business, there are a growing number of bigger fleets which want the same thing also.
As can be seen, this van is resplendent in flaming red paintwork, a snazzy set of black alloys and lots of blingy decals to complete the job.
The interior has seating for six people and plenty of legroom, while the cargo area offers three cubic metres of loadspace, making our test vehicle one hell of a useful piece of kit.
The only downside is that VAT can’t be reclaimed unless the van is used solely for business purposes, so the basic front-end price of £26,120 does seem rather steep.
Mind you, there’s an awful lot on offer for the money.
The van is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine with a twin turbo, offering a feisty 145PS and 340Nm of torque.
The official combined fuel economy figure is 44.8mpg and the van has an eco button which turns down the torque slightly and gives the chance of up to 7% better fuel economy.
We kept this button pressed in during our test week and didn’t notice any real shortage of power.
The standard features would fill this page if we listed all. The main ones include an immobiliser, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports, body-coloured bumpers and side protection, air-conditioning, cruise control, foglights, rear parking sensors and an IntelliLink infotainment system with sat-nav.
We were particularly pleased to see the addition of a small “Made In Britain” badge on the back.
This was a proud boast when I was a younger man and it’s something we don’t see enough of in this world of increasing globalisation.
And it’s not only the van itself that is made in Luton. A good percentage of the ancillary parts are British, too.
Climbing aboard, the first thing to notice is how sporty and supportive those seats are.
With room for six, each seat is sculpted separately for extreme comfort over long journeys.
And there is plenty of legroom in the rear row too, so passengers wont be squashed up uncomfortably.
As this Vivaro is a long wheelbase version, the presence of the rear seats doesn’t mean there’s hardly any room for cargo at the back. There’s still three cubic metres on offer and the van has a reasonable payload of 1,250 kg.
With a full bulkhead providing sound-proofed separation, the van is whisper quiet on the roads even at motorway speeds. And with super slick gearchanges and pin-sharp handling on offer, the Vivaro is a sheer joy to drive.
This model won’t suit every fleet, but for those who need a vehicle like this we couldn’t recommend anything better. You’ll be flying the flag for Great Britain too, if that’s important to you.
Model tested: Vauxhall Vivaro limited edition l2h1 double-cab