Despite the fact that I’m on record saying the Vauxhall Vivaro and its twin brother the Renault Trafic are probably my favourite vans to drive, this doughty fleet performer has never won a Fleet News or Fleet Van award since it was launched in 2001.
It’s a shame as this van is a real cracker both in looks and performance.
Sadly it’s up against some amazing competition such as the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Volkswagen Transporter – and these two vans have always prevailed in the winners’ enclosure.
Now with a mid-life wash and brush-up that includes a new look to the front end and various other minor tweaks and twiddles, the Vivaro is once again appealing to fleet buyers.
Our test model is the long wheelbase crew-cab which offers seating for five and generous legroom and it came in top-of-the-range Sportive mode which means a tasty set of alloy wheels and a snazzy silver metallic paint job.
There were also some other goodies such as cruise control and a reversing sensor added which brought the price up to a hefty £22,066.
Mind you there’s a lot of metal for that money and even with the rear seats in place and a full bulkhead, the Vivaro stills offers a respectable 4.2 cubic metres of loadspace. I really can’t praise the Vivaro’s road manners highly enough.
The seats are wonderfully comfortable, the driving position superb and the gear and clutch action delightfully light.
In fact it is difficult to believe that this van has been around for nine years now – it still looks and feels brand spanking new.
Mind you to really keep up with the Vito and Transporter, Vauxhall would have to add ESC stability control as a standard fitment – something it has not done as yet.
Great looks, a splendid drive all round and the practicality of five seats gives this Vivaro a lot of brownie points in the fleet tick book. Fleets which choose this van won’t be disappointed.