Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond currently pens car columns for one of England’s top gossip papers, The Mirror, and he’s just delivered the verdict on the new Vauxhall Viva (aka Opel Karl). Quite simply, he absolutely loved it.
He calls Vauxhall Viva “blissfully simple,” with just one engine choice – a 1.0L three-cylinder that produces 75 hp – and one five-door body style on offer. The engine doesn’t offer up much in the way of performance, he says, but it’s “nice and thrummy and has lots of character,” and it also “steers well and drives as well as you need a small and simple car to.”
Buyers can choose from two trim levels, SE and SL, and the base SE offers up plenty of value for money: plop down £7,995 ($12,215 USD) for the bargain Viva and you still get a car with cruise control, fogs and lane departure warning as standard. That’s impressive stuff.
That it gets a faintly unbelievable 62.8mpg just notches up its value for money even further. But it’s the looks that seal the deal for Hammond.
“It doesn’t look like a cheap car,” he says, pointing to the fact that the Viva falls in line with Vauxhall/Opel’s new styling.
He also notes that next year buyers can get the option of IntelliLink for less than $500, which adds a central touchscreen with Bluetooth and voice texting and OnStar capability.
“Some older buyers might not want these functions in which case they could do a lot worse than immediately order a new Viva,” he concludes.
We’ll soon get a taste of Viva/Karl flare over here across the pond with the 2016 Chevrolet Spark.