Because of their practicality, vans are the heart of most businesses. In the global automotive industry, however, they often get overlooked. For example, when the PSA Group brought Vauxhall and Opel in 2017, much was made of the importance of the brand's cars but not the vans. The Vauxhall Vivaro, however, is one of the best-selling vans in the UK and, importantly, it's built here too.
Not only did the PSA purchase ultimately secure jobs at the Vauxhall Vivaro factory in Luton, but it also prompted the new owners to swap the Renault Trafic-based Vivaro for a model derived from their own Citroën Dispatch and Peugeot Partner vans. The Vauxhall Vivaro for 2019, then, is entirely new but based on the current versions of those French vans.
Almost everything has therefore changed in this third-generation Vivaro compared with the outgoing model. There are new PSA turbocharged diesel engines, either a 1.5-litre or a 2.0-litre, instead of single or twin-turbocharged versions of a Renault-sourced 1.6-litre. The styling has changed, too; while remaining distinctly a Vauxhall, it now bears a passing resemblance to its French relations.
It also gets a shared interior and incorporates many of the functions and equipment seen in the Dispatch and Partner. Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, it has changed its dimensions. The option of two different lengths remains, but both standard and long-wheelbase vans have become ever so slightly smaller, yet payload has increased by a massive 200kg on some models.
Trim levels have changed too, with Edition and Sportive joined by a new Elite option, but all three have received an uplift in specification over the previous Vivaro.