On the road: Vauxhall Viva SE 1.0 – car review

It’s amazing how often it feels like a regular car, when it’s closer to the price of a prestige bicycle

Driving a Vauxhall Viva SE 1.0 is like flying Ryanair. Every time you look for a thing – satnav, parking sensor, pretzels, aircon, a smile, some acceleration in second gear – it isn’t there. Seriously? Vauxhall’s idea of a “feature” is a driver’s seat head adjuster and a removable luggage compartment cover?

Then you have to talk yourself down: it is very cheap. It’s cheap to buy and cheap to run. It’s cheap enough to represent a social shift, the democratisation of new car ownership. It’s so cheap that to drop a monkey on green metallic paint, as on my version, is like garnishing a Happy Meal with saffron. Keep that in mind. It didn’t cost very much. Or, in industry parlance, it is “affordable”.

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