Paul Horrell11 August 2014

The Vauxhall Viva is coming back

And it just got a lot smaller. Paul Horrell reports on Vauxhall's upcoming VW Up rival

Vauxhall might not want us to show you the picture above, because it's a creaky old car. But in your Grandpa's day it was a much-loved and big-selling one. The Viva. So the name is coming back.

It's the badge the company will use for its new baby car. It'll give them a three-model small-car range. The Viva is the cheapest one, then the Corsa - itself just about to be renewed - and the Adam.

Interestingly, the Viva name won't be used in the rest of Europe, we're told by a senior Vauxhall source. Likely over there it'll be called Agila, the name of the car it replaces. Indeed, the Viva name hasn't been officially announced, but it's something Vauxhall has researched and found the public likes, and "I can't say but if you asked me I'd smile," said our big-cheese.

All of which means Vauxhall is dead-set on selling more small cars in Britain than anyone else. Including the mighty Ford. "We'll give Ford a bloody good run for their money in small cars. We'll have three great small cars. They have the Fiesta, which is great, and the Ka, which isn't," said Vauxhall's boss Tim Tozer.

What of the Viva? Well unlike the Agila, it isn't a lightly disguised Suzuki. In fact it isn't a Suzuki at all, but a car built on GM's global baby-car platform that also supports the next-gen Chevrolet Spark. The Spark won't be around in Europe to confuse the picture because the Korean-built arm of Chevy is withdrawing lock, stock, and barrel.

It's a practical but budget five-door, with the Corsa as the mainstream supermini above it and the Adam as the more expensive and refined design-led three-door.

Wearing a redesign from GM Europe's in-form stylists, propelled by one of GM Europe's competitive new small engines and using some of GM Europe's clever new connectivity features, the Viva ought to make more of a mark than the Agila. A vehicle that always had either an OAP behind the wheel or COURTESY CAR on the doors.

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.