1971 Vauxhall Viva HC Saloon 1.3 petrol


Good for its age


Bodywork was already developing rust when I bought it.

Seats were badly worn and not very comfortable.

Front passenger seat became immovable after cable broke.

Driver's side window crank broke.

Broke down three times in the space of a year.

General Comments:

For its age, the Viva was a very reliable car, although the quality of its mechanicals did not run through to its bodywork. It wasn't at all exciting though, with a sluggish 1300cc engine. But fuel bills were low.

A bargain at £250 which headed for the scrapyard a year later because of spreading rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2006

1973 Vauxhall Viva Base 1.3 petrol


Mechanically crude and poorly built


Replacement cylinder block after 500 miles from new.

Front wheel bearing collapsed.

Brakes grabbing and pulling.

Found that a dent had been repaired prior to delivery.

General Comments:

I bought this car new and I had oil contaminating the cooling water after 200 miles (2 days ownership). The dealer diagnosed a blown cylinder head gasket (!) and I was without the car for a day. After collecting the car, the problem was still there - back to the dealer. This time they said that the cylinder block was faulty and oil was being pumped into the cooling water. This after about 500 miles!Another few days without the car.

Someone pointed out to me that a dent had been repaired on the wing. The dealer denied all knowledge.

A few months later, the front n/s wheel bearing collapsed whilst driving on the motorway. The recovery company dented the bonnet hitching it up.

The car was slow and boring to drive.

I sold the car after 6 months of ownership totally disillusioned with British 'conventional' cars and went back to my third German NSU.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th September, 2005

10th Sep 2005, 14:28

If you'd kept it longer you would have also found they rust like fury too.

17th Sep 2005, 02:59

Actually, the Viva resists rust better than some of its contemporaries (and I am not referring to Fiats and other Italians).

As for boring to drive - if the original comments are anything to go by, life with his/hers was anything, but, in the wrong sense of the word.

9th May 2006, 16:36

I have a Viva and I'm just 23 years old, I've had a similar problem to yours, but they are certainly not boring to drive!

12th Jan 2007, 04:30

A Viva was my first car back in 1983 when I first passed my test. I had never thought about buying A Viva nor did the car appeal to me, but one came up cheap at £180

I didn't intend to keep the car for more than 6 months, but 3 years later I still owned it. It was totally reliable, different and unfashionable!!! compared to everyone else who owned 1600E's and Escorts. Everything about the car is simple to work on and yes, it's not exactly a luxury car, but we are talking about Vauxhall in the 1970s - hence why they rust

I only sold it in the end as I wanted a change - the guy I sold it to had many continued years use from it.

Even now I look back fondly on my time with my Viva and if could get a Firenze in decent condition, would happily own another - Viva's are affordable, usable classics now.

1972 Vauxhall Viva HC 4 door Deluxe 1.3


Loads of character


Not an awful lot has gone wring with the car, just general wear and tear.

I had the brakes and clutch replaced soon after I got her.

There is a tear in the driver's seat.

The rear driver's side door is bubbling up around the wheel arch, but in the three years that I have had her, it hasn't gotten any worse.

General Comments:

This is the second Viva that I have owned, and I like it.

It has to be one of the most comfortable cars that I have driven. The suspension is very smooth and forgiving.

It is also probably one of the most economical I have had returning about 48 miles to the gallon at an average speed of 80 miles an hour. For a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a house-brick, I don't think that's too bad.

I can't really fault it overall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th November, 2003