1970 Vauxhall Viva Review

1970 Vauxhall Viva HB 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1970
Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership1980
Engine and transmission 1.2 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carTriumph Herald


If it had not been destroyed in accident, I would probably still have it today!


The differential failed at about 60,000 as the car had been used for towing before I bought it'

The head gasket failed soon after purchase, and while I had the head off, I did a valve regrind and decoke.

The steering column top bush failed the MOT after the first six months or so, replaced with a 'new-style' plastic one.

The exhaust failed, so when I fitted the new one, I made my own mountings for the centre box. The replacement lasted 4.5 yrs, and was still going strong at the time the car was 'written-off'.

Broke down once when the wire came off the CB points.

New carburettor fitted at 85,000 miles because of cold-start problems.

General Comments:

Incredibly reliable, only broke down once with the CB wire coming off. Fixed in minutes.

Handling was superb with 13 x 155 tyres. (I changed the wheels as 12" tyres were at the time more expensive than 13".) Brakes could have been better though, TLS drum front and SLS rears.

Fuel economy was amazing after fitting new carburettor. Best £40 I ever spent!

Parts availability was always good. Most High Street shops stocked parts.

Cheap. Cheap to run, cheap to repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2007

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 1 review