Vauxhall Vivaro Life previews all-new British-built Vivaro Van

Vauxhall will launch an all-new Vivaro van in 2019, after investing millions of pounds in the Luton factory that will build it – and this Vivaro Life previews what the crucially important new commercial vehicle will look like.

Also to be built in Luton, the Vivaro Life is described as a leisure MPV, seating up to nine people and offered in two lengths – a 4.95 metre ‘medium’ and 5.3 metre ‘large’, the latter being as long as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousine.

Vauxhall says high-spec shuttles such as the Vivaro Life are growing in demand. The fancy, full-size seats are mounted on aluminium rails and are fully configurable: pick from five, six, eight or nine-seat configurations.

There’s even a ‘Lounge’ spec for the longer of the two variants. Front seats are heated and have electric massage functions; two rear chairs are furnished in leather and have 480mm-wide seat cushions – “VIP passengers can thus sit facing each other and enjoy the legroom”. There’s even a fold-away table for them, and a panoramic roof to flood the interior with light.

Take the seats out and there’s a total, ahem, ‘van-like’ load capacity of 3,397 litres.

Interestingly, Vauxhall is proud of the fact both versions are less than 1.9 metres tall, so “can access typical underground garages – important for use as hotel shuttles”.

Vivaro van preview

Judging from what we can see with the Vivaro Life, the new Vivaro Van is going to be quite a stylish-looking thing. Overhangs are short, giving it a squat and well-planted appearance, and the front end is distinctive.

It has a premium appearance and there’s some great attention to detail, from the 3D rear lights to how the fuel filler flap follows the lines of the chunky rear wheelarch.

Inside, it seems a class apart from the current Vivaro. The dashboard has a clean look and a high-mounted touchscreen, giving it a feel more like a large SUV than a working CV.

The 7.0-inch touchscreen offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Multimedia Navi option includes 3D mapping, plus points of interest displayed in full HD.

Vauxhall says a powerful sound system is available on all variants – and the range-topping model gets a full 10-speaker system for premium audio sound.

Also available are parking sensors front and rear backed up by a rear-view camera that displays either through the touchscreen or the rear view mirror: the latter has a bird’s eye view with 180-degree visibility, taking the guesswork out of reversing a van.

Vauxhall can even fit a full-colour head-up display, lane-keep assist, drowsy driver warning, radar cruise control and auto high beam control.

New Vivaro coming soon

Vauxhall plans to build as many as 100,000 new Vivaros in Luton (it made 60,000 there in 2017); the big investment has secured 1,250 jobs at the factory.

The Vivaro Life, like the new Vivaro Van, is based upon the Groupe PSA EMP2 platform, which brings plenty of flexibility for future variants.

It also allows the Vivaro to go electric – a full EV version will be launched in early 2021.

Ordering for the new Vivaro Life opens on February, following its introduction at the Brussels Motor Show on 18 January 2019. And the Vivaro van? Keep your eyes peeled in coming weeks for that…