Holden seem to market the Viva as a party car. If you look at the advertising on television you see lots of people celebrating. But the correct meaning of the name is ‘long live’.
Does any small 4 cylinder car live long in Australia?
Perhaps Viva will live up to it’s name because it’s foundations can be traced back to the Camira days. Now if you can’t remember those days let me tell you that the Camira was one very spirited little 4 cylinder car. The Sheriff of NSW once made the mistake of equipping me with one and I had a lot of fun in that little machine on the old highway between Bathurst and Lithgow.
It wasn’t exactly sparkling on the open stretches towards Bathurst but once into the tight curves east of Meadow Flat there wasn’t much that could keep up with me – and I rarely exceeded the speed limit.
Does the new Viva compare favourably with it’s ancestors? Not if you listen to what some reviewers have to say about it. And that’s not surprising seeing it’s more recent ancestory can be traced to the Daewoo Lacetti.
The Viva is powered by a 1.8 litre twin cam 4 cylinder motor that gives it plenty of get up and go but returns excellent fuel economy. The transmission is a choice of 5 speed manual or 4 speed auto but the recommendation is to ignore the auto and stick with the manual transmission.
The Viva, when fitted with the automatic transmission, suffers from the same problem all small cars suffer from – an inability to find the right gear when out on the open road. You may not notice it at first but after an hour or two on the highway you want to grab the gear selector and throw it out the window.
Prices start around the $17,990 mark for the base model sedan, when Holden isn’t offering discounts, and prices go up from there. The Viva also comes as a hatch and a station wagon.
For the base price you get:
- Air conditioning
Front power windows
Remote central locking
Power steering and
An audio system
According to some reports the Viva is not strong in the handling department but then, the Viva is not really marketed as a sports car. (Even the old Camira sometimes got a bit skittish on a tight bend.)
To read more about the Holden Camira check out the road test at Carsguide