Biggest Vauxhall Vans Range To Woo Customers At CV Show | Part Two

A new (by popular request) Sportive special version is set to extend the cache accorded to thousands of Astravan Sportive drivers into the larger Vivaro class. Namely, its "look at me" alloy wheels, front fog lights, and striking star silver metallic paint.

The stylish element goes beyond the exterior features of star silver metallic paint with glacier white, flame red and midnight black as no-cost options.

Internally, air conditioning and electric windows enhance the driver appeal. There is a stereo radio/CD player as standard and a security alarm system. Sportive is based on the short-wheelbase 2700 panel van 1.9DTi 6 speed. On the road price: £14225 exc VAT.

Vivaro is also available as a handsome minibus, carrying nine people, including the driver, comfortably and in safety. There is plenty of luggage room behind the rear seats and when more load space is needed the rear seat row can be removed.

All Vivaros have a truly practical functionality and provide outstanding driving comfort, including comprehensive, passenger car-level safety, with full-size front airbag and belt tensioner for the driver, head restraints for all seats and optional ABS (standard on the minibus).

Fridge Conversion

In addition to the two current powerful common rail 1.9 litre turbo diesel engines, rated at 82HP and 100HP respectively, Vivaro can also be ordered with the new 120HP 2.0-litre 16v petrol engine, and (from the spring) the 2.5-litre 16v 130HP common rail turbo diesel.

Another Vivaro exhibit is a fridge conversion (best in class in terms of volume), a firm indicator of the enormous versatility of the popular van.

Astravan remains Vauxhall’s biggest seller – clear proof of the company’s commitment to the best in practical light commercial vehicle design. It makes a positive statement about its owner, is solid and dependable and great to drive as well.

At the NEC Vauxhall will let Astravan speak for itself: coupled with its maximum volume of 1.6 cu m and payload of 610 kg is a sensible 1.7 m floor load length, sufficient for the needs of the vast majority of successful small businesses like plumbers and electricians.

Of increasing interest is the 1.6 litre Dualfuel LPG/petrol model with drastically reduced emissions and running costs at least one third lower than equivalent petrol or diesel models. In London, Vauxhall’s entire Dualfuel range is free from congestion charging.

Depending on load, driving style and road conditions Astravan can give 340 miles on a tankful of "half price" LPG (petrol 76ppl – LPG 37ppl); coupled with the normal petrol tank a driver can travel more than 700 miles without refuelling!

Astravan was also the original test-bed for the Sportive treatment. Now Sportive is available with the 2.0 DTi turbo engine, as well as the 1.7 DTi engine, and with automatic transmission with the larger engine.

With the 2.0 litre turbo diesel the van reaches 0-60 in 11.5 secs and has a 114 mph top speed, turning it into a vehicle that thinks it's a motorway cruiser!

"There has been a demand for some extra power from companies which use the Astravan for long-distance driving. The 100HP from the 2.0 litre turbo adds the extra performance they need," says Leicester.

Along with Vivaro, stylish Combo is fast becoming the instantly recognisable new face of Vauxhall vans. Sales during 2002 doubled to more than 10,000 as supplies of the new van became more readily available. Major orders have included the Royal Mail.

Published : 29/01/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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