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Holden Viva

JF Viva

1 Sep 2005

VIVA was an English Vauxhall small car of the 1960s – which Holden marketed between 1964 and 1967 as ‘The Holden Small Car’ – that subsequently grew into the classic Holden Torana range.

So it’s ironic that the vehicle that the English Viva became many generations down the track – the hugely successful TS Astra – was replaced by another Viva.

But this Viva was from South Korea – Daewoo to be precise – and was nothing more than a slightly re-engineered 2003-2004 J200 Lacetti.

Unlike that car though, Holden brought in a five-door hatchback and four-door station wagon versions to back up the neat four-door sedan.

Viva’s job was to be Holden’s representative in the booming sub-$20,000 small car segment – Australia’s largest for the first time ever in 2005 – where it would sell underneath the TS Astra’s real replacement, the Belgian built AH Astra.

Key rivals were also South Korean – Hyundai’s Elantra and the Kia Cerato, as well as the Toyota Corolla Ascent and Nissan Tiida.

Dual front and front side airbags, air-conditioning, power steering, remote central locking, windows and mirrors, a CD/MP3 player, 15-inch steel wheels and steering wheel-mounted audio controls were included.

Anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels and rear power windows formed a $1290 option pack.

Power came courtesy of a 1.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine.

Related to the unit servicing all Astra’s since the 1996 TR, this ageing Family One motor was nonetheless Euro IV emissions-compliant, managing 89kW of power at 5800rpm and 169Nm of torque at 3600rpm.

In manual guise the Viva returned 7.4L/100km in the ADR 81/01 fuel consumption rating, 1.4L/100km less than what Holden said the auto offered.

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