VAUXHALL VIVA SALOONS
From £802 (incl. P.T.)
There's a lot more quality built into the latest small Vauxhalls. They are bigger, quieter and even more robust than the earlier Vivas - and for 1972 there's a bigger engine too, to give them extra pep. The new unit is of 1256 c.c.s, achieved by increasing the bore of the old 1159 c.c, engine. The result is a small increase in b.h.p, and a more significant improvement in torque which shows itself in much more eager response to the throttle. The gearbox and rear axle have been beefed up to cope with the higher power, while the facia panel is brought up to Firenza specification.
VAUXHALL VIVA ESTATES
From £996 (incl. P.T.)
The best-looking estate car in the business, though perhaps the fastback slope at the rear has more aesthetic appeal than practical value. But these new estates share the bigger body size of the saloons and the extra quality. The glass area is enormous so there are no complaints about visibility. The engine options are the same as for the saloons and the mechanics are the same too, with live rear axles and coil suspension all round. The tailgate opens out of head-hitting reach and there's bags of room for extra luggage. Must come into the reckoning as an attractive car for young families.
From £973 (incl. P.T.)
There's an undoubted vogue for fastback Coupés and Vauxhall predictably leapt on to the bandwagon with the Firenza which they unveiled earlier this year. It is based of course on the new Viva, so everything mechanical about it is conventional - engine at the front, driving the rear wheels and so on. But the slippery shape can contain the 1256 c.c. engine, the 1600 c.c. unit or the 2-litre, which gives the Firenza just about 100 m.p.h. performance. Quality is vastly improved on the latest Vauxhalls, and the sporting Firenza is a welcome newcomer.
VAUXHALL VICTOR & VX4/90
Victor: From £1,071 (incl. P. T)
VX 4/90: £1,364 (incl. P.T.)
Vauxhall carry out a lot of permutations with their medium-sized cars, but the basic offering is the Victor Super, which has a 1600 c.c. overhead camshaft engine. You can ring the changes by having it with a 2 litre engine, or as the high-performance VX4/90 sporting derivative with lots of equipment, or in estate car form with a selection of engines including the 3.3 litre from the big sixes. All of them are long, low and sleek with nicely finished interiors and large luggage space. During the year, heavier duty rear springs have been fitted to improve comfort.
VAUXHALL VENTORA 2
£1,514 (incl. P.T.)
The Ventora proves effectively the old saying that there is no substitute for litres if you want effortless performance. It uses the 3.3 litre six-cylinder engine from the big Cresta range in the medium sized Victor body shell with rather pleasing results. There is enough torque for easy and smooth acceleration to show a clean pair of heels to one or two sports cars, and a top speed of around 103 m.p.h. all achieved in a no-fuss manner. The mechanical layout of the Ventora is conventional but the interior is a cut above average, with a high standard of trim for comfortable motoring.
VAUXHALL CRESTA & VISCOUNT
Cresta: From £1,416 (incl. P.T.)
Viscount: £2,066 (incl. P.T.)
The big Vauxhalls have been around for some time but continue to attract sales, offering quite a comprehensive performance/space/comfort package at a reasonable price. They are big cars in more ways than one, from the long, wide bodyshell with its enormous boot, to the well known 3,294 c.c. six-cylinder engine which gives them 100 m.p.h, performance. There are three versions, starting with the Cresta then stepping up in luxury to the Cresta de luxe and going the whole hog for comfort, finish and equipment to the executiveclass Viscount.
London show review