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Holden Viva hatch 2005 review

It's a rebadged Daewoo Lacetti hatch which we didn't see here as a Daewoo and is quite a good looking car.

There might be some sort of stigma attached to its country of origin (Korea) but we don't know why.

Apart from a few minor annoyances, the new Viva is a good thing _ goes well, doesn't use much fuel, handles and rides acceptably, is easy on the eye inside and out and best of all, is bargain priced.

2005 Holden Viva

Explore the 2005 Holden Viva range

The five door hatch is one of three new Viva's available and we reckon it's the best.

Far from being a "povvo pack" car without much equipment the Viva is right on the pace with both luxury and safety goodies including height-adjustable front seat belts with pretensioners, air conditioning, power steering, four speaker single CD/MP3 capability audio system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, front power windows (all round on the wagon), heated exterior mirrors, six-way height adjustable drivers seat and a tilt and telescopic-adjustable steering wheel.

All three variants: hatch, sedan and wagon, feature four air bags as standard equipment and prices start at $17,990.

Power comes from a twin cam, 1.8-litre, four cylinder engine with 89kW/169Nm output driving through the front wheel via a five speed manual or optional four speed auto.

The engine complies with future Euro 4 emissions standards and returns fuel efficiency figures of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres (manual transmission).

Holden says the entire car including the engine and transmission has been tailored to suit Austalian driving conditions.

That may be so but there are some areas that could do with improvement, specifically, the long travel gear selector and the reluctance of the engine to drop revs when you change gears.

Both are annoying making it difficult to drive the Viva smoothly unless you adopt a certain driving technique.

But in practical terms, Viva's extremely useful offering plenty of boot space, good rear seat legroom and more than 20 storage compartments including cup holders and coin trays.

Holden engineers tweaked the Viva's suspension but it's fairly mainstream stuff offering comfort and a reasonable degree of composure on most surfaces.

Interior noise is about on par for the class.

Brakes are discs all round with ABS optional.

There's been a fair bit of negative press about the Viva but it seems misplaced after our time behind the wheel. The car is a cheapie to be sure and should be considered in that context. It ticks most of the boxes for performance, equipment, style, practicality, ride and economy. What more do you want for under $20,000.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

(base) 1.8L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,200 – 3,850 2005 Holden Viva 2005 (base) Pricing and Specs
(base) 1.8L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,200 – 3,850 2005 Holden Viva 2005 (base) Pricing and Specs
(base) 1.8L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,100 – 3,630 2005 Holden Viva 2005 (base) Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.