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Why You Won't Have a Dark Night With a Vauxhall Van

Aug 12, 2008
I, like seemingly the majority of the Earth's population have been bursting at the seams at going to see the new Batman movie - the Dark Knight. I can report that in my humble opinion having seen it, that it's not the best film ever made, but it really does score highly. All the hype surrounding Heath Ledger is justified, as his portrayal of the Joker is quite simply the best performance I have ever seen delivered to the silver screen.

There's explosions galore, some pretty ladies, some muscle bound blokes and some cracking CGI-effects. In essence fun for all the family, as long as you're over 12 years of age and a face painted terrorist is not going to cause offence. Throughout the film though, I couldn't help feeling a bit guilty watching Bruce Wayne's double existence as playboy billionaire and caped crusader. You see ladies and gentleman I have a confession - I too lead a double life. Substitute billionaire lifestyle by day and Bat mobile driving at night with penniless car reviewer by day and Vauxhall Van driver at night and you've got yours truly.

Hang on I hear you cry "you're always harping on about the girly coupe you drive, not a Vauxhall Van". Ingeniously this is all part of my double life. You see I'm the latest in the extremely long line of people wishing they were famous, in my case being famous through the medium of rock music. To do this my band - free plug - 'Shoot the Moon' have to play our tunes to as many people who are prepared to listen and this involves a tour bus.

Ok, so a Vauxhall Van isn't the most luxurious of tour buses - there's no television, PlayStations, bunk beds or comfy sofas on board, however there's two seats next to the driver which is perfect for a three piece band and even better there's a chasm in the back which swallows our gig gear easily. "What's this amazing Vauxhall Van then?" I hear you cry. Why it's the Vauxhall Vivaro.

The main use of the van then is clearly to lug our equipment around the local vicinity - a job the Vivaro is more than happy to oblige. The rear load space is a whopping 5.0m3 meaning everything from the drum kit, to guitars to keyboards fit in with no hassle. There's even some empty beer cans and a half completed game of Monopoly back there too. It looks like I'm losing hence the half completed bit I reckon.

The rear doors open a standard 90 degrees, however then can easily be unhinged allowing a full 165 degrees of opening. I guess this will come in handy if we take delivery of a grand piano. At the foot of both the rear doors and sliding side door are non slip steps which may seem a minor feature but make loading and unloading a far safer activity. Without wishing to get too technical or anorakish, there are also eight cargo tie-down points which means our equipment can be lashed securely to stop it getting damaged and sliding forward and making pancakes out of the band.

The cabin is pretty comfortable too, with three seats as mentioned earlier, plenty of storage space and crucially cup holders for our late evening coffee. The interior specification is basic with manual windows and mirrors but the Vivaro does come with a CD player. My one criticism would be the position of the gear stick which protrudes from the dashboard rather than the floor. The idea of this is so passengers or the driver can shuffle across the cabin without being a contortionist. However it protrudes so far out from the dash that although your feet are now free you'll have to amputate your torso to fit the rest of you easily across.

It's not the quickest vehicle out there, but for hammering home on a deserted motorway at night it's surprisingly nippy with the 2.0 litre engine pulling the Vivaro along with 115 horses. Other owners have complained of the road and wind noise which is clearly audible but not something that I find offensive. Finally, I think that for a van the Vivaro is pretty good looking and funky - much like the majority of the Vauxhall range come to think of it.

It may not be very rock and roll to say this but the Vauxhall Vivaro is...well it's one of the band.
About the Author
Edd Bath gives us an amusing take on his recent experiences driving a Vauxhall Vivaro currently available at his local Vauxhall Van Dealer
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