- Very comfortable
- Reasonably priced
- Sparse equipment
- Interior may feel dated
- Not the most exciting to look at
What's the Vauxhall Meriva like?
Vauxhall's smallest MPV, the Meriva, might be a little bland, but it's comfortable, clever, and reasonable to buy, making it a good bet for smaller families.
Driving Experience and Practicality
This is a car that majors in comfort. It rides very well on all surfaces – even at slow speeds over town potholes – and soaks up knobbly-surfaced country roads with great ease.
It also handles well, taking the bends much faster than any such family-orientated car has a right to, making it great fun.
Good handling balance helps make it very safe, but although it comes with front and side airbags, curtain airbags were an extra on some models.
The power steering is very good, giving all the help it should at slow speeds and plenty of driver feel on the open road.
Very flexible seating gives rear seats that can slide back and forth and fold easily down into the floor in a 40/20/40 pattern to make a completely flat load area.
The rearward opening back doors – quite an innovation when the model came out – make rear access very easy.
The boot is big even with the seats in place, and both front and rear legroom are very good for the size of the car.
The Meriva built from 2010 to 2017 was based on the Corsa from that period and uses the same 1.4-litre petrol engine with 98bhp, or turbocharged to give 120bhp or 140bhp.
Diesels are a 1.3-litre with 95bhp, an earlier 1.7-litre with 100bhp, 110bhp or 130bhp, and it’s replacement, a 1.6-litre with 110bhp or 135bhp.
The 1.4-litre petrol should average near 40mpg with care in normal driving, while the best diesel is the 110bhp version of the 1.6-litre, which could reach the high 50s.
All but the standard 1.4-litre petrol and the 1.3-litre diesel have decent performance, and the 1.4-litre turbo with 140bhp sprints from 0 to 60mph in under 10.0 seconds. The very quiet and refined 1.6-litre diesel with 135bhp is even quicker at 9.6 seconds.
Equipment was sparse in cheaper models at one time, and the lowly S still has no air conditioning.
All have plenty of airbags, electric windows and heated mirrors, traction control, height adjust driver’s seat and height and reach adjustable column, remote locking and a service indicator.
Active trim adds air conditioning, cruise control, audio remote controls, and alloys.
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The Vauxhall Meriva is a versatile MPV that's popular amongst busy families due to its low running costs and spacious interior. Providing drivers and passengers with flexible seating and a huge boot, it's a family car that's big on practicality and comfort over all.