The Vauxhall Meriva is a small MPV that has unique backwards opening rear doors and a clever seating system. Because it has a broad range of abilities, the Meriva has quite a few rivals namely the Citroen C3 Picasso, Nissan Note and Ford B-Max.
In a car designed for family life, the interior can make or brake it and in the Meriva it’s sort of in between. The cabin is airy, there is plenty of passenger space, the dashboard is made from nice materials and the FlexSeat system increases passenger comfort. However, compared to rivals the dashboard looks dated and the backwards opening rear doors aren’t as practical as Vauxhall wants us to believe.
On the road the Meriva has impressive levels of grip thanks to its wide tyres, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun to drive – the body leans too much for enjoyment. With much of the suspension borrowed from the larger Zafira, the Meriva rides comfortably and with low levels of outside noise entering the cabin.
The engine line-up is where the Meriva falls behind rivals – only the 1.6-litre diesel engine is advanced enough to compete with what Nissan, Ford and Citroen offer. The petrols are only good in the city and never feel as fast as their figures suggest, while the 1.3-litre and 1.7-litre diesels are noisy and archaic.
The Meriva’s suicide doors make it super practical
Standard equipment on the Meriva is not exactly plentiful but you still get air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a CD/MP3 stereo, electric front windows and heated door mirrors. For a small outlay the Tech Line trim adds a lot of technology.
A replacement for the current Meriva has been spotted testing, take a look at this crossover-inspired model in our Meriva price, specs and release date article.
Overall, there are a few faults with the Meriva, but the general consensus is that’s it well worth considering if you’re after a family car. It’s ok, but it is never going to set the world on fire.
When it was originally launched it was one of the true leaders in its segment, but there’s some intense competition from South Korea these days that makes it look pretty ordinary.
It probably to fair to say, that it’s a pretty good all-rounder and if it was significantly cheaper, it really would be hard to beat. But if you are looking for a new car in this class, it would be well worth your while taking a good look around before plumping for the Vauxhall Meriva.