Vauxhall Meriva -

Used Car Review

Meriva front action
Meriva front action 2
Meriva side action
Meriva rear action
Meriva all doors open
Meriva seaside static
Vauxhall Meriva, doors open
Meriva dashboard

VAUXHALL'S smallest MPV, the Meriva, might be a little bland but it is comfortable, clever and reasonable to buy, making it a good bet for smaller families.

The model built from 2010 to now is based on the Corsa as before and uses the same 1.4 petrol engine with 98bhp, or turbocharged to give 120 or 140bhp.

Diesels are a 1.3 with 95bhp, an earlier 1.7 with 100, 110 or 130bhp and it's replacement, a 1.6 with 110 or 135bhp.

This is a car that majors on 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.

The 1.4 petrol should average near 40mpg with care in normal driving, while the best diesel is the 110bhp version of the 1.6, which could reach the high 50s.

All but the standard 1.4 petrol and the 1.3 diesel have decent performance, and the 1.4 turbo with 140bhp sprints from zero to 60 miles an hour in under 10 seconds. The very quiet and refined 1.6 diesel with 135bhp is even quicker at 9.6 seconds.

Very flexible seating gives rear seats that can slide back and forth and that 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 even for the most infirm.

The boot is big even with the seats in place and both front and rear legroom are very good for the size of car.

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 con, cruise, audio remote controls and alloys.

Pay about £4,900 for a '13 63-reg 1.4i Expression, or £8,000 for a '15 15-reg 136bhp 1.6 turbo diesel Ecoflex SE.

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