By on 2021-04-16 -
Vauxhall Meriva -
Used Car Review
THE Vauxhall Meriva is a smaller MPV that majors on comfort with a very good ride over all surfaces - even with the slow speeds and poor surfaces we all face in town these days.
It also soaks up poorly surfaced country roads at higher speeds with great ease, making it very relaxing to drive and to live with.
The last model built until 2017 was very versatile and family friendly with loads of practical touches built in - like the rear hinged back doors that make access to the rear seats or getting a child into a car seat so much easier than in most other cars.
There is just one petrol engine option but it comes with three different power outputs. It's a 1.4 and in base form, comes with 98bhp, which is good for a 0 to 60 time of 13.6 seconds and about 40 miles per gallon.
A turbocharger is added for the other two variants, giving either 118 or 138bhp, and these get to 60 in 10.9 and 9.8 seconds respectively, while managing 40 and 38mpg.
Diesels were originally the well-known Vauxhall 1.3 and a 1.7 in various states of tune. The smaller engine should average about 55-60mpg and covers the sprint in 13.4 seconds.
The 1.7, which is an older design, comes with 98, 108 or 128bhp. These give economy of 40 or 45bhp, while taking between 13.5 and 9.9 seconds to reach 60.
The 1.7 gave way to a much newer design - the 1.6 ‘whisper quiet' diesel. This is also available in two guises.
First comes a 108bhp version with 64mpg economy that reaches 60 from rest in 12.1 seconds. And finally there is a 134bhp version - the quickest model in the range - with 0 to 60 in 9.6 seconds and economy of 54mpg.
I mentioned the Meriva's excellent ride characteristics above, but it also handles very well, with light steering that firms up well at speed and leaves the driver with plenty of feedback.
Roadholding is strong and safe, with great grip making it quicker through the corners than any family holdall has a right to be!
The interior is impressive, with good quality materials borrowed from the Astra and Insignia and a layout that makes it very easy to use.
Practical flexible seating gives rear seats that can slide back and forth, or fold easily down into the floor in a 40/20/40 pattern to make a completely flat load area.
The boot is big even with the seats in place and both front and rear legroom are very good for the size of the body.
Equipment was sparse in cheaper models at one time, and a number did not even get air conditioning.
Latterly, 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.
Medium level Life trim adds air con, cruise, audio remote controls, side airbags and alloy wheels.
Pay about Â£4,300 for a '16 16-reg 1.4T 128bhp SE, or Â£5,200 for a '17 17-reg 1.6CDTi 136bhp Ecoflex Club with start/stop.
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