Vauxhall Meriva

The Vauxhall Meriva is a compact MPV that in the words of Vauxhall ‘tears up the rulebook’ or perhaps not, but it does have what used to be called suicide doors, Vauxhall were wise to rename these as ‘flexdoors’, it’s where the rear doors open the other way round being hinged at the rear of the door and not the front. Why do that i hear you ask, is it a gimmick? Well yes and no, it does make getting in and out of the rear seats easier as the actual opening is wider, perfect for putting children into car seats or for people with limited mobility as the twisting of your body is reduced.  A gimmick yes but good one, but not as good as sliding doors we feel.   One downside from the ‘flexdoor’ system is that when both doors are open on the same side it becomes a bit of a comedy sketch getting in and out of the car when parked close to another vehicle.

 

There is much more to the Meriva than funky doors, it is a good looking car that is well built and good to drive and particularly comfortable and quiet at all speeds, it has lots of storage options and rear seats that move forwards to increase the luggage space offered, under seat storage and a hidden stowage in the boot to keep your valuables out of sight and in the rear the centre seat can be turned into an armrest and the outer two seats moved in to make more room for the passengers and a truly spacious 4 seater.

 

The rear seats can be folded flat, perfect for the tip run of big shopping trips offering 1,496 litres of luggage space when all rear seats are flat. The Meriva choice is between the Club, the Tech Line and SE. The Club has cruise control, air conditioning, electric front windows, electric parking brake, seat and steering wheel height adjustment, CD with Mp3 compatibility but if you step up to the Tech Line you add heated front seats and steering wheel, 17″ alloy wheels, front and rear parking distance sensors, front fog lights and Bluetooth connectivity for a smart phone, the range topping SE adds a panoramic glass roof with a power operated blind and darkened glass for the rear of the car and a three year subscription to Vauxhall OnStar.

 

The Meriva is available with three petrol or three diesel engines, the petrol engines are all 1.4 litre and come with either 100, 120 or 140 brake horse power, the 120 being the pick, the diesel to pick is the new 1.6 litre with either 95bhp, 110bhp or our choice 136bhp as it can return 64.2 miles per gallon while still have enough grunt to pull the Meriva to 120 miles per hour and 0-62 in 10.4 seconds. The Meriva performs well in either petrol or diesel form with the 1.4 litre 120 Petrol engine being available as an automatic (120bhp) offering a disappointing 39.8 mpg.

Spring Best Buy – Vauxhall Meriva Tech Line 1.6 Diesel  (136PS) Manual  –  £249 Advance Payment (£60.99 wpms)

Spring Best Buy – Vauxhall Meriva SE with OnStar 1.4 petrol (120bhp) Automatic –  £349 Advance Payment (£61.66 wpms)

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