What is it?
The all-new Meriva replacement. Car enthusiasts might be forgiven for having overlooked the first Vauxhall Meriva, easily dismissed as a worthy mini-MPV, best suited for a trip to Tesco. In fact, Vauxhall/Opel chalked up its millionth Meriva sale last July.
The new Meriva builds on the exceptional interior flexibility of the old model, but it’s bigger, rather more sophisticated and pioneers rear-hinged rear doors doors as the ideal solution for a family car.
What’s it like?
At 4.28m long, the Meriva is marginally shorter than the Zafira, but is probably best seen as a direct alternative to the new Astra. Its semi-raised driving position, sliding and expanding (widthways) rear seats and the huge open-air storage bin running down the centre of the car make the Meriva a notably practical proposition. The rear-hinged doors are a masterstroke, making it easier to get in the rear cabin, whatever your age or size.
The new Meriva is also much more of premium product - an expression of Vauxhall/Opel’s desire to inch itself upmarket with every new product launch. The car’s dash and interior are a league ahead - nicely drawn and nicely made. Aside from a few hard plastics in hidden areas, there’s an air of quality.