What is it?
Overpriced. That’ll be your first thought about this flagship diesel Meriva. Because £20k seems an awful lot for even the poshest version of a junior five-seat MPV.
But this new Meriva isn’t so ‘junior’ after all. Vauxhall’s moved the goalposts.
At 4.3-metres long, the new Meriva’s within 20cm of a Citroen C4 Picasso. And with a roomy cabin, clever rear seats that slide in two dimensions, and coach-style rear-hinged rear doors, this car seems every bit as accommodating as a five-seater from the ‘C-MPV’ Scenic/C-Max segment.
What’s it like?
The Meriva SE’s well-finished and well-equipped. Our test car came with cabin materials that almost everywhere seemed the match of those you’d find in an Insignia, and better quality than those of a Citroen Picasso.
Clever storage features like a sliding, interchangable centre console module really count in the Meriva’s favour, as do comfortable part-leather seats, a great driving position and a huge panoramic sunroof.
Powering this car is the latest version of GM’s Isuzu-derived 1.7-litre turbodiesel, first used, many moons and modifications ago, in the mkIII Astra. You expect it to feel strained, but it’s been very thoroughly intergrated here, and only gets vocal beyond 4000rpm.