Vauxhall Meriva 1.8i 16V Design 5dr [Exterior Pack] Easytronic
Your impression of the Meriva’s road manners depends largely on which engine is under the bonnet and the size of the wheels fitted. The larger alloys available look great, but they do detract from the car’s comfort – and this is not supposed to be a sporty vehicle, even if the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine is a feisty little thing. Despite that, the smooth new 1.6-litre diesel engine is the fastest, and, let’s face it, most buyers will go for the diesel anyway. There’s a 1.3-litre turbodiesel too: avoid.
Regardless of which engine you do opt for, the Meriva is surprisingly nice to drive. And we don’t mean ‘nice’ as in ‘I just want to be friends’, it’s an enjoyable car. Despite the upright design and seating there’s very little body roll, the steering is direct and it clings on gamely if you’ve forgotten your kid’s Dora lunchbox and you need to do a U-turn in a hurry.
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