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Vauxhall Meriva: Test Drive Review

Date: 28 May 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Vauxhall has updated the Meriva mini-MPV, adding a new 1.6-litre diesel engine, a mildly redesigned exterior and new infotainment options.  

Of greatest note is the firm's 1.6-litre CDTi diesel engine, which in the Meriva, puts out 116g/km, an official 64.2mpg and 136hp. It replaces the former 1.7-litre unit and brings another 6hp, an increase of 10.9mpg and a reduction of 23g/km, so it's a big leap forward. 

Vauxhall is keen to crow about how quiet the new engine is and, credit where it's due, it's about as hushed as a small diesel can get.

There's more in the way of road and wind noise than there is rattle from under the bonnet, and there's a lot of mid-range pull from a diesel engine of this size. 

A car like the Meriva is always going to be a rational purchase rather than a draw for perk drivers, so Vauxhall has majored on the practicality aspects.

It has the Flexspace system pioneered by the Zafira MPV, which means all three rear seats split and fold down individually, and the right and left back seats can move inwards and backwards if the central one has been folded down to create extra space.

Storage areas amount to 32 in total, according to Vauxhall, and the back doors are rear-hinged, which makes it easier to get into the car.   

Vauxhall reckons half of all sales will go to fleets, a chunk of which will undoubtedly be Motability. While the Meriva is a lot cleaner and more economical than the car that came before, it's by no means the leader of the any pack for CO2 and mpg.

What's more, a residual value of 24.9% is well below the class average and a whole 2.5% behind the penultimate Renault Scenic 1.6 dCi 130 out of the six-strong basket of rivals BusinessCar examined. 

The fine diesel engine and the functional cabin are impressive, but there's work to do on the costs front to make the Meriva more credible within the mini-MPV class. 

Meriva 1.6 CDTi SE Ecoflex CPM 51.6
P11D price £21,315
Model price range £12,260-£22,355
Residual value 24.9%
Depreciat­ion £16,010
Fuel £5821
Service, maintenance and repair £1748
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £1706
Cost per mile 51.6p
Fuel consumption 64.2mpg
CO2 (tax) 116g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month £64/£128
Service interval 20,000mls
Insurance (1-50) group 17
Warranty 100,000mls (first owner)
Boot space (min/max) 397/1496 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/136hp
Top speed/0-60mph 122mph/9.9secs



Practical with an excellent new diesel but poor residual values