Decent interior space, clever seating, good all round visibility
Bland looks, dull to drive, sparse equipment on base cars, fiddly dash buttons
The Meriva is a small people carrier that's a cheaper alternative to the likes of the Nissan Note with a practical interior and plenty of cabin space. Its compact size makes it easy to manoeuvre around town but while the tall shape means there's good headroom, the boxy profile is quite ungainly and the Meriva isn't particularly stylish. It's comfortable to drive though (albeit dull) but unfortunately the interior looks and feels dated and there are too many scratchy plastics on show - plus the button layout on the central console is haphazard.
The range was given a light facelift in 2006 (look for the newly added chrome strip across the rear tailgate to identify a facelifted car) but this can't prevent the Meriva from feeling old hat.