This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Vauxhall Meriva (10-17) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The cabin of the Meriva hasn’t dated well and it looks and feels unsophisticated compared to similar small people carriers. The design is drab and the button layout on the centre console is poor with the heating and ventilation controls placed too low down. The driving position is quite awkward too – not helped by the lack of adjustment in the steering column while the materials used on the dash and seats feel cheap.

Rear visibility is good which helps when parking, but the forward view is hampered by the windscreen pillars.

Thanks to a soft ride the Meriva is comfortable on motorways but passengers in the back may start to feel a little queasy on more twisting roads due to the amount of body roll. Thankfully it’s fairly well insulated from road noise and engine noise is kept relatively low (although the 1.4-litre can be a little intrusive at higher speeds). The Meriva isn’t actually as small as you may think and thanks to a clever rear seating system called FlexSpace, the middle seat can be folded away allowing the two outer chairs to slide inward and backwards to provide huge amounts of legroom.