The Meriva engine line-up starts with a 1.4-litre petrol with 100bhp, which is a good entry level unit and ideal for town driving. For more performance the 1.4-litre Turbo is a better choice. It’s available with either 120bhp or 140bhp and these two effectively replace the 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre engines in the previous Meriva. They are responsive enough with decent pulling power and the 140bhp version manages the 0-62mph sprint in 10.3 seconds. The best aspect is fuel economy with average consumption of 46mpg and 42mpg respectively. There are two diesels starting with a 1.3 CDTi with 75bhp. It’s not especially quick but it is incredibly efficient and will return 58mpg while low CO2 emissions mean it’s cheap to tax.
Vauxhall’s all-new frugal 1.6 CDTi diesel engine is now available in the Meriva with 134bhp and achieves 64.2mpg combined and 116g/km of CO2 emissions.
With light steering and forgiving suspension, the Meriva is focused towards comfort and it’s certainly a relaxing and easy car to drive, while good all-round visibility makes parking in tight spots easy. The relatively long wheelbase not only means good interior space, but also helps the handling, which is stable and composed in corners helped by steering that has reasonable feel and doesn’t self-centre too eagerly.
Body roll is kept in check too, so even on twisting roads, it’s reassuring while on the motorway it cruises with minimal fuss, helped by a refined ride.