Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The quality of the Meriva interior is impressive for this type of car and most elements are borrowed from the latest Astra and Insignia. Compared to the previous Meriva it’s a completely different cabin with a good finish and an easy-to-use layout. Features such as the metal trim on the steering wheel and the electric handbrake give it an upmarket appearance, but there are some criticisms.

The stereo and optional sat nav systems aren’t the most intuitive while there are certain areas where some of the plastics used feel hard and shiny – certainly not up the quality feel you’d find on a Volkswagen or a Honda. On the plus side the driving position is very good, helped by adjustment on the seat and plenty of height and reach adjustment in the steering column.

Unlike the previous Meriva, this version feels like a high-quality car and this is especially evident in the superb ride, which evens out bumpy roads with ease. It’s also very quiet at higher speeds, with good insulation from road and engine noise. Thanks to the long wheelbase there’s plenty of room and four adults can happily travel long distances in good comfort, helped by soft but reasonably supportive seats.

It’s not ideal for three in the back though – the central seat is narrow and quite firm while there’s very limited foot room due to the FlexRail system. Top SE models get a full-length panoramic glass roof as standard, which gives the interior an even lighter feel while all models get an easy-to-use electric parking brake rather than a standard handbrake.