2015 Vauxhall Meriva Review
How many kids can you squeeze into a supermini-MPV? That’s the question Vauxhall has been trying to answer since the introduction of their Meriva back in 2003. In the beginning, it was uncertain whether or not a market existed for shrunken MPVs, but Vauxhall has proven parents are willing to rob their children of leg room to save a bit of money.
If you’re driving an MPV you probably aren’t looking to engage in stop light drag races. Even so, the 2015 Vauxhall Meriva provides enough scoot for mum (or dad) to get the kids to school swiftly. The former 1.7-litre CDTi diesel engine has been replaced by the 1.6 CDTi diesel scooped from the Zafira Tourer. This Euro-6 compliant mill cranks out 136PS and 320Nm of torque at 2,000rpm – more than enough power for a family wagon. If you ever do decide to take the kiddies to the race track, the mini will sprint to 60mph from a standstill in under nine seconds. In addition to the new oil burner, the Meriva’s carryover petrol engine range (1.4 100PS, 1.4T 120 & 140PS) remains and is now fully Euro-6 compliant.
The MPV’s steering feels heavy for a supermini, which is excellent on the open road, but less endearing when performing parking lot manoeuvres. Maybe we are just spoiled with the current trend of electronic steering assisted vehicles, allowing tight steering operations with just a flip of a pinkie. Either way, the car feels substantial and safe to drive, which is what you want in a family hauler. Ride quality is a bit on the firm side, but body roll is kept to a minimum. Overall, the steering and suspension provide an adequate, balanced driving experience.
So, what changes have been made to the outer shell of the 2015 Vauxhall Meriva? First off, the grille has been revised and chrome framing has been added to the fog lamps. The exterior lighting has also been tweaked and for the first time, LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights are available as an option.
One feature that has always made the 2015 Vauxhall Meriva stand out from the crowd is the rear-hinged back doors. This allows rear occupants to enter and exit the vehicle with ease, which is a nicety they should be afforded, considering they have to endure the cramped rear seating. The unique rear doors also come in handy when chucking gear – or children – into the back seat.
Space may be limited, but Vauxhall has made the most of it with their FlexSpace seating system. This arrangement allows the rear seats to fold down and slide individually, enabling configuration for whoever – or whatever – you might be transporting. Posher models also get the FlexRail, a pair of metal runners between the front seats that modular storage bins and arm-rests can be attached to and slid along. Be warned – this set up is fun and may inspire you to steal your kid’s transformers.
The 2015 Vauxhall Meriva’s trim level line-up is rather long winded and includes the Expression, S, Exclusiv, Energy, Tech Line and SE models. All models get ESP-plus electronic stability control, twin front airbags, an electric parking brake, stereo with AUX-in socket, electric front windows, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, and remote central locking. Vauxhall must feel temperature control for the mirrors is more important than for the occupants however, since air conditioning is not afforded on base level models. This omission can make family trips rather unpleasant on a hot summer’s day.
If you’ve got the money to opt out of the base model, you are afforded a temperate climate as well as features like a Panoramic glass roof with electrically operated sunshade, 17-inch wheels, tinted glass, leather trim for the steering wheel and shifter, folding trays on front-seat backs (kids get cranky without their snacks), driver’s seat storage box, and front and rear door-sill step plates.
The 2015 Vauxhall Meriva can be yours starting at around £12,500. If you want all the accoutrements, plan on budgeting around £21,000.
It doesn’t cost much to keep a Meriva satiated. The entry-level 1.4-litre petrol model returns 47.1mpg/140g/km, while the 1.4-litre Turbo ekes out 47.9mpg/139g/km.
As always, the oil burners do substantially better with the 1.3 CDTi pulling off 60.1mpg/ 124g/km, and the 1.6 CDTi diesel managing 64.2mpg/116g/km of CO2 emissions. The kids won’t have to go hungry in order to pay for insurance either, with groupings ranging from 6E to 16E.
A supermini MPV seems absurd, but Vauxhall has continuously proven it’s a formula that works. The latest version is larger and better equipped than before, making the Meriva an even better proposition for the price. If you must buy a supermini MPV, this little ride is worth checking out. After all, what other option has suicide rear doors?
If you have a 2015 Vauxhall Meriva of your own, give us the scoop on whether you love or hate it. Enquiring minds want to know.
What do you think of the 2015 Vauxhall Meriva?
Andrew has been in the motor trade for over 20 years. What he enjoys most about his job is the team spirit and the dedication of his work colleagues. He also appreciates the teams input in the improvement of the company.
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