In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Meriva (2014-2017) review - Interior, design and technology

The Vauxhall Meriva is sharp-suited with a high-quality interior, but the centre console is over-complicated

Given that it’s a practical, family-friendly run-around, the Meriva is surprisingly stylish. Its swept-back headlamps and chrome grille take their cues from the larger Insignia, while distinctive character lines have been cut into the car’s flanks.

Though it's neatly styled, the high roofline and double door arrangement take centre stage. The rear-hinged back doors have been designed to improve access to the cabin, but the B-pillar (the one between the doors) remains in place so the advantage over a standard set-up is small.

Inside, the Meriva benefits from an upmarket look and feel. Decent quality plastics are used throughout, while the fit and finish is excellent. Yet while the dashboard is slickly designed, the centre console is cluttered with a confusing array of buttons. 

As with other models there’s a wide range of trim levels to choose from, although the line-up is hugely confusing. Vauxhall has attempted to tailor individual models to private buyers and business users, but the end result is massively overcomplicated.

Essentially you can choose from Life, S, Exclusiv, Energy, Tech line and SE trims, and all get air-con, electric windows and central locking. However, Life models get more kit than S versions, despite costing far less, while the Tech Line models undercut the Exclusiv on price, but come loaded with executive car levels of kit.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

The Meriva S comes as standard with a radio, but Life models and upwards are also fitted with a CD player and Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone, as well as steering wheel controls for audio.

A digital radio is optional across the line-up, as are two levels of sat-nav installation called Navi 650 or Navi 950. Both feature a seven-inch screen at the top of the dash, as well as a USB connector for your iPod. The Navi 950 version also includes the IntelliLink system, which connects your smartphone to the car. It also has voice recognition for destination entries, but there’s no internet access for social media apps or email.

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