Vauxhall Meriva (2014-2017) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Roomy for its size and with some very thoughtful touches, the Vauxhall Meriva makes a great small family run-around
There’s plenty of space up front in the Meriva, while the high set driver’s offers a commanding view of the road ahead. There’s also plenty of seat and wheel adjustment – although S and Exclusive models suffer from a cheap-feeling plastic steering wheel – and the seats themselves are comfortable and supportive on long journeys.
The main controls are predictably laid out, but the confusing array of buttons on the centre console can be distracting as you have to take your eye off the road for too long while working out the functions.
Elsewhere in the cabin, there are lots of useful storage drawers and spaces, including door pockets big enough to hold a one-litre drinks bottle upright.
Vauxhall also offers the FlexRail in Exclusiv and SE equipped cars. This consists of a pair of rails that run the entire length of the cabin, onto which a variety of movable and secure stowage bins can be fixed – Vauxhall reckons there are 32 different configurations, which should keep the kids happy for hours.
Although the Meriva is relatively stylish to look at, it’s still a relatively boxy MPV configuration with a tall stance on the road. It’s 4,300mm long, 1,812mm wide and 1,615mm tall, so it's usefully larger than the Ford B-Max, which is 4,077mm x 1,751mm x 1,604mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The unusual rear-opening back doors make access to the Meriva’s back seats extremely easy, and even strapping-in child seats is a breeze. There are robust grab handles to ensure you can reach both sides of the rear bench without having to clamber over seats, too. That said, the door arrangement isn’t quite as useful in tight spaces as the B-Max’s sliding set-up.
The Meriva's FlexSpace seating arrangement allows you to slide the rear bench forward and backwards. You can also fold the middle seat into an armrest, and then push the chairs inwards to switch from a five-seater into a more spacious four-seater with much-improved shoulder room.
The Vauxhall Meriva has a spacious 397-litre boot with an underfloor compartment, which means it's 100 litres bigger than the Corsa supermini.
The seats also fold completely flat to create an enormous 1,500-litre load space that's 1.75 meters long, and the wide and square tailgate makes loading easy.
In this review
- 1Vauxhall Meriva (2014-2017) reviewThe innovative Vauxhall Meriva offers family-friendly transport thanks to its versatile seating and wide-opening doors
- 2Engines, performance and driveIts engines are a bit 'old-school' but otherwise the Vauxhall Meriva impresses with agile handling and refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDepreciation, depreciation, depreciation... did we mention depreciation? At least the Vauxhall Meriva diesels are economical
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Vauxhall Meriva is sharp-suited with a high-quality interior, but the centre console is over-complicated
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingRoomy for its size and with some very thoughtful touches, the Vauxhall Meriva makes a great small family run-around
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Vauxhall Meriva safety scores are great, but its reliability ranking is definitely below par