This is the worst car we have ever owned - without a doubt. We bought a second hand '04 model in (what we thought was) reasonable condition. We have had it ONE MONTH and so far have had the following issues:
- Mysterious leak resulting in a soaking wet front passenger seat (source yet to be identified)
- CD player stopped working
- Door strap broken in back passenger door
- Power steering failed
The last issue was a known issue that vauxhall agreed to sort for free by replacing the steering column. Car went in and was fixed for free....until it failed again a week after being 'fixed'. On going back into the dealer we were informed that the issue was the power steering pump which is NOT covered by vauxhall - surprise surprise. So we are now faced with a bill of £915.15 plus vat.
About a fortnight ago the sales assistant in Halfords told us that we would be in for 'fun and games' having bought a Meriva - now I know what he means. Steer well away from this car - do not buy!
Firstly, if you're a petrolhead, forget this car. I bought it for two reasons, firstly I have a family so need the space that goes with having young children, and secondly I needed good fuel consumption since I drive at least 70 miles a day. The first requirement pointed to an MPV while the second ruled out most other MPVs.
It's not the most exciting car in the world, but it has admirably served the purposes described above. There's always been adequate space, and I've calculated fuel consumption to be almost exactly the same as Vauxhall's published figures (combined). As an advanced driver I do drive a car sympathetically so apart from a couple of relatively minor (under £100) repairs, I have only had servicing to worry about over the 5 years I've had the car. This is excellent as the service interval is 20,000 miles or a year, so I can pretty well budget for that well in advance and it's not that expensive anyway.
The 1.7 diesel engine isn't the pokiest in the world, but acceleration is far from dull. In fact one of the problems with this car is its image. Everyone else seems to think you're going to be a plodder and is determined to get past you at all costs. So you end up with some herbert pulling out in front of you and then slowing you down.
I agree with some comments regarding visibility due to the front windscreen pillars, however this is something you soon get used to and compensate for, so it isn't the big deal some people have made it out to be.
This is my second Meriva. The first was a 1.6 Petrol Engine.
I exchanged the petrol for a diesel as I was doing much higher mileage than I expected after retiring.
I am generally happy with the performance of the car and the diesel engine is quiet during running and for the most part pulls well, though on steep hills you often have to change down where I would not have done previously even with a 1.2 Corsa. Mid range acceleration for overtaking is good though.
The car is comfortable and roomy and the flex space seating arrangement is excellent as is the ability to fold the seats down giving a completely flat load space for large loads.
Fuel consumption is disappointing. I have never reached the claimed combined cycle figure of 55mpg typical fuel consumption being in the range 47 50mpg. Other I know with small diesel cars achieve very much better than this. In my previous experience with Vauxhall cars - 1.6 petrol Meriva and 1.2 petrol Corsas I have always been able to achieve the manufacturers combined cycle fuel consumption figure. Looking on the govt's Action on CO2 website, Vauxhall cars do not seem to come out well on fuel consumption and a diesel engine this small should really be in the Band B tax range not the Band C which it actually is. Overall Vauxhall diesel engines have a long way to go to catch up with their competitors.
I bought my Meriva brand new, 05 reg. From day 1 there was an obvious problem and some very disconcerting noises when turning corners and it transpired the strut behind the dash to which the steering column is attached was not bolted to the rest of the car (Vauxhall's QC having a sandwich when this one came down the line)! It took my dealer three attempts and a visit by an engineer from Vauxhall to fix the problem. In use it has been reliable apart from a replaced exhaust gas sensor at 25,000 miles. Contrary to what other reviewers have written, in my experience the Meriva handles well, has precise light steering and the road holding is excellent; it can be thrown at silly speeds into corners (if one can actually see the corner beyond the side pillers!) and come out smiling. The economy isn't bad either, but the Easytronic gearbox is truly awful - try a Mitsubishi Lancer ES to see what a proper electronic clutch should be like. To sum up the Meriva is a bit of a curate's egg, really. Would I buy another one? Well, there's nothing else of the same size, practicality, price range.
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