I bought a 2005 Mariva 1.7 CDTI Breeze in October 2008 with 33000 miles. After 2 weeks I noticed that the power steering was playing up. Luckily for me before I purchased the vehicle I visited the what car web site and found that this is a common fault so I made sure before I purchased the vehicle that any power steering problems would be corrected by Lookers (Heswall) at their cost. So the new power steering motor is being fixed by them FOC. Otherwise I cannot complain, the car is comfortable and seems to run at around 45mpg. Saying that I have only done 400 miles so far so I will keep you posted.
Bought this car(the semi auto Easytronic model, 04 plate) privately around eight months ago,with 23000 miles on the clock. Driving wise, Easytronic gearbox was idiosyncratic to start with,and if you try to drive it like a traditional auto with foot solidly down theres a significant jerk as the box changes gear. Once you learn to ease off the gas slightly in anticipation of the next change the car becomes much more smooth and comfortable on the road, though there are occasions when you go to take off at junctions, roundabouts etc,and find the car in completely the wrong gear.Kick down is quite impressive for a 1600 engine. Utilise the clutchless manual gearbox option and it handles hills and winding country roads fairly competently. Ride is quite noisy--more road noise than my last car, a Renault Scenic. Rear storage is excellent with seats folded flat; to achieve a similar load area in the Scenic the seats had to be physically removed. Still no Haynes manual available for the car, which is a pain, given that even some relatively simple jobs such as bulb replacement require a fair degree of head scratching.. Trade-in value is pathetic;if you buy one,you should be prepared to hang onto it for a good while, barring serious failures. All in all, charisma free but so far competent.
It is a hire car from work. When the hire car company turned up in the Meriva I laughed as it is an odd looking MPV which I would associate with the elderly.
After spending 110 miles per day in it on a range of roads I have concluded that it is comfortable and quiet. You sit quite high which was strange at first but you get used to it. It is well specced as well.
I get around 400 miles on tank when driving on the motorway (where 90% of my driving takes place)and to acheive this I drive at 65mph (cruise control is great). If I am brave and decide to push it above 70mph the fuel economy is not good. It does not corner well either, at slow or faster speeds tending to roll alot and feels unbalanced.
Performance is good around town and when you get to a decent motorway speed the car is quiet. It does take a while to get there though. Problem is I have been driving diesels so the mid range pick up and accleration on the Meriva seems very slow. There is a stange whining noise when accelerating quickly. Brakes are excellent.
If I ever needed to buy an MPV it wouldn't be the Meriva, it's ok for families who need more space and have a budget, it's a functional, solidly built vehicle but it is not a fun machine. I don't particually enjoy driving it.
I can't complain about the obviously poor visability, the "A" pillar is very thick, but you can adjust your driving style to suit. The interior quality and flexablity are al fine, it is not a bad design in this respect. The big issue is the running costs,it eats front tyres and the fuel comsumption is horrendous (36 to 40 mpg) in a diesel! I have a corsa with this engine, it regularly gets over 55 mpg, and I can't believe the huge differential. Vauxhall dealer is next to useless as well, they don't care about the lone purchaser, just the fleets I assume. The only other problem is trade in value, this car's value plummets, as a result of the running costs, I would not buy another.
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