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About me: RIP Jessica - hopefully now that justice has been done your friends and family can start to move on and remember the good times.

Member since:09.08.2005

Reviews:413

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Quote-start

Saying Goodbye

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13.02.2008

Advantages:
Runs well  -  no major mechanical or electrical problems with it .

Disadvantages:
Bad visibility, high emissions and terrible petrol consumption .

Recommendable No:

Detailed rating:

Value for Money

Road Handling

Comfort

Features

Fuel consumption

Looks

56 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (21%):
  1. kismet
  2. marymoose99
  3. bluejules
and 12 other members
very helpful by (79%):
  1. supercityfan
  2. Amazingwoo
  3. jupiter28
and 54 other members

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I haven't written a review on a car before and I will say right from the start that this is not about a great deal of stats and figures, even though there will be a few in here. This review is about my personal experiences that I've had with this car over the past 14 months. Normally I keep a car a lot longer than that but for many of the reasons below, I decided that it was time to look for something else.

***Background***

The Meriva has been on the go for quite a few years now and is a five-seater people carrier. Part of the Vauxhall range, I did a bit of background checking on this car before I got it both from manufacturer sites and from sites such as Ciao and Dooyoo.

The reason I needed another car was because my Scenic at the time was developing problems and I would have had to spend quite a bit of money on it. I loved the Scenic so was sorry to see it go but still needed a car with five proper seats, as at the time I had three children living at home aged 17, 15 and 5. As finding another car in the price range I was looking for was becoming increasingly urgent, I probably bought this one before I had really looked around fully although that's not to say I didn't like what I saw to start with.

***The Car***

My version is a Meriva 1.6 Life 8V model and was registered as an 04 plate so it was two and a half years old when I got it. It had low mileage though and this attracted me along with a good deal from the Vauxhall Dealership who also offered me a year's free Network Q guarantee. This is apparently one of the best warranties around and although I only had to use it for a small fault with a sensor light, I had no costs to pay and the garage dealt with me quickly and efficiently. I can't fault the Vauxhall after service at all.

My Meriva is coloured a bright blue, just like the one in the picture at the top, which did catch my eye although I have to say that in recent winter weather conditions it does look extremely dirty, very quickly, even after a wash and polish.

Safety wise this car is advertised as being pretty good although I haven't had to put any of that to the test, apart from the ABS breaking system when a dog ran out in front of me recently. The dog was not hurt and my emergency stop was perfect.

The 8V version isn't actually available from new anymore but there are lots of older ones around and I know a lot of people like me can't afford to buy a brand new car so thought this would

Pictures of Vauxhall Meriva 1.6i 16v
Vauxhall Meriva 1.6i 16v Meriva
My Meriva
be useful for anyone looking for information. I did a bit of look around when I was selling mine for price comparisons, just so that I knew the garage wasn't ripping me off and found that you can probably pick one of this age up for around £4000 - £4500 depending on mileage and condition. The trade-in value for mine was £3700.

***The Good & Bad Points***

On first getting into the car and driving it around I found it easy to drive. I've driven quite a few different types of cars in the past so know how different each kind can be to get used to. The only thing that I kept forgetting about to start with, was that the lights are controlled by a circular dial to the right of the steering wheel as opposed to the indicator lever. Obviously full beam is on this lever but it did take me a while to remember where to go to find the lights.

As I'm a midget I sometimes find some clutches a bit difficult to use and this one did take a wee bit of getting used to. I hate sitting right over the steering wheel when I'm driving, especially on long distances and I found that I could comfortably manoeuvre my seat into a position that gave me this balance.

On the test drives that I took in this car I found it to be pretty good round town and on the dual carriageway but in real life I have found quite a few things that aren't quite as I expected them to be. The front side windows are a nightmare to see out of when you are driving because of the wide posts that link them to the windscreen. This isn't just a problem that I have found but my hubby has the same problem and he is much taller than me. When sitting at lights, I find I have to duck down to see when they are about to change and driving around corners or roundabouts can be difficult too, as visibility is pretty poor.

The firm seat that seems very comfortable for short driving distances, tends to give me extreme back and neck ache on longer trips and again my hubby has found the same problem. Being a front passenger isn't much better despite having ample legroom. The seat seems hard and I can never get it to angle just right for me.

In the back of the car my children all fit in nicely along with the car seat for my son. There isn't as much room in the back as with the Scenic but it is adequate and now that my elder daughter is off to university, I rarely have 3 passengers in the back. This means that the middle section can actually be brought down to make an arm rest and the other two seats move back slightly to give back seat passengers a little bit more room. This may also be a good idea if you want to put a wee bit of distance between toddlers although I am not in that situation now.

The back seats can also be folded flat to give a huge boot space and this has come in handy quite a few times for us, when buying big items from garden centres or furniture stores. The boot itself was quite disappointing really compared to the Scenic because it wasn't as deep and we found that we had to remove the parcel shelf when taking my daughter's cello to school and orchestra practises, whereas we were able to easily get it in the Scenic without having to do this. Even with the parcel shelf removed it took a bit of shifting it about to get it in a secure spot before we could safely drive off.

One great thing in the boot space though is that it has a bit of a false bottom where you can secretly hide away any valuables. We've managed to get the laptop in there in the past and also used it to hide some Christmas presents that we picked up whilst visiting family. I think this is a great idea especially since the glove compartment in this car is extremely small and it's a struggle to easily fit the driver's handbook and instruction manuals in it.

Another good point is that there is a couple of cigarette lighter sockets in the back of the car so if more than one person wants to charge up a phone then there are no fights. This is also good if you have a portable DVD as it means there are no trailing of wires through to the front. There is also one in the ashtray in the front although I rarely used this because it meant leaving the ashtray open all the time and quite frankly it gets in the way of air controls etc.

The car is a basic model and doesn't have any extras although it does have a good Blaupunkt radio and cassette player, which gives excellent sound. It also has a digital outdoor temperature gauge so you know whether to wrap up or strip off when you get out of the car. The aerial on this car is at the back and screws off, which is just as well as it isn't a very bendy one and it would hit off our garage door as we take it in and out of the garage. It's not so bad when you are going forward but reversing is a no go. You also have to watch this when entering some car parks with the height restriction barriers and of course car washes.

***The Other Techy Bits***

As I say I'm not very technical minded but I know that petrol consumption and emission levels which determine car tax are important these days so I have bad news here. Despite this car only being a 1.6, it comes in at a very high rate of emissions meaning that for a year's road tax, this car sets me back £205. This was a bit of a shock after £115 for my Scenic although it was a 1.4.

It's also not that great on mileage, in fact I think it's blooming terrible. Despite regularly services and MOTs finding nothing wrong, I only get an average mileage of 30 to the gallon, which is a lot less that the Scenic too. That's for mixed driving in town and on normal country roads. On a long journey with no town driving it goes up a little bit to about 35 miles to the gallon, which is still pretty low. With petrol costs continually rising, I feel that this is a major bad point to this car and the combined cost of high road tax and low consumption is the reason that I am gladly waving goodbye to this car.

The servicing of this car was about the same really as my Scenic although I do use a local garage and not a dealership so that saves a heck of a lot of money. For all the usual filters and oil change as well as spark plugs I was charge just under £70 plus vat for the parts so this seemed pretty reasonable.

It isn't advisable to use another garage if you are still under a guarantee though as it can void it and my guarantee was up at this time. The MOT had to be done at the dealership because of this but the guarantee covered anything that was wrong so I did have the assurance that it would only cost me the normal MOT price and no extras.

I don't put expensive tyres on my cars, as I do quite low mileage on average so I go for the budget variety from a local garage. It doesn't mean a lot to me but it uses 185/60 HR 15 and for the fitting of the two front tyres a couple of months ago it cost me £70.

Insurance is either group 4 or 5 for this car so that's pretty good really for the size of it although I have been told that this is due to the safety aspects.

***Final Thoughts***

So it is without heavy heart that I say goodbye to my Meriva today and I'm looking forward to driving my slightly newer Peugeot 206 SW. It hasn't been all bad with the car and I haven't had any major faults with it but then it's still only done 28,000 miles so is still pretty low mileage for being almost 4 years old.

The bad points really are the mileage and emissions although lack of comfort and poor visibility make this a car I would personally avoid in the future.

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Comments about this review »

jmurray01 10.12.2009 15:04

I'm thinking of replacing my aging 1994 Peugeot 405 1.9 TD for one of these. I have my eye on a black 2004 Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 petrol Irmscher with 9,875 miles at a Vahxhall dealer. Should I go for it ?

kismet 23.05.2008 18:32

Excellent review. We have just test driven one of these and are intending on buying one as we need bigger boot space now with the baby. your review has put me off somewhat as I was worried about not being able to see the bonnet and those little windows at the front!

kismet 23.05.2008 18:31

Excellent review. We have just test driven one of these and are intending on buying one as we need bigger boot space now with the baby. your review has put me off somewhat as I was worried about not being able to see the bonnet and those little windows at the front!

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Vauxhall present the Meriva Design 1.6i 16v People Carrier with 5 Speed - (Man) / 5 Speed Easytronic - (Auto), Fron...

Product details

Body Type MPV
Fuel Type Petrol
Available Trims Club; Design; Energy; Enjoy; Expression; Life, Life

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 22/02/2006

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This review of Vauxhall Meriva 1.6i 16v has been rated:

"exceptional" by (21%):

  1. kismet
  2. marymoose99
  3. bluejules

and 12 other members

"very helpful" by (79%):

  1. supercityfan
  2. Amazingwoo
  3. jupiter28

and 54 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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