The Meriva has a wheel in every corner making it stable but it has a high roofline and tends to feel a little top-heavy on fast bends.
The Meriva has a wheel in every corner making it stable but it has a high roofline and tends to feel a little top-heavy on fast bends. There is a slight tendency to oversteer but driving the car forcefully pulls it through without any unnecessary drama.
The electronic gizmos are very good at mopping up minor indiscretions. ESP is standard on the VXR and is set to intervene later than is normal, rather than spoil the fun, while ABS with EBD is standard across the range. If that is not enough to keep the car on the straight and narrow, the energy-absorbing safety-cell, pedal-release system and airbags all-round will come to the rescue.
The combination of lots of power and a petrol engine tends to mean poor fuel consumption figures but those for the Meriva VXR are not too bad. The urban cycle is quoted as 27.2 mpg but the fuel gauge seems to drop quicker than that. On the other hand, the extra-urban is 44.8mpg but to me, seemed more economical. So, the combined figure of 36.2 is probably about right.
In keeping with the with the extra oomph, the VXR is fitted with part-leather Recaro sports seats in the front, while retaining the practical FlexSpace rear seating system that transforms from a three- to a two-seat area with more shoulder-room. And, with a bit of pushing and shoving the rear seats fold almost flat, extending the luggage space from 360- to a maximum of 1,410-litres.
Vauxhall Meriva Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Meriva VXR|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Arden Blue Two-Coat Pearlescent|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||44.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||A one-year unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty. An additional second and third year no-fee customer option warranty is also available in the UK.|
|Price (when tested on the 03/08/06)||£16,520|