2016 Vauxhall MerivaThe standout feature of the Meriva compact MPV is its backward opening rear passenger door. This is quite effective and does not create too wide an opening like the sliding side doors of the Ford B-MAX. It also has an upmarket cabin which features a lot of soft materials and is constructed robustly. It is very practical as well.

The Meriva even offers a reasonably grown-up experience behind the wheel. Decent refinement and composed handling give it the feel of a bigger car, and the flexible ride does an excellent job of soaking bumps up. The engine range is quite disappointing though with noisy diesel and dated petrol units.

This is the second generation Meriva. It has been around for long enough to have gotten a facelift back in the year 2014. In fact, it first went into manufacture in the year 2010 in Spain.

The present vehicle is a little bigger as compared to the first generation which sold from 2003-2010. That car was based on the original Corsa. This generation was developed on a new platform that was based on the Zafira’s underpinnings and a re-engineered suspension from the previous version.

The interior of the Meriva shares a lot in common with the Astra of 2009. It focuses on practicality despite compact dimensions and has a rear bench which slides to boost boot space and improve legroom. The individual seats in the rear can also be pulled apart or moved together. There is a flex-rail system which runs between the front seats which can be configured for holding cup holders and extra storage.

The model lineup is confusing, as is the case with most of their models. Some of the models have also been aimed at private buyers while others are supposed to appeal to users of company cars.