Rate My Hire Car: Vauxhall Meriva


I’ve been travelling a lot in my new job and therefore have been lucky enough to be test-driving some of the newest cars on the market. Most of the cars are less than 12 months old.

I am not a car expert, I just know what I like. I buy French when it comes to cars.

Here’s what I think of my most recent hire car.

  • Model: Meriva
  • Make: Vauxhall
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Engine: 1.4
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Should be called: Vauxhall Slug
Vauxhall Meriva

Vauxhall Slug: Not actual hire car

This car made me want to cry. I’m not sure who it’s designed for, but it certainly wasn’t people that enjoy driving. I’d give this car to someone that didn’t drive very often/ever or someone that I didn’t like.

It doesn’t have a hand brake! Granted, most new cars will come with a manual, but in the absence of this, I was stranded outside my mother’s house for a good ten minutes, commanding the car to start. The magical combination that finally awakens the monster seemed to be depress clutch, turn key to start engine, depress brake pedal, press ‘P’ button to take out of park. Is this some kind of safety feature? I don’t know. I’ve never felt the hand brake was something that needed redesigning, yet alone abolishing, yet Vauxhall seem to have taken exception to it.

This car also hates accelerating. Chugging along quite happily in 40 mph road works, I wanted to kick it up a notch when they came to an end. Flooring the gas pedal on the M5, the speedometer barely flickered. The car wasn’t full of stuff, so I wasn’t the one making it sluggish. It’s not aero-dynamic, it’s not fun to drive, it’s not stylish or pretty or cute. It’s an ugly beast of a car and the only thing I enjoyed about it was the USB socket from my iPod and the fact that song names appeared on the display; not enough to salvage my driving experience.

Please don’t send me another one of these, because I will just take my trusty Clio instead.

Rating: 3/10 – would rather be riding a Sinclair C5

Do you own a Vauxhall Meriva? If so, what do you use it for, because I doubt very much that it’s driving!

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  • Tim April 1, 2013, 10:35 pm

    This struck a cord – now, bear in mind I work for the UK’s leading car data and valuation company…
    Friend (young girly work colleague) “My driving test is soon, I really need a car”
    Me “What do you fancy?”
    Her “A Vauxhall Meriva”
    Me “wtf? Why?”
    Her “Whats wrong with them?”
    Me “Whats right with them? You’re a 25yo girl, why a f*****g Meriva?”
    Her “Well, I like them.”
    Me “You’ve no taste. Or style”
    Her “Fine” (and wandered off….)

    • Jo Darby April 2, 2013, 5:43 pm

      You possibly could have possibly been a little more tactful, but don’t know why anyone without a family would want a Meriva and even then, it’s questionable.

      Thanks for you comment, Tom.