Many vehicle manufacturers have injected a bit of style into their people carriers lately and Vauxhall has been no exception with its Meriva.
A lot of thought has gone into making this mini-MPV family-friendly yet full of funky features.
Take the rear doors, for example. They open wide from the front to help parents install their young children into the seats without any need for spinal contortions. It’s a neat USP.
However, such doors are a brave design step, and one which will be tested when arch rival Ford launches its new B-Max with its less unconventional sliding rear doors.
Meriva has other tricks up its sleeve. The three rear seats can be moved independently and the outer ones positioned back so that two occupants can maximise their comfort with the centre seat folded down.
This top-trim SE derivative has a good quality finish and plenty of standard features that lift it high above cheaper competition such as the Renault Kangoo or Hyundai iX20 and might even tempt a VW owner out of their Golf Plus.
A panoramic roof with sunshade, cruise control, tinted rear windows and leather steering wheel are all among the standard kit.
It comes with a Flexrail centre console system which includes a sliding tray and cupholders to serve front and rear occupants, plus a deep storage box and armrest.
More storage facilities are under the front seats, while the backs of the seats have pockets and trays for the rear passengers’ use.
Meriva comes with Vauxhall’s 100,000-mile ‘lifetime warranty’ for first owners, and its 20,000-mile service interval is another plus.