ROAD TEST Sporty new look for

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Tonight’s TV - HAMP­SON MO­TORS Re­pORTeR

rICHArD

The Vaux­hall Meriva’s rear hinged doors make it ideal for mo­torists with young chil­dren. ing cam­era as an op­tional ex­tra. And fair play to Vaux­hall for giv­ing mass mar­ket buy­ers ac­cess to top mar­que technology.

Far from be­ing a gim­mick, hav- ing doors which swing open like a wardrobe makes a lot of sense. It’s a rea­son­able as­sump­tion that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who buy the Meriva will be plac­ing smaller peo­ple in the back seats. Smaller peo­ple who strug­gle about and of­ten don’t want to sit in the back of a car and who want to see just how much strug­gling it will take to make you lose your rag. So not hav­ing the doors flap­ping about in your way makes life that bit eas­ier for mums and dads.

It’s also a rev­e­la­tion when you exit the ve­hi­cle – you push the door open and your way is clear and un­ob­structed. It all makes a lot of sense.

So what else has the Meriva got to tempt you to part with your hard­earned cash? For starters it’s big­ger and wider, and the bland­ness has been swept aside in favour of a new, ath­letic look.

Head­lights which sweep over half­way to the A-pil­lar make it sleeker, along with scooped-out side pan­els, which get rid of the blobby, slab-sided ap­pear­ance of the pre­vi­ous model.

The big chrome grille gives the Meriva the ap­pear­ance of a big cheesy grin. On the way to the back end the rear win­dows are two inches lower, al­low­ing those small pas­sen­gers a bet­ter view of the world. And at the tail end there’s some­thing of the sporty hatch about the shape of the lights, and the plung­ing glass screen – def­i­nitely an im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous model’s af­ter­thought. Planted on sporty five-spoke al­loys, it’s a lot more ag­ile-look­ing than most mini-MPVs, al­most elim­i­nat­ing the box-on-

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