Yes, the Meriva’s suicide rear doors are clever. But does the driving experience make you want to top yourself? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s do this thing. First impressions are of no-holds barred normality, of suit and tie sensibleness at odds with those wacky-backy back doors. Time to take things up a notch. Soaring past 5k rpm the little four pot gasper goes feral, burrowing deep into its power band to give you all its little legs can muster. Slicing seamlessly through the cog box reveals a shift that’s swift if you’ve got the wrists to take it.
The roads ahead are clear. Corby will soon be in our sights. For the next few miles Meriva and me power south in storming fashion, a fortuitous juxtaposition of situation and circumstance. As the pressure piles on, the little Vaux comes back smiling. Steering transmitting everything it knows on a DAB channel marked ‘feedback’ as the classy chassis absorbs every bump and bobble as if the tyres are made of kitchen paper. Balance is like a bull, ultimately led by the nose but dance like Louis Spence on the pedals and you can get the ‘Riva to tango as if it’s in the Strictly final and Len Goodman is holding up a card marked ‘apex’. On a particularly chewy left hander I slammed shut the gas and felt the tail step sideways. Instantly I gave it a dab of oppo and I was away.
The Vauxhall Meriva Expression 1.4 16v is a bitch. And I spanked it.
Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine