Vauxhall Meriva (2003–2009)

What's good

Four star NCAP crash safety rating awarded January 2003.

Useful size for the suburbs.

Versatile and very pleasant and easy to drive in the suburbs.

What to watch out for

Only one NCAP star for pedestrian safety.

Light and easy for suburban driving, but disconcerting at speed.

Wipers set up for LHD.

At list prices from £10,995 to £12,995 all models were about £1,000 too expensive, but were immediately discounted by £900 - £1,100.

Reports of faulty power steering belts on 1.7 diesels. New belts available June 2005, but revised belt tensioner also needed and undergoing redesign and production.

Report of steering torque sensor fault. Integral with steering column. Part alone is £450 (plus 1.4 hrs labour), but Vauxhall has contributed 40% for 4.5 year old cars. More about steering fault at If ESP goes intermittent, the reason may be the torque steering sensor sending the wrong messages. Total for another reader £693 supplied and fitted. By January 2009 this issue was becoming extremely common. Vauxhall says the main reason for EPS failure is drivers burning out the motor by holding the steering on full lock. Fault featured on BBC Watchdog on 30-9-2010. By 31-12-2010 readers reported that Vauxhall was fixing failed PAS on Merivas up to 5 years old entirely free of charge, so the adverse publicity must have had some effect. 29-10-2011: Report that Vauxhall is now replacing powered steering columns on Merivas up to 6 years olf free of charge.

Five reports of DPFs of 1.3CDTIs wrecking the engines.

On petrol engines, as on Corsas, the camshaft retaining bolts slacken and the camshaft breaks. These bolt need checking and re-torquing at every service.

Problem: water leaking into boot area of Meriva, and one of the two drains from the rear sunroof blocked. Answer: Remove rear light cluster (4 screws) and prise out the air vent behind it. The blue hose you can see inside is the sunroof drain. They are often installed by the factory with a kink in them (110 degrees or so) and the hose eventually blocks completely. Squeeze the hose to free the blockage, then get someone to pour very hot water down the sunroof drain hole while you pinch the hose to restore it to a round shape. Test these drains occasionally by puffing air (airbed pump is perfect) or pouring water through and you'll know at once if they're blocked. Do not use flexible net curtain wire to rod them clear (as with the old Carlton etc.) as they curve sharply before they drain into the wheel arch and you could damage the hose.

12-2-2011: Readers report receiveing letters from Vauxhall offering to check camshaft retaining bolts.

19-3-2011: Some RHD Merivas seem to have been fitted with LHD wiper assemblies, probably because the line ran out of inventory of RHD wiper assemblies. One reader fought hard to have his car retrofitted with the RHD assembly, and won.

20-6-2011: Oil cooler of 1,248cc diesels is integral with oil filter mount, using engine coolant to cool the oil and these sometimes fail. Check header tank for any sign of oil in it.

29-10-2011: Report that Vauxhall is now replacing powered steering columns of Merivas up to 6 years old free of charge.

29-12-2011: Reports coming in of the cars unlocking themselves, probably due to moisture ingress to the electrics inside the driver's door.

21-11-2012: On earlier Z14XEP 1.4 litre petrol engines, the return hose can shear off the waterpump, leading to head gasket failure. T his union was only made of plastic on the original engines, but has been stealthily replaced with a sturdy metal connection instead on subsequent revisions. However, no known TSB was issued.

20-12-2015: EPS light intermittend on 2004 Meriva. Likely to need a new EPS motor.

20-12-2016: Leaking bulkhead reported on 200t Meriva. Basically the same problem as affects Corsa C.

27-4-2018: Report of EPS light in 2008 Vauxhall Merica A.


TSB to cure creaking from bulkhead of 2005 build Merivas by applying correct torque to a strengthening tube behind it.

10-09-2007: R/2007/118VAUXHALL COMBO C, MERIVA, TIGRA B: steering control may be lost on cars build dates 01/08/2007 - 01/08/2007. The retaining ring of the steering gear pinion might be out of its retaining groove. In the worst case the steering gear pinion may lose engagement resulting in loss of steering control. Steering arm to be checked and replaced if necessary. (This recall urgently needs extending to earlier model Merivas because faults with them are very common.)

18-11-2010: R/2010/164 VAUXHALLMERIVA B, ASTRA J front passenger seat could move without warning. build dates 01/09/2010 to 30/09/2010

12-2-2011: Readers report receiving letters from Vauxhall offering to check camshaft retaining bolts.

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