Vauxhall Meriva tyres

The Meriva is a practical car, featuring the shape and height of an MPV on the chassis of a small hatchback. The word ‘small’ is used advisedly: the two generations of the Meriva to date represent very different cars.

The original 2003 Meriva was quite petite and found its metier as the car of choice for the more, ahem, mature driver. In contrast, newer versions are quite noticeably larger and, indeed, more expensive. This new generation is also aimed squarely at growing families. Its rear doors open from the back of the car outwards, rather than pivoting from a point level with the back of the driver’s seat. This is an almost unique design (it features on the Mazda RX-8 and not many other cars) and has proved incredibly useful for getting small children in and out of the car.

As clever as this design may be, it is not as useful as the sliding rear doors which are a feature of some other small MPV-themed hatchbacks. This is just one illustration of the ‘curate’s egg’ properties of the Meriva: it’s also nowhere near as good on fuel consumption as you might assume. However, the Meriva packs a lot of space and comfort into a small package. Ultimately it is a car fit for purpose, even if that purpose is mainly small runs to the nursery school, the supermarket or the bowls club. Low residual values make second-hand models a sensible used car choice, even if the Meriva lacks for style or sparkle.

It’s a certainty that the average Meriva doesn’t cover a large annual mileage – this is a car for pottering about gently, not one for cruising or the motorway. In a stroke, this makes the potentially thorny business of replacement tyre choice a huge amount easier.

When replacing a worn or damaged tyre, it is always sensible to attach the highest importance to the grip level of each new tyre option. In this case, since fuel economy will be much less of an issue for these cars, focus should be almost exclusively on wet grip ratings. These are clearly displayed on each tyre’s label and on this website. A good wet grip rating translates into safer motoring on dry roads as much as wet ones. Better grip means not only increased roadholding but also sharper braking and reduced stopping distances. Whatever your budget, etyres always recommends choosing the best tyre you can afford, with ‘best’ here meaning ‘best grip rating’.

etyres’ best-selling tyres for the Meriva tend to come from the budget and economy ranges. As above, wet grip ratings will be your guide to choosing the best of these to suit your car and budget. Nexen’s NBlue tyres, designed for both safety and a low environmental impact, are a popular choice within the middle market. At the top end of the market, various tyre ranges have proved popular for this car. They include Continental’s PremiumContact tyres, Goodyear’s EfficientGrip range and Dunlop’s BluResponse tyres. All three combine excellent levels of grip with the durability you’d expect from a tyre made by the better-known manufacturers. These may not be the cheapest option but represent good long-term value and come highly recommended.