Although Flexdoors are one of the reasons for the second-generation Meriva’s being, in the end they’re one of the less remarkable things about the new Vauxhall.

They’re just doors; they open in a way that has some inherent advantages but also inherent disadvantages. They’re less practical than sliding doors, for instance.

The Meriva remains a ‘good’ all-round car

Certainly, they’re not enough to turn an average car into a good one or a good one into a great one. So the Meriva remains a ‘good’ all-round car, one that manages to be as practical as intended with a welcome extra dose of maturity and refinement (most of the time) over its predecessor.

But whereas the old Meriva offered conspicuous space and value for its supermini size, at its new premium-flavoured pricing the new car finds itself against rather more serious and capable opposition.

Twenty large buys you a lot of car, almost wherever you go shopping. Still, it’s only what Renault charges for a top-spec, five-seat diesel Scenic.

It’s attractive, cleverly designed, roomy and refined, and would make as practical a second car as most families are likely to need.

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Vauxhall says the frugal 1.6-litre EcoFlex will be the bigger-selling option in the Meriva range, but in our book, the 1.4 Turbo deserves the greater success.

It’s still overpriced, for sure – but believe it or not, this car gets closer to justifying its inflated pricetag than any other model in the range.

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