New additions to Meriva and Insignia ranges

Motoring writer Keith Ward reports on two of the latest new models from Vauxhall

Vauxhall has added new diesel engine choices to its Meriva range.

DIESEL engines big and small, paraded recently on short preview drives in Yorkshire, have been added to the fast-selling new Vauxhall Meriva range.
The 1.3 CDTi ecoFlex becomes the cleanest unit in the catalogue with CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km, making for a £30 annual tax disc. Developing maximum power of 95 PS, it takes the Meriva to 104 mph and from 0-62 in a leisurely13.8 seconds.
But it pulls smoothly and quietly at 70 mph in top fifth gear at an unruffled 2,200 rpm and the official combined mpg figure of 62.8 will please many. In Exclusiv trim as sampled, one up from base and including air con and cruise control, it costs £18,720.
Alongside it, a 130 PS 1.7 CDTi engine is introduced as the most powerful of the, now four, diesel Merivas, capable of 121 mph and 0-62 in under 10 seconds, via a six-speed box and a noticeably heavier clutch. It returned 40.3 mpg on the road and carries a 54.3 mpg official combined rating, but CO2 of 138 g/km raises annual tax to £180. In SE trim as sampled, again with air con and cruise control, it costs £20,150.
The two additional diesels should further boost sales of the new Meriva, hailed as “family-friendly” with easy access, wide-opening rear-hinged doors, flexible storage and seating together with better visibility for drivers than in the smaller, seven-year-old previous Meriva.
Vauxhall with latest figures report “excellent” sales of 4,435 from its debut on June 19 to the end of September, competing with such as the Ford C-Max, Renault Scenic and C4 Citroen Picasso.
Total Vauxhall sales in September were 2.38 per cent up on the same month last year, with the Insignia the UK’s fifth best seller.
Newly added to its range and also briefly sampled is the first 4WD version combined with a diesel engine. The stylish, roomy and quick Insignia Sports Tourer 4X4 2.0 CDTi SE at £28,505, is claimed by Vauxhall to be the “perfect all-weather tow car for winter”.
An electric tailgate is included. But its exclusive, bespoke towing bracket, which can be swivelled cleverly out of sight when not in use, costs an extra £580.

A four-wheel-drive version of the Insignia could make it the ideal winter tow car.