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VAUXHALL Meriva VXR   2003 2009
2003 2009

General Motors decided to give its small-segment minivan Meriva a boost on the European market and the UK version, named Vauxhall Meriva VXR, received a turbocharged engine under the hood.
Based on the same platform as the Vauxhall Corsa, the Meriva family was the kind of vehicle able to carry a whole family around with enough room for everything. It could take four adults inside and provide a spacious trunk to store the family’s groceries for a week. But when the carmaker decided to upgrade it with a more powerful engine, the Meriva VXR became a fast grocery-getter.

The exterior design for the 2003 Meriva VXR benefited from a few styling upgrades. Its grille got a new mesh design with a hexagonal pattern, inspired by sports cars, while the front bumper received a lower apron with an integrated, reversed trapezoidal air intake flanked by a pair of fog lights. In addition, since there was a more powerful engine, the carmaker had to install bigger light-alloy wheels, shod with wider, stickier tires than on the rest of the range.

Inside, the high-mounted seats specific for a minivan didn’t offer that sporty driving position, but the high-bolstered areas were a promise for adequate side support during high-speed cornering maneuvers. Vauxhall enhanced the driver’s area with a VXR-badged sporty steering wheel and red circles around the speedometer and tachometer. Yet, it offered the same rubber-covered pedals.

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