The Northern Irishman led a Citroen one-two, with his team-mate Mads Ostberg second quickest in the second DS3 WRC.
Meeke was four tenths of a second faster than the Norwegian, while Hyundai's Rally Germany winner Thierry Neuville was a further four tenths back in third.
"It felt good this morning," Meeke told AUTOSPORT.
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"Ironically, on the last run when we set the fastest time, it didn't feel so nice in the car at all: we had made a change on the springs at the rear and it wasn't so good - but the time was still OK."
Jari-Matti Latvala was the fastest Volkswagen in fourth spot. The Finn set a time a tenth quicker than team-mate and reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier.
Meeke will revert to the original suspension set-up ahead of the first stage on Friday.
He also called on the Citroen team medics to help sort an ear infection.
"I couldn't hear very well in the left ear," Meeke explained.
"It kind of knocked the balance a wee bit, but it's all sorted now."
Ostberg was pleased with his performance, adding: "It's nice to be back on the gravel again.
"It's always a bit of a shock when you come to the first corner with big braking after competing on Tarmac, but I'm happy with where we are."
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