These are the first spy shots of the next Vauxhall Meriva
6 October 2008

These are the latest spy shots of next year’s Vauxhall Meriva, and they reveal its innovative rear door arrangement for the first time.

We already knew that the next Meriva will use rear-hinged ‘suicide’ rear doors – known by GM as Flexdoors – but now they’re revealed for the first time on this lightly-camouflaged prototype.

Although test engineers have tried to conceal the door arrangement with a fake handle and extra cladding, the real handles is clear beneath its disguise.

The rear-hinged door will offer passengers easier access to the rear seats – a similar principle is used by Rolls-Royce for the Phantom saloon, coupe and cabriolet. An interlocking system will ensure that the doors cannot be opened while the car is in motion.

GM insiders say the new Meriva will be a more upmarket model than the current car, and will be sharper to drive too. Prices are likely to increase, with lead-in pricing from around £12,000.

As before, this compact MPV will borrow suspension and engines from the Corsa. Both the 1.3- and 1.7-litre CDTi diesel are certain to be offered, with GM likely to incorporate stop-start to boost fuel economy. After poor sales of the current Meriva VXR, it’s considered highly unlikely that there will be a performance derivative of the new car.

We should see the production version of the Meriva for the first time at next year’s Frankfurt motor show.

Will Powell

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