On sale mid-year; clever interior packaging
2 March 2010

Vauxhall's longer, wider, taller and much more stylish Meriva five-seater MPV will cost from £15,495.

The new people-carrier, based for the first time on the Astra/Zafira platform and which for the first time adopts so-called “flex doors” (dubbed coach doors by Rolls-Royce), will go on sale in the UK at mid-year.

See the Vauxhall Meriva pictures The Meriva, which has led the small MPV class since launch in 2003, with more than a million sales, halves (to around 20cm) the difference in overall length between its seven-seater brother, the Zafira, mostly because of the demands of new crash and pedestrian protection legislation.

Engineers say all small and compact MPVs will have to grow, so the difference between claasses will eventually be restored. To go with the sportier, more stylish exterior the Meriva gets a airy, modernised fascia and interior, which reduces the mass of the dashboard, picks up the improved switchgear, instrumentation and steering wheel of the recently launched Astra and Insignia models.

A set of load-bearing rails runs through the cabin, providing flexible mounting for a variety of flexible bags and consoles, or which just provides carrying space for handbags and briefcases. The Meriva is launched with five engine options, two 1.4-litre turbo petrol units from the Astra range (120bhp and 140bhp) and three diesel power levels, with power between 90 bhp and 145 bhp, based on either the familiar 1.3 litre or 1.7 litre turbodiesels.

All engines get six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. Vauxhall engineers say the Meriva’s new chassis improves the driving experience, giving it better handling and ride, and a considerably quieter and more comfortable ride.

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Comments
13

19 February 2010

Looks good, but is this going to be another medium city-car (or at least predominantly urban) from a mainstream manufacturer that is not going to be available with an automatic gearbox. Autos are so much more convenient around town and the modern types are almost as economical as the best amnuals and most of them seem to improve lower exhaust emmisions as well. What's not to like - so why not make them available? Any ideas anyone?


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

19 February 2010

I still think there will be situations in carparks where this door arrangement is going to be a pain in the neck. Maybe parked up tight to a pillar or something. Anyway, I appreciate the main reason is for mothers to get quick access to baby seats in the back, but as the kids get older and try to get out at the same time as you? - hmm, perhaps that is going to be interesting. This door solution feels more like a marketing differentiation feature rather than an actual functional benefit to me. Does look quite good though....

19 February 2010

I guess Vauxhall has increased the size of the Meriva so it will now compete with the basic Renault Scenic, leaving the next Zafira free to move up a class and take on the S-Max and Galaxy. Makes sense.

19 February 2010

Very smart design.

19 February 2010

@ordinary bloke: Certainly in 2006 Vauxhall offered the Meriva with easytronic transmission - a semi-auto. I know that as my Mum drives one. I agree that it makes a lot of sense to offer autos in this kind of car.

19 February 2010

Its a good looking vehicle, certainly much better than the new C-Max.

Vauxhall styling is certainly ahead of Ford at the moment (in my opinion).The Insignia looks a lot less bulky than the Mondeo, and the new Astra, whilst a little bland looks less contrived than the forthcoming Focus.They just need to sort out the Corsa.

19 February 2010

[quote turbinecol]as the kids get older and try to get out at the same time as you?[/quote]

- No doubt there will still be child locks to keep the kids in until you're ready for them

19 February 2010

Tend to agree with you Catnip, Opel are enjoying a new design language at the moment - (it is usually once any company gets into the second gen of that design language that it all tends to get a bit 'samey').

I have to say I have been surprised by how many Insignias I have seen that just look very blobby and bland to me mind you - it is all about the colour choice (they need to be black or dark grey) and with the large wheels. Purely my opinion though. Cheers

20 February 2010

[quote ordinary bloke]Looks good, but is this going to be another medium city-car (or at least predominantly urban) from a mainstream manufacturer that is not going to be available with an automatic gearbox. Autos are so much more convenient around town and the modern types are almost as economical as the best amnuals and most of them seem to improve lower exhaust emmisions as well. What's not to like - so why not make them available? Any ideas anyone?[/quote]

In a car like this, why would you want an auto? OK, so I'd want a stick-shift manual in a Rolls-Royce, but I can't understand why anyone would want an auto in a car this small. Changing gear in a low-powered car in urban traffic is part of what makes it fun! It'll help MPV Dad remember that he doesn't just exist for the kids, either. MPV Mum too, for that matter.

20 February 2010

[quote Rover P6 3500S]In a car like this, why would you want an auto? OK, so I'd want a stick-shift manual in a Rolls-Royce, but I can't understand why anyone would want an auto in a car this small. Changing gear in a low-powered car in urban traffic is part of what makes it fun! It'll help MPV Dad remember that he doesn't just exist for the kids, either. MPV Mum too, for that matter.
[/quote]

I have always driven manuals, with two exceptions- a company Corsa (absolutely abhorrent) & two Merc 190Es that I owned (absolutely fantastic). Apart from that I am a through & through manual driver.

However a part of me thinks that in 30 years the manual box will be considered as irrelevant as the manual choke. Both devices offered drivers more control over their car- but ultimately technology rendered the manual choke useless, & as autos get better & better the manual box will become obsolete as well.

Im not speaking as someone who wants to see the end of manual boxes- I wouldnt switch at the moment, I like to be in control of my own car, its economy, its acceleration etc. But autos will get better & better. Its already happened in the US, & I think it is inevitable here eventually. Selecting your own gear will become as much of an anachronism as controlling your own air/fuel mixture. Autos will become so good they will do it better than you can. Take my word for it, in 30 years they will exist on cars like Caterhams only.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

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