Innovative features include 'suicide' doors, a sliding centre console and a flexible interior
5 January 2010

Vauxhall’s innovative new Meriva mini-MPV will go on sale in the UK in June with only minor changes over the design concept seen at 2008’s Geneva motor show.

New Vauxhall Meriva pics

The concept’s rear-hinged ‘suicide’ FlexDoors have been included on the production Meriva to boost rear access and make the car as family-friendly as possible. They open at an angle of nearly 90 degrees and can only be opened when the car is stationary as an automatic lock engages when the car pulls away.

The styling practically mirrors that of the concept and also draws influence from the new Astra and Insignia models. The ‘blade’ design feature from these cars also features on the Meriva, while a kink in the waistline has been incorporated to allow children sitting in the back to see better out of the rear windows.

Inside, the FlexSpace system from the outgoing car has evolved to allow even greater interior flexibility, with rear seats that are able to be folded away entirely, or mounted further back for better leg room. A new sliding interior storage solution, called FlexRail, incorporates a rail above the centre console along which storage bins can slide, for use by front and rear passengers.

The new Meriva, which will be launched at the Geneva motor show in March, is based on a hybrid platform, with parts of the Corsa, Astra and Zafira all featuring. Its tracks are wider than the outgoing car's and its wheelbase is longer, to improve the car's ride and handling and boost crash protection.

The six-strong turbocharged engine range will use Astra units, with power outputs ranging from 74bhp to 138bhp. Fuel consumption is reduced by an average of 15 per cent compared with the current range, while a low-CO2 Ecoflex version will also be offered. Prices are expected to start at around £14,000.

Mark Tisshaw

 

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Meriva

The Vauxhall Meriva, with its rear-hinged back doors, is a more mature car than before, but little more innovative

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Comments
19

5 January 2010

I'm liking the look of the Meriva and it may be a good alternative to the FX4 with those doors! a huge improvement on the old model and no doubt will be a success! are we gettin another vxr version though :)

5 January 2010

Really like the look of it! never thought i'd say that about a Meriva :p

[quote VX220EDDIE] are we gettin another vxr version though :) [/quote]

Hope they do :)

5 January 2010

Was lumbered with the old model for a week as a courtesy car and I have to say it was pretty dire. The visibily was terrible back and front and it drove like a slug .

This looks much much better, even some flair and originality. Not sure about the downward kink in the rear doors mind. Well done Vauxhall specially if you put the 1.6 turbo into it. Wonder how big it is as it looks pretty big in the photos.

5 January 2010

Lovely car. Be a huge hit with women - impossibly cute.

What dreadful irony that Opel have just about become the best design company in Europe - congrats to their English chief designer, Mark Adams? - just at the time GM are hellbent on gutting the whole European company and making it a glorified Chevy/GM Daewoo operation.

5 January 2010

[quote BigEd]

What dreadful irony that Opel have just about become the best design company in Europe - congrats to their English chief designer, Mark Adams? - just at the time GM are hellbent on gutting the whole European company and making it a glorified Chevy/GM Daewoo operation.

[/quote]

Yes congrats to the English designer, but the best design company, what other cars have you been looking at to come to this conclusion. Don't get me wrong the current Opel/Vauxhall range are a huge improvement over the previous models but they hardly set the world alight when compared to the Italians. Look a little more closely at the Fiat Group offerings.

On the Meriva, it looks way better than the outgoing model and desrves to do well.

5 January 2010

Certainly miles better than the last boxy Meriva. The back has a bit of the A-Class about it, which is no bad thing. It's still a Vauxhall though. I really can't put my finger on why I'm sure I'll never buy one. Maybe it's because my dad had a Viva then a Carlton, my uncle had a Victor, so I see them as dad cars and I'm not a dad. If I had kids would that change? A bit like having to be a pensioner to find "Last of the Summer Wine" funny.

5 January 2010

Improvement over the current model, which has aged reasonably well considering it's been with us for 7 years. I like the whole design of this, but there's something about the front that isn't quite right - maybe it's the Renault Twingo-esque fog light surrounds? They just don't seem to sit with the rest of the front. Still, that's a small niggle, good to see Vauxhall/Opel have kept close to the original concept. It's even the same colour!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

5 January 2010

[quote Jon Hardcastle]what other cars have you been looking at to come to this conclusion. Don't get me wrong the current Opel/Vauxhall range are a huge improvement over the previous models but they hardly set the world alight when compared to the Italians. Look a little more closely at the Fiat Group offerings.[/quote]

Jon, the Insignia, contrary to the received wisdom around these parts, is a lovely looking car too. Like all Vauxhalls however it is handicapped by its unloved, old-man's badge. Stick an Opel 'Blitz' on it and most of this handicap goes away.

The Astra isn't quite as good-looking as the Insignia in my eyes, as well as being too long and heavy. This new Meriva is around Golf length(4.2m) and may turn out to be more of a real competitor for the current Golf/Golf Plus.

To back up my contention that Mr Adams and his team have and are producing the best designs in Europe we'll have to wait to see the new sub B class small car that unfortunately I haven't a picture to hand - was shown on Autobild's cover towards end of last year - looked an absolute cracker. Plus the Astra estate(Tourer), Astra coupe, Astra-based Tiguan soft-roader competitor and modern-day Calibra all due(hopefully) in the next 2 years, all look like crackers.

5 January 2010

But at £14,000 for a poverty spec model it is about £3k too expensive. This is a direct Honda Jazz rival which is about £12k for a mid level model. I have said it before, I just do not understand Ford and Vauxhall pricing, they are charging premium prices for value brands.

5 January 2010

I think this might give the Ford Fusion a run for its money.

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