Vauxhall has released details of the new (2010) Meriva ahead of the launch at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Back at the end of September we reported on the 2010 Vauxhall Meriva after our photographers had spied the new Vauxhall tramping round the Nurburgring. As we said, not exactly where you’d expect to find the mini-MPV, but good to see it being properly shaken down. We reckoned on a launch at Geneva before the 2010 Meriva goes on sale in the Summer, and the reveal by Vauxhall/Opel today confirms all that.
It also confirms that the ‘Suicide’ doors from the original 2008 concept have carried over to the 2010 Meriva. We’re not sure how good backwards-hinged doors and young children are going to be, although Vauxhall have been careful to make sure they can’t be opened unless the Meriva is stationary.
The suicide doors could be one of those ‘Good Ideas’ that only work well in theory – a bit like Vauxhall’s ‘Panaoramic’ Screen which bit the dust quickly after huge advertising fanfare (although Citroen are trying the same thing with the C3 Visiodrive) – but the theory of better access etc. is sound enough. Time will tell.
Suicide doors apart, the Meriva is a well thought-out and practical mini MPV. Featuring a mish-mash of design cues from the Astra and Insignia – no bad thing – and includes a waistline ‘kink’ at the back to give children in the rear a better view.
The existing Meriva FlexSpace system has been improved and you can now have just about any configuration of space and seating you want, and the addition of ‘Flexrail’ – a rail running the length of the cabin roof which can hold and position storage bins – is a good move for a car full of kids and their paraphernalia.
With a hybrid platform, longer wheelbase an wider track the new Meriva is a more complete car; a well-thought out and executed mini MPV. There will be a range of six turbo engines offering power from 74bhp to 139bhp. Fuel consumption is 15% improved over the outgoing Meriva, there will be the de rigeur Meriva ECOFlex and prices are expected to be from around £13,950.
Looks very promising.