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OVERVIEW & MARKET Vauxhall’s new Meriva is set to turn the conventional concept of family-car usability on its head with a combination of clever, rearhinged back doors which radically improve access/egress, and a raft of unique cabin features that boost interior versatility. Receiving its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year, the Meriva is the first Vauxhall to feature FlexDoors, showcased in 2008’s Meriva design concept. FlexDoors are rear-hinged back doors which swing open towards the back of the car at an angle of nearly 90 degrees, vastly improving the ease with which occupants enter and leave the cabin.

In addition, the current Meriva’s much-praised FlexSpace system has evolved with even greater practicality. Now more intuitive to use, the new Meriva’s FlexSpace allows easier fold-down of the rear seats. The new Meriva’s seat comfort has also advanced, with the adoption of front seat technology from the Insignia and Astra. Like these cars, the Meriva offers the biggest range of seat adjustment in class, extending to 240mm in length and 65mm in height. The new Meriva has adopted a more expressive and dynamic silhouette to its basic cab-forward MPV design. Like the Insignia and Astra,

The first generation Meriva was launched in 2003 and effectively created the small MPV sector in the UK and Europe. With its unique FlexSpace rear seating system, which allowed passengers to adjust their seats for more leg or shoulder room – as well as for more boot space – it has proved immensely popular with UK buyers, with over 112,000 being sold in the last six years. The new Vauxhall Meriva will be offered with engines ranging from 75-140PS, all of which comply with Euro 5 emissions standards.

While the concept of two rear-hinged back doors is not new in the motor industry, the Meriva’s FlexDoor system is the first time it has been used on a family car in recent years. But unlike other rear-hinged door applications the Meriva benefits from front and rear doors that open independently. Once inside the new Meriva, buyers benefit from two further groundbreaking innovations. The FlexRail adopts a completely fresh approach to the design of a car’s centre console, and provides owners with a variety of modular storage and comfort solutions that fix on to an ingenious dual-rail base.

a ‘blade’ features down the side of the body, complementing a window line with a distinct ‘wave’ accentuating the FlexDoors, allowing panoramic views for rear passengers.

Inset above: Meriva’s new FlexDoor system in action.

overview & market



The new Meriva will bring both flair and functionality to the compact MPV sector. With its longer, lower roofline and distinctive ‘wave’ belt-line its design is set to blur the distinction between MPVs and hatchbacks. While the Meriva’s design is quite unique from that of the Insignia and new Astra, key elements from Vauxhall’s design language have been reinterpreted to sustain a strong family identity. “The new Meriva successfully brings together elegant design and everyday innovations,” said Mark Adams, Vauxhall/Opel’s Vice President of Design. “It offers an expressive yet functional interior with great roominess and visibility.”


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Form and function In profile, the Meriva’s distinctive wave belt-line hints not only at the FlexDoors’ functionality, but also offers rear passengers – especially younger children – greater visibility, thanks to the lower

The rear styling continues the V-graphic theme still further, enhanced by large, sculpted rear light assemblies, featuring Vauxhall’s signature wing-shaped graphic.

edge of the rear side window being dropped by five centimeters. Also unique is the centralised location of the door handles either side of the B-post, highlighting the FlexDoor installation.

A chrome trim panel adds further visual width to the rear of the car.

At the front, a sweeping V-graphic creates a bold and distinctly Vauxhall face for the Meriva. A deep grille, housing the revised Griffin, is flanked by large, eagle-eye headlamps incorporating wing-shaped running lights, similar to those found on the new Astra.

Inside the Meriva, designers have lowered the instrument panel by 80 millimetres and moved it forward by 80 millimetres to create a feeling of enhanced space. Visibility for the driver is also improved, thanks to re-aligned A-posts and quarter lights. The whole area wraps around into the doors, offering front occupants a feeling of security.

the meriva blurs the distinction between MPV and hatchback.

Designers have used materials with a standard of fit and finish typical of a more expensive vehicle.

The centre stack has been made more user friendly than in the previous Meriva, by angling it forward to improve the view of the displays and allowing easier use of controls. The optional satnav system is positioned high on the dash, close the driver’s natural line of vision. Designers have used materials with a standard of fit and finish typical of a more expensive vehicle. Finishes to items like the air vents, gearshift and centre stack controls all contribute to the feeling of enhanced quality.

“The new Meriva successfully brings together elegant design and everyday innovations. It offers an expressive yet functional interior with great roominess and visibility.” Mark Adams Vauxhall/Opel’s Vice President of Design




an introduction to vauxhall’s rear-hinged door heritage. Vauxhall has been a firm advocate of the rear-hinged door concept in post-war years, and in 1970 its Lutonbased design department, headed by talented stylist, Wayne Cherry, created the groundbreaking SRV concept car. Even by today’s standards, the SRV has futuristic design overtones, but importantly it featured back doors that not only opened upwards, but that were hinged from the rear to allow passengers easier access from the snug, low-slung back seats.



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in 1970, the srv concept was

a revelation. F l e x doors


FLEXDOORS Forty years on and Vauxhall has productionised the rear-hinged door system with the new Meriva, although the FlexDoors’ convenience and safety features have moved the game on immeasurably. However, with the exception of Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and Ghost models, the Vauxhall (and Opel in Europe) Meriva is still the only production car to have rear doors that open independently from those in the front, and along with Rolls, to have full type-approval for the system. Key FlexDoor benefits include easier entry and exit, enhanced ergonomics and improved rear seat access, especially when fixing child seats. With both the front and rear doors open, parents and children also share the same space, without a door between them.

the Vauxhall Meriva is the only MAINSTREAM production car to have rear-hinged doors that open independently from those in the front. 08

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All Merivas are fitted with a complex safety system that prevents children opening the rear doors while the car is moving.


Most front-hinged doors open to no more than 68 degrees, but the Meriva’s FlexDoors open in four steps through 84 degrees, a benefit which extends to the front doors, too. This means that parents can access the rear seat area full on, standing in the space usually occupied by an open door. They can reach forward with babies and toddlers to easily fit carriers and seats. Adult passengers can simply step forward when getting in or out of the rear seat without having to twist over a wheel-arch. All Meriva’s are fitted with a complex safety system that prevents children opening the rear doors while the car is moving. At speeds over 2mph, the FlexDoors automatically lock and a light built into the rear door handle surround goes out. If for any reason one of the doors has not been closed properly when the car starts to move, the driver is immediately informed by an audible and visual warning from the instrument panel.

Inset above: FlexDoor system allows easy access/egress for rear passengers.

f l e x doors


FLEXIBILITY & STORAGE FlexSpace The Meriva’s innovative FlexSpace concept offers a range of cabin configurations for optimum versatility, without having to remove any seats. The cabin can easily be transformed between a five, four, three or two-seat layout to meet the needs of occupants and their luggage. Both outer rear seats can be moved forwards and backwards and also slide inwards to provide more shoulder-width and legroom in a spacious four-seat layout. The rear seatbacks can be fully lowered with one simplified movement using new handles that are easier to reach. With the rear seatbacks up, the Meriva’s cargo area offers a load capacity of 400 litres, which increases to 920 litres with the seatbacks folded. Using available space up to the roof, an impressive 1500 litres maximum load capacity can be deployed.

FlexRail Inset below: FlexRail multi-function centre console in forward position. Page right: 1. FlexSpace rear seating optimised for cabin space and comfort. 2. FlexSpace rear seating optimised for boot storage.

Adding further versatility to the Meriva’s repertoire is the FlexRail system. FlexRail is a modular, highly adaptable three-tier storage system. Two longitudinal rails, elegantly crafted in polished aluminum, have tracks on their inner face. The top track carries a flip-top, armrest/ storage module big enough to carry CDs, while the lower track carries a storage tray with a cupholder. For convenience, both units slide to any position along the tracks and the armrest module can overlap the tray. Either or both can be easily removed as required using a simple push button. Below the FlexRail, a fixed, floorlevel tray has twin cup holders and two recesses big enough for PDAs, plus Aux-in, USB port, and 12-volt sockets. Everything is together, within easy reach, and ambient light is provided between the rails for convenient use at night.

A new generation of front seats, based on those from the Insignia and Astra, make their debut in the Meriva. Both seats slide backwards and forwards through 240 millimetres and the driver’s seat can be raised or lowered by up to 65 millimetres, giving even taller drivers a comfortable driving position. For the children in the second row, the backs of the front seats on SE models are fitted with fold-down tables.

Meriva’s cargo area offers a load capacity of 920 litres with the seatbacks folded. 10

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Flex-Fix New Meriva customers now benefit from the Flex-Fix integrated rear bicycle carrier. It can carry up to two bicycles and slides out from behind the rear bumper. It is fully integrated and, when not in use, is virtually invisible behind the rear bumper fascia.



f l e x i b i l it y & storage



Luxury Features

Flex-Fix Bike Carrier

Buyers who opt for the range-topping SE benefit from the Panoramic fixed full-glass roof with electronic sunshade, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, rear power windows and dark tint rear windows and rear screen.

Key range options include Vauxhall’s unique Flex-Fix bike carrier, Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) and Ergonomic Sports Seats. Flex-Fix is a new option across the range for Meriva buyers and allows up to two bicycles to be carried on a platform which slides out of the car’s rear bumper. It makes carrying bikes easier, since no special tools, fittings or storage space are required.

The new Meriva introduces innovative technologies at an affordable price and provides generous equipment levels for cost conscious buyers. New standard features across the range, like the Electronic Parking Brake, touchpad tailgate opening and adaptive brake lights combine with a height and length adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt and height adjustable steering wheel, FlexSpace seating and electrically-powered door mirrors and front windows to make the Meriva one of the best equipped compact MPVs in its class. The new Meriva is available in four trims – Expression, S, Exclusiv and SE. Even in entry-level Expression guise the Meriva gives customers generous levels of standard equipment, while the S model offers even more specification. The Exclusiv model adds features like air conditioning, cruise control, full-size curtain airbags, FlexRails and a choice of three fabric interiors. Inset right: Six-speed manual gearbox, Electronic Parking Brake, Multi-function steering wheel, 7-inch satnav display.


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Ergonomic Sports Seats

In Car Entertainment

Structural Safety

The Meriva’s Ergonomic Sports Seats (optional on Exclusiv and SE models) have driver’s tilt and powered lumbar adjustment, 4-way active front headrests and extendable seat cushions, with the driver’s seat receiving a much-coveted seal approval from Action for Healthy Backs, a respected panel of ergonomics experts and doctors in Germany.

A CD 300 audio system, featuring four speakers and Aux-in is standard on the Meriva Expression. A CD 400 seven-speaker radio/CD system with Aux-in and USB connections is standard across all other models, with the CD 500 Navi, featuring 7-inch colour monitor, post-code recognition and 1GB internal flash memory allowing individual country maps to be downloaded from a CD. Available as an option on Exclusiv and SE models.

The cabin of the Meriva is as safe as it is comfortable, with its extensive range of in-car restraint systems, together with advanced structural design. Fitted as standard are: break-away foot pedals, a collapsible steering column, front airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, a front seatbelt reminder, front passenger airbag de-activation, rear ISOFIX child seat mountings and five three-point seatbelts. Side airbags are standard on S models, with additional full-size curtain airbags standard on Exclusiv and SE models.

The new Meriva introduces innovative technologies at an affordable price and provides generous equipment levels for cost-conscious buyers.

eq u i p ment , sa f etY & range


The petrol line-up HAS been thoroughly re-worked, reducing fuel consumption by 10% yet increasing power by up to 14%. 14

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POWERTRAINS The new Meriva’s powertrain line-up is focused on efficient performance that underscores Vauxhall’s strategy of down-sizing and turbo-charging to deliver impressive fuel economy and performance. Offering a power bandwidth from 75PS to 140PS, six out of the seven engines which will complete the range are now turbocharged. All Meriva engines meet tough Euro 5 regulations.

Two additional diesel variants will join the engine line-up later this year: a low CO2 emitting ecoFLEX variant powered by a 95PS 1.3 CDTi engine, and a 1.7 CDTi equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission and developing 130PS.

New to the Meriva range is an adaptive, The petrol line-up has been thoroughly re-worked six-speed automatic transmission for around a new generation of 1.4-litre engines that replace the 100PS 1.7 CDTi engine, featuring the existing 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8-litre units, reducing fuel an ActiveSelect function, which allows consumption, yet increasing power. The 1.4 naturallysequential gear selection. The on-axis aspirated engine now comes with double cam-phasing to design of this new transmission enables deliver 100PS and combined cycle fuel consumption of just more compact packaging for enhanced crumple zone 46.3mpg. It is joined by two turbocharged versions: performance, increased interior space and a lower bonnet a new 120PS unit, line than possible with a conventional producing 46.3mpg off-axis design. The new Meriva and a 140PS unit, offers seven engines A six-speed manual gearbox, offering producing 42.2mpg. developing between a wide spread of ratios and a tall, 75PS to 140ps. The Diesel power starts fuel-saving top gear, is fitted to the range demonstrates with a 75PS 1.3 vauxhall’s strategy 140PS 1.4 Turbo. of down-sizing and CDTi engine which turbo-charging to From launch, all other engines are features closed loop deliver IMPRESSIVE fuel fitted with five-speed manual units. catalyst control. The economy and BRISK These gearboxes are ideal due to result is combined performance. their efficiency and mass balance, fuel consumption both of which help generate lower of 57.6mpg and fuel consumption. All manual gearboxes in the Meriva emissions of just 129g/km. A 100PS 1.7 CDTi is range include triple cone synchronization on first and available with a six-speed automatic transmission, second gears for easy engagement. a first in the Meriva range.

Above: EcoTec 1.4 Turbo (140 PS) petrol engine.

p owertrains


CHASSIS Vauxhall engineers have changed every nut and bolt in the new Meriva’s suspension and steering to ensure its dynamic performance and refinement matches its visual appeal. Dynamics engineers from Vauxhall Engineering Centre at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire have developed a bespoke UK steering programme for the Meriva which aims to meet the unique demands of British drivers. Complementing this is a new, wider platform, with front and rear tracks increased by 39mm and 45mm respectively, in addition to a 14mm extension of the wheelbase. The increased footprint contributes to more stable handling and inherently better road-holding. The front and rear axle are derived from the Zafira, which is well established as one of the best handling vehicles in the compact MPV sector. A core body structure, 7.6 per cent torsionally stiffer than its predecessor, also provided a solid foundation for improving the Meriva’s suspension system, as well as helping to reduce noise and vibration inside the cabin. The Meriva’s braking performance has been boosted, thanks to the new car’s larger discs, front and rear. To liberate more interior space, all Merivas are fitted with an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), which can be operated easily with just one finger. The system disengages automatically when drivers pull away.


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A raft of safety systems ensure that the new Meriva is one of the most stable and secure cars to drive in its class. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard across the range, and brakes an appropriate combination of wheels to help the driver regain control of the car in emergency situations. Other active safety features which are standard across all trim levels include: Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Drag torque Control (EDC) – which prevents instability due to the braking effect of the engine – and Straight Line Stability (SLS) & Corner Stability Control (CSC) which activate while cornering or travelling straight ahead under split friction road conditions. Optional safety systems include: Hill Start Assist (HSA), which maintains pressure on the rear brakes when the driver steps from the brake to the accelerator on a slope; Deflation Detection System (DDS), which warns drivers of loss of pressure in the tyres. Standard on all Merivas is Active Rollover Protection (ARP), which prevents the vehicle overturning during high cornering speeds.

Active safety features which are standard across all trim levels include: Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Drag torque Control (EDC), Straight Line Stability (SLS) & Corner Stability Control (CSC).

The increased footprint contributes to more stable handling and inherently better road-holding. C h assis


TECHNICAL DATA Driving performance, fuel consumption and emissions


Fuel Consumption*


Max speed (mph)

Acceleration 0-62mph/sec

Urban (mpg)

Extra-urban (mpg)

Combined (mpg)

Emissions† (g/km)

1.4 (100PS)







1.4 Turbo (120PS)







1.4 Turbo (140PS)







1.3 CDTI (75PS)







1.7 CDTI (100PS)








* Data according to 1999/100/EC † Combined


Powertrain and transmission

Petrol engines

Diesel engines


1.4 Turbo (120PS)

1.4 Turbo (140PS)

1.3 CDTI (75PS)

1.7 CDTI (100PS)

Emissions standard compliance

Euro 5

Euro 5

Euro 5

Euro 5

Euro 5






No. of cylinders / valves per cylinder Displacement







Bore x stroke


73.4 x 82.6

72.5 x 82.6

72.5 x 82.6

69.6 x 82.0

79.0 x 86.0

Max. output







at rpm


4800 – 6000

4900 – 6000



Max. torque







at rpm


1750 – 4800

1850 – 4900

10.5 : 1

9.5 : 1

9.5 : 1

Compression ratio

16.8 : 1



18.0 : 1 STAR SILVER







6-speed 740

Trailer load in kg Unbraked





Braked at 10% gradient






Braked at 12% gradient






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1750 – 2500 1700 - 2550



Glacier WHITE


Press Pack  

Meriva Press Pack

Press Pack  

Meriva Press Pack