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Vauxhall Meriva (2010): first news and pictures

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

05 January 2010 00:01

The new Vauxhall Meriva is opening up entry to the suicide door club – previously the preserve of Rolls-Royces and Mazda sports cars. Unveiled today, the new Meriva mini-MPV premieres GM’s FlexDoor technology, designed to make it easier to climb in and out. Or just show off in the car park (delete according to your personal scepticism).

Although available on one side of the Mini Clubman, the Meriva promises to democratise the suicide door, with prices from around £14,000 when UK sales start in June 2010.

The rear-hinged back doors open to nearly 90deg and are claimed to help ease access to the Meriva – a promise we’ll check out when we sit in it at the 2010 Geneva motor show. The kinked side windowline also follows the format set by the 2009 concept car.

What else is new on the 2010 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva?

The previous Meriva was launched in 2003, selling 107,000 in the past six years; the new 2010 model is stretched over a longer wheelbase and has wider tracks front and rear to liberate more interior space.

It’s all wrapped up in the latest GM Europe look. That means an Insignia/Astra-influenced design, with the now-trademark blade running down the side of the body. An optional glass roof is available to bathe the cabin in daylight.

Hang on! It looks a bit like a Merc A-class from some angles…

You’re not wrong there. The rear-three quarters official shot, in particular, has shades of A-class about it. But on balance it looks crisp and fresh compared with some ageing competition in the shape of the Renault Modus and Ford Fusion.

Under the bonnet, a range of cleaner engines will bring emissions and consumption tumbling by a claimed 15%, or 25g/km. Six turbocharged engines are planned, ranging from 74bhp to 138bhp.

Will the new 2010 Meriva be practical too?

You bet. The rear seats will slide and topple, while a new FlexRail spans the length of the car, allowing owners to clip various cupholders and storage cubbies onto twin rails.