Vauxhall Meriva concept (2008): first official pictures

Published: 28 February 2008

This is Vauxhall’s new Meriva, and it will be the first mini-MPV with suicide doors. The car in our pictures is the concept, set to be unveiled at next week’s Geneva Motor Show. It gives us huge hints towards the final look of the production car, which will be shown at the Paris show in autumn 2008.

The doors, which Vauxhall calls FlexDoors, allegedly allow passengers easier access to the rear. The back doors open to a 90-degree angle, while the roofline is highest just behind the B-pillar making getting in and out a cinch. We'll find out how well it works when we report live from the Swiss show next week.

Hang on a second, the Meriva concept has a B-pillar!

Indeed. The B-pillar remains for safety (and cost) reasons, and means the front and rear doors can be opened independently of each other, unlike other production cars with quirkily hinged doors such as the Mini Clubman and Mazda RX-8. Mechanical and electric child locks make sure your kids don't make a break for freedom.

Does the Meriva still have all the other practicality I need?

The rear seats feature the FlexSpace system seen on today’s Meriva, and the production car should have the overhead storage system first seen on the Zafira. To keep everyone happy, there’s a panoramic glass roof, while the windscreen also swoops back past the A-pillars. No claustrophobia here, then. 

The rest of the interior previews the future look of Vauxhall/Opel innards, and we’ll see the first production example of this when the Insignia saloon is shown in a few months' time. Expect Meriva prices to start at about £11,000, £500 more than today’s car.

CAR Online will be reporting live from the Geneva Motor Show all next week, so come back each day for all the news and new cars

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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