Opel Meriva: Compact Exterior, Spacious Interior
- Extraordinary versatility thanks to innovative FlexSpace concept
- ESP as standard, halogen curve and cornering light
Rüsselsheim. The Meriva is by far the best-selling mini-MPV in Western and Central Europe. The contemporary five-seater highlights its position as class leader with exclusive technology options such as curve and cornering light. Like the Zafira, the Meriva’s standard FlexSpace concept sets new benchmarks in terms of interior versatility and makes the most of this recipe for success. FlexSpace allows optimum freedom for reconfiguring the interior easily and quickly without requiring removal of the seats. With this concept, the five-seat Meriva can be quickly and effortlessly transformed into a spacious four, three, two or one‑seater with generous luggage compartment volume. The Meriva’s good aerodynamics (Cd = 0.31) and seven state‑of‑the‑art four-valve ECOTEC engines that range in output from 55 kW/75 hp to 132 kW/180 hp ensure low fuel consumption.
Design and packaging
The Meriva’s interior boasts ergonomic controls and instruments, attractive upholstery and décor trim, as well as high-quality chrome applications, while the OPC variant has a host of sporty elements. Comfort factors such as the distance and angle to the steering wheel, pedals and control buttons in the cockpit define the Meriva’s proportions, which were designed from the inside out. The long wheelbase of 2.63 meters allows for plenty of interior space, despite compact exterior dimensions. The clever FlexSpace concept is the key to the Meriva’s outstanding versatility. Comfort in the rear is ensured by the variable tilt-adjustable seat backs, and the seats which can slide longitudinally and laterally. The mini-MPV can be quickly and easily transformed from a five all the way to a one-seater without removing any seats. By folding the 40:20:40-split rear bench forward, up to 1410 liters of cargo space is created, and with the front passenger seat back folded down, a 2.40-meter long load area is available.
The Meriva received four stars in the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests, qualifying it as one of the safest cars in its class. With the rigid body structure as a basis, impact energy is distributed along predefined load paths in the event of a high-speed collision. Front and side airbags for front occupants, five adjustable head restraints, five three-point safety belts (with belt pretensioners and belt-force limiters in front), two ISOFIX child seat fixtures for the outer rear seats and Opel’s patented Pedal Release System (PRS) are all standard equipment. In addition, the Meriva can be ordered with front and rear head curtain airbags including active head restraints in front (standard in OPC).
Chassis and active safety
The Opel Meriva features a standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that ensures optimum driving stability in critical driving situations through targeted brake and engine intervention. The basis for the Meriva’s safe yet agile handling is formed by precise steering, torsionally rigid body construction, a McPherson front axle with A-arms and stabilizer mounted on a subframe, as well as a compact torsion-beam rear axle. All variants also have ABS and disk brakes all around (internally ventilated in front), brake assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).
Engines and transmissions
A total of seven engines are available for the Meriva – four gasoline and three common-rail turbo-diesel units from the ECOTEC series. Displacements range from 1.3 to 1.8 liters and outputs from 55 kW/75 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. The three common-rail turbo-diesels – 1.3 CDTI (55 kW/75 hp), 1.7 CDTI (74 kW/100 hp and 92 kW/125 hp) – come with diesel particulate filter as standard. They all boast low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The 1.3 CDTI requires just 5.0 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, and emits just 135 g /km CO2, giving it the right to bear the “ecoFLEX” environmental logo. The 1.4 and 1.6-liter gasoline engines with innovative TWINPORT technology achieve significant fuel consumption reductions thanks to variable inlet timing and high rates of exhaust gas recirculation. The 66 kW/90 hp, 1.4 TWINPORT ECOTEC requires only 6.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, which also qualifies it to carry the ecoFLEX badge. The Meriva OPC is the most powerful variant in this model line, and is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo engine with 132 kW/180 hp. The multi-variable mini-MPV accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 222 km/h. The 1.6 and 1.8-liter (92 kW/125 hp) gasoline engines are available with automated Easytronic five-speed manual transmission.
Opel Meriva: Facts and figures
- September 2002: World premiere at Paris Motor Show
- January 2003: Start of production at Zaragoza plant in Spain
- May 2003: Market launch in Germany and Europe
- July 2004: Introduction of 1.4 TWINPORT engine
- February 2006: Model update – enhanced design, expanded engine range: new
1.3 CDTI with maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard, and
1.6 TWINPORT with 77 kW/105 hp
- February 2006: OPC with 180 hp, 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine
- November 2006: 1.7 CDTI with 74 kW/100 hp and 92 kW/125 hp with six-speed transmission and diesel particulate filter as standard
- First mini-MPV with ESP as standard
- First mini-MPV with dynamic halogen curve and cornering light
- November 2003: Voted “Family Car of the Year 2003” in Sweden, wins Auto Trophy in the category “Best value for money car of the year”
- January 2004: Automotive magazine “Auto Bild” awards Meriva the title “Best Value Car 2004” for having highest value retention in its class
- December 2004: Seventh consecutive victory in “Auto Bild” comparison test
- January 2005: Judged “Best Value Car 2005” by “Auto Bild”
- January 2007: Lowest defect rate in German TÜV report
- February 2007: Judged “Best Value Car 2007” by “Auto Bild”
- Main markets: Germany, Italy and France
- Clear mini-MPV market leader in Germany as well as Western and Central Europe
- Most popular equipment package in Germany in 2008: Edition
- Most popular engine in Germany in 2008: 1.6 TWINPORT