Vauxhall Announces UK Debut for All-New Meriva MPV

On June 19, Vauxhall will start selling its new Meriva small MPV on the UK market. The first MPV of the segment to sport backward-opening rear doors (more popularly called suicide-doors), the Meriva replaces the first-generation model, launched in 2003.

Vauxhall owes a lot to Rolls Royce regarding the back doors, the luxury brand working to gain type approval for backward-opening rear doors for the Phantom. Such doors had previously been banned because of fears related to accidental opening. The Meriva’s rear doors open independently of the front doors, unlike Mazda RX-8 or Honda Element’s, whose rear units can only be opened once the front doors are open.

According to Vauxhall product communications manager Simon Hucknall, the rear-opening doors are likely to be one of the main talking points of the car. The advantages are quite a few. Because they open to nearly 90 degrees, they don’t need to be as wide as conventional rear doors, making it easier to park in tight spaces. Also, getting in and out of the car is easier for both youngsters and older people.

The new Meriva is built at the GM plant near Zaragoza, Spain, on a modified Zafira platform. In the UK, the Meriva will be available with three petrol and two diesel engines. The petrols are three versions of the 1.4-litre engine, developing 100, 120 and 140 horsepower. Fuel consumption is reportedly down by 10 percent and power boosted by 14 percent.

The diesel engines are a 1.3-liter (75 hp) and a 1.7 litre (100 hp). Two additional diesel units will be introduced this year: an ecoFlex version and a 1.7-litre of 130 hp. UK prices start at GBP12,995 for the 1.4 with base Expression trim and climb to GBP21,255 for the 1.7CDTi auto with SE specification.
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