Opel Meriva: Second Generation Rejuvenated

The engine is the heart of a car. With the new generation 1.6 CDTI Opel has managed to present the quietest and most efficient diesel engine in its class. We were able to testdrive the advanced technology in the facelifted second generation Opel Meriva, a few days before its introduction to German car dealers. Impressed by the nifty and easy-to-drive little van, we feel certain this car will appeal to drivers of all ages, be it singles, young families or elderly couples.

Since its launch in 2010 about 400.000 Meriva B have been sold in total, approximately a quarter of them in Germany. After its debut in the Zafira Tourer, the Meriva is the second model to benefit from the 1.6 diesel engine replacing the 1.7 diesel as substantially reworked engine with low friction transmissions which offer better efficiency and much more precise and smooth shift operation. The German car manufacturer has invested more than 50 million Euro into the optimisation of its five- and six-speed gearboxes.

Merivadiesel_smallRegarding its outer appearance the Meriva has been inconspicuously rejuvenated, most notably using chrome elements, as in the newly designed front grille and the elegant chrome waistline. The new front and fog lamps with energy saving LED daytime running lights and LED rear lamps give the Meriva a perky and more determined look.

And as far as infotainment is concerned, with IntelliLink Opel offers all the latest technology. Infotainment nowadays seems to bank on the driver’s individual smartphone. Thus, the new Meriva boasts of seamless smartphone integration into the vehicle. We can well do, drive and live without this feature. But, together with a further wide range of premium functions provided by IntelliLink, this seems to be a definite selling point.

Whispering Engines

We on the other hand focused on the driving experience. Thus, the 1.6 diesel engine ( we drove the version with 136 hp/100 kW, 320Nm torwze, 4.4 l/100km and  116g/km CO2) can be warmly recommended. Compared to its predecessor, the 1.7 CDTI, there is a plus of 6hp and 20 Nm, while efficiency is improved by 10% as regards fuel consumption and emission of CO2. During the course of the year, a further version of the 1.6 CDTI with 110 hp/ 81 kW will emit no more than 99 grams of CO2 and consume a mere 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, making the Meriva the first (diesel) monocab under 100g.

As to the interior, the Meriva oozes pureness and solid quality. Of course, the patented FlexDoor system has remained a salient component of the Meriva’s ergonomic concept. While the usual opening angle of doors is 68 degrees, Meriva’s 84-degree opening doors in front and rear allow easy access. Yet the most spectacular feature of the FlexDoors system are the highly ergonomic rear-hinged rear doors which give comfortable access to the rear. The engineers are proud of their flexibility and ergonomic champion – a title first bestowed upon the Meriva in 2010, when the second generation was launched.

The price for the Meriva 1.6 CDTI in Germany starts with 23,350 Euro as “Edition”, 24,790 Euro as “Color Edition” and  24,890 Euro as “Innovation”. The entry price for the smallest petrol engine (100 hp/74 kW) is 15,990 Euro (prices include VAT). All engines, be it gasoline, LPG or whisper-diesel 1.6 CDTI, already comply with Euro 6 emission standards.

Summary / Zusammenfassung

Frischzellenkur für Opels Minivan Meriva. Natürliche Schönheit kommt von innen. Deshalb ist der 1,6 Liter Dieselmotor, der nach dem Zafira Tourer nun auch im Meriva geräuscharm werkelt, die wichtigste Neuerung beim Facelift der zweiten Generation Meriva. Unverändert attraktiv bleiben die hinten angeschlagenen Fondtüren als auffallendstes Merkmal des patentierten FlexDoors Türsystems. Opel hat den Meriva konsequent weiter verbessert und seinen Status als pfiffiges Alltagsauto für alle Altersklassen weiter ausgebaut.

Susanne Roeder

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