The Opel Meriva added a new dimension to the minivan segment when it was introduced in May 2003, and has been market leader in Europe since then. The Meriva goes into 2006 with a new design and new engines, plus an extended range of technological features. The new edition of the compact minivan is now available at dealerships, as is the all-new high-performance version, the Meriva OPC with 180 turbo hp. Prices for the spacious and multi-variable five-seater, which has sold more than 500,000 since its debut, start at 14,520 euros in Germany.
The Meriva’s new design - with distinctive accents like the Opel logo on the grille’s wide chrome crossbar and dynamic design line - also clearly reflects the package of exclusive technology for this segment. Highlights include the unique interior versatility thanks to FlexSpace, adaptive halogen curve and cornering light as well as state-of-the-art mobile telephone installation features, optionally with Bluetooth interface and voice control. With a new 1.3 CDTI, high-tech entry-level diesel and a 1.6-liter engine with fuel-saving TWINPORT technology, additional highly-efficient power units enhance the comparison test winner’s range. The interior is upgraded by new upholstery with modern colors, décor trim strips and chrome accents; fabric/leather or all-leather trim is available on request.
Opel’s new high-tech entry-level unit in diesel technology replaces the 55 kW/75 hp 1.7-liter diesel. The new 1.3 CDTI engine with common-rail injection, four-valve technology and swirl control, produces 55 kW/75 hp. It features a maintenance-free Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard. The 1.3 CDTI, familiar from the Corsa, Tigra and Astra, was named "Engine of the Year 2005" in the 1.0 - 1.4-liter displacement category by automotive journalist from 26 countries, thanks to its refinement, responsiveness, high torque (170 Nm) and low fuel consumption. The smallest four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel in the world takes the Meriva to a top speed of 157 km/h and only requires an average of 5.0 liters fuel per 100 kilometers.
The second new engine in the Meriva range is the 1.6 TWINPORT ECOTEC, also used in the Astra and Zafira. With a power output of 77 kW/105 hp, it delivers five horsepower more than the previous 1.6-liter gasoline engine; but with average fuel consumption of 6.7 liters per 100 kilometers, it is more than eight percent more economical than its predecessor. The Meriva 1.6 TWINPORT reaches a maximum speed of 113 mph
In addition to the new grille with wide chrome crossbar, the Meriva’s face is defined by the bumper with large central air intake, side air intakes and integrated round fog lamps. The new edition’s rear features a chrome strip and dark tinted tail lights. The interior is upgraded by new upholstery with modern designs and colors, new décor trim strips on the instrument panel and doors, chrome-ringed gear shift lever, chrome décor on the interior door handles and hand brake lever, as well as new instrument graphics.
All Meriva variants are available with an increased range of technological features. As the first car in its class, the Opel minivan is now available with halogen cornering and curve light, making nighttime driving safer and more comfortable. The optional mobile telephone installation is now available with Bluetooth interface and voice control.
New standard equipment includes a power release trunk with sensor and welcome light function - headlamps and interior lighting can be turned on by remote control for 30 seconds, leading the way to the car in the dark. Unique in this class and particularly comfortable in the cold season is the Quick Heat option. After a cold start, an electrically-powered warm-air blower heats the interior cabin until the water circulation in the engine reaches the temperature needed to keep the interior warm.
In May 2003, Opel opened a new dimension in the compact class with the Meriva. Thanks to its FlexSpace concept, the five-seater still sets standards with its interior versatility. FlexSpace offers optimum freedom in interior configuration, enabling quick and easy transformation of the Meriva from a five-seater into a spacious four, three, two or one-seater with generous storage space, without the cumbersome removal of seats. With ample interior space and compact dimensions (length: 4.05 meters), the Meriva is not only ideal for city driving, but also provides spacious comfort on longer journeys.
The high-performance version of the versatile minivan, the Meriva OPC, is new to the range, with prices starting at 23,000 euros in Germany. The newly-developed, 132 kW/180 hp, 1.6-liter ECOTEC turbo engine ensures powerful performance. It takes the Meriva OPC from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, and accelerates it to a top speed of 138 mph
Since its debut in 2003, over 500,000 Meriva have been sold. In 2005 alone, the compact minivan sold more than 180.000 units throughout Europe, with 56,000 of those in Germany. The Opel Meriva not only makes a statement in registration statistics, but has also earned the respect of professional testers: in 2004, it won ten comparison tests as well as seven first-place victories in the German trade journal "AutoBild".