For Opel/Vauxhall's new Meriva to still be Europe's best-selling small minivan, the company has fitted several innovations on the vehicle. The new Meriva will have rear-hinged rear doors -- a first in the segment.
These doors can open up to nearly 90 degrees, much wider than conventional doors. As a result, it offers easier access as well as easier cargo storage.
Opel has dubbed this in-house door system as FlexDoors. The company's engineers created a safety system that ensures that the doors are latched and locked if the vehicle is moving at speeds above 4kph.
The Meriva also features FlexSpace, a seating system from Johnson Controls Inc. that is based on the first-generation model. This enables the rear seats to be more easily folded flat for cargo storage.
This minivan also has FlexRail, which provides storage in the center console for several items with the widened space that resulted from making an electronic parking brake a standard feature. FlexFix is a bicycle carrier that slides in and out of the rear bumper like a drawer.
To sum it up, the new Meriva is an all-new vehicle based on a shortened version of the General Motors Co.'s Delta architecture that underpins the Zafira minivan too.
The last-generation Meriva was co-developed with GM's Brazilian subsidiary and is offered in the Brazil, Mexico and Argentina markets under the Chevrolet name. However, the new Meriva is an all-Opel project and will only be available in Europe. [via autonews - sub. required]