The days are long gone where MPV’s had to be dull and boring. Think back, these so called mommy wagons only served a purpose and none of them we’re really all an exciting reason to drive. They did their job pretty well, but still you could not get past the dreadful blandness of them.
Enter the Opel Meriva. With its new updated look featuring those out of the ordinary suicide doors, getting things in and out is really a breeze. Assuming we had kiddies, this would be a big point when it comes to seating them safely within the vehicle, or getting them out. The doors, because of their clamshell design, open close against the car, creating a space that is safe and offers immediate access to little back seat passengers.
Lately we’ve really been impressed by how Opel has stepped up in their interior departments and the Meriva is no different. The steering wheel is leather wrapped and features an array of buttons and switches. Everything from the radio to your Bluetooth kit is activated from there. The dash is also a nicer soft touch material and every effort has been made to improve the cabin greatly over the previous generation. The Meriva also has dual zone climate control which works exceptionally well. Rain sensing wiper and auto headlights are standard, along with cruise control.
Our model was fitted with 225/45/17 tires and I must admit it really works well on this car. The 17inch wheels fill the arches beautifully and gives it a sportier stance. Might not be what the soccer Mom wants, but sure Dad won’t mind, I promise. Spare wheel is by means of space saver and this mean the boot is a huge 400l with the seats up and a gigantic 920l with the seats down.
Driving the Meriva is where it all comes together. The easy access doors, with the rears being suicide (reverse) it means that in tight spaces, you can get in easier. Theoretically, this should also make loading goods a lot easier. The Meriva is powered by a 1.4 Ecotech 16valve turbo engine which makes 103kw and 200nm. It also produces relatively low 153 g/km c02 emissions. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6.7l/100km but we averaged 8l/100km, which still is mighty impressive for a vehicle of the size. 0-100km is claimed in 10.3 seconds and it should run onto a top speed of 196km/h. The 6 speed manual transmission is ultra-smooth and, as you guessed it, 6th gear is merely an overdrive.
Upfront we have 2 airbags as well as airbags in the roof. Anti-lock braking with EBD and ESP also comes standard. There are also side impact protection bars in both models of the Meriva, which was originally first seen in the Opel Astra’s from 1994. The alarm is linked to an immobilizer with a vehicle inclination sensor that will sound the alarm as soon as the vehicle is jacked up or lifted.
The Meriva comes standard with a 5 year /120 000km warranty and roadside assistance support as well as a 5 year/90 000km service plan. Service intervals are every 15000km or 12 months.
The Meriva Cosmo is priced at R256 500.