Even though the current-generation Opel Meriva launched in 2010, GM’s European subsidiary has already revealed its first facelift – albeit a mild one.
The restyled model comes with a slightly modified face inspired by the recently-facelifted Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. The Meriva sports a wider grille with more chrome on it, redesigned darkened headlights with available LED daytime running lights, and smoked LED taillights with a rearranged interior design. The facelifted MPV also gets chrome trim highlighting the window wave-shaped beltline and newly-designed 17- and 18-inch wheels.
On the inside, the big news is the IntelliLink infotainment system with embedded navigation and voice control. The system features a high-definition 7-inch color monitor that also displays the image from the newly-available rear-view camera. Other changes are the redesigned multifunctional FlexRail central console with improved functionality and increased rear passenger legroom in the central seat, thanks to shorter rails. A heated steering wheel function and a large sunroof complete the interior changes.
Technically, the facelifted Meriva gets the new 1.6 CDTI diesel engine that debuted in the Zafira Tourer. The unit develops 136 PS (134hp) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque while averaging 4.4 liters per 100 km (53.4 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. Emissions are reduced by 10 percent compared to the engine’s predecessor, the 130PS (129hp) 1.7-liter unit. The new engine improves acceleration by 0.8 seconds compared with the previous unit, with the Meriva now reaching 100 km/h (96 mph) from standstill in 9.1 seconds. Opel says other 1.6-liter diesel engines will follow later on, with even lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.’
In addition to the new diesel, all gasoline engines and the LPG variant in the new Meriva already comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. Like the diesel, the 1.4-liter gasoline units (120PS and 140PS) are now also offered with a reworked low-friction six-speed automatic transmission.
Order books for the restyled Meriva open in November, when prices will be also announced. Deliveries will begin in the third week of January 2014, following the car’s premiere at the Brussels motor show (January 16-26, 2014).
By Dan Mihalascu