Opel has a new version of its Meriva minivan in the works. We caught our first glimpse of the forthcoming new model almost a year ago, and saw inside for the first time just a few months ago. But what you’re looking at here represents our best look at the compact family hauler yet.
Sold as an Opel across Europe and a Vauxhall in the UK, the Meriva is GM’s European rival to the likes of the Ford B-Max, Kia Venga, and Citroën C3 Picasso (with which it will share its underpinnings). Smaller than the Zafira, the Meriva was first introduced in 2003, and was replaced with a new version in 2010. That puts a 2017 launch right on schedule for the third-generation model.
Though still wrapped in camouflage, these spy shots give us a better idea of what the finished lines will look like. They also provide our best look yet at the design of the headlights and tail lamps. The new Meriva looks poised to take more of a crossover approach in response to present market trends that put a premium on rugged looks over the MPVs that served our parents’ generation.
Though the position of the rear door handles on this prototype could ostensibly have been placed to throw us off, it appears that the Meriva C is destined to lose the current model’s rear-hinged “suicide” doors in favor of more conventional, front-hinged portals. That would leave those looking for a more unusual take on rear-seat access in this segment looking to the B-Max, which features sliding rear doors like a larger minivan, but without B-pillars, offering unimpeded access to the back.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops