First official pictures of 2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva

First official pictures of 2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva  
Filed under:
Hatchbacks, Vauxhall
on 01/05/2010

Source: Vauxhall

2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva2011 Vauxhall/Opel Meriva

These are the first official pictures of Vauxhall’s 2011 Meriva, which is set to turn the conventional concept of family-car usability on its head with a combination of clever, rear-hinged back doors which radically improve access/egress, and a raft of unique cabin features that boost interior versatility.

The new Meriva, which will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, is the first Vauxhall to feature FlexDoors, showcased in 2008’s Meriva design concept.

FlexDoors are rear-hinged back doors which swing open towards the back of the car at an angle of nearly 90 degrees, vastly improving the ease with which occupants enter and leave the cabin. Rather than having to step back, or to one side, as one would using a normal front-hinged door, the FlexDoor allows unimpeded forward access/egress to and from the cabin, enhanced further by the Meriva’s exceptionally high roof line.

For parents with children, there are further benefits. Due to the larger door opening and free space around the B-pillar, parents can lift small children forwards in to rear-mounted, second-stage child seats without having to contort themselves around a door. And with both the front and rear doors open (the fronts open at a similar angle to the rear FlexDoors) a ‘parent-friendly’ zone is created with no door barrier between front and rear occupants.

Crucially, the FlexDoors can only be opened by occupants while the car is stationary, an automatic lock engaging as soon as the car pulls away.

While the concept of two rear-hinged back doors is not new in the motor industry, the Meriva’s FlexDoor system is the first time it has been used on a family car in recent years. But unlike other rear-hinged door applications (Rolls Royce Phantom/Ghost and Mazda RX8), the Meriva benefits from front and rear doors that open independently, and does not require rear passengers to sit behind the door opening.

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