Along with a number of other models the Meriva is set to undergo an overhaul and it seems things are taking shape rapidly as it has been spotted out on test. It also seems things are changing a little and the MPV is about to become a small crossover.
Vauxhall have made no secret they are working on a number of cars with the next generation Insignia having been spotted on test recently and the new Astra literally about to launch in Frankfurt. But it is the Meriva that is causing the gossip mill to turn this week with some sneaky new spy shots circulating showing the car being tested on public roads. Both the Zafira and the Meriva are set to be replaced in a big push to bring to total model range up to 27. Vauxhall will also have soon have a 17 strong engine range to fit in all these cars which is a substantial amount of choice for customers. As well as all the names you know there will also be one more new larger SUV to replace the Antara but this could be some years away at the moment.
Thanks to an agreement with Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall Opel will share the development costs of 2 new versions/replacements for the Zafira and Meriva. This kind of cooperation is common in the car world but most people are not aware is goes on. Developing a car costs an awful lot of money and to negate this cost often manufacturers will team up if they both want to make similar cars. It is not to say the cars end up the same, but some of the bare bones and research that go into the under pinnings are used in multiple cars.
The Meriva seen on test is clearly a different take on the MPV, it is higher riding and seems to have a clear SUV look about it. The industry gossip is suggesting that Vauxhall will be turning the Meriva and the Zafira replacement into what they are calling a CUV. An CUV is a Crossover Utility Vehicle, essentially a slightly chunky people carrier. The Meriva will be a mini CUV and offer some of the super popular SUV styling in a car that still fulfils the MPV job it has always done so well.
The test car was heavily disguised so any real claims about styling are guess work but there were a few hints at the same headlight set up as the new Astra and some very clear signals of a large boot space. In terms of engines and trim there is literally no proof of anything so it is far too early to think about these points. It seems wise to give the new car an SUV feel considering the market as anything with UV or Crossover in the name is surely set to sell well.