GERMANY/UK: GM reveals new MPV's stylish interior
The steady drip of information on General Motors Europe's upcoming redesigned 2010 Meriva B-segment minivan/MPV continued on Monday with the release of the first 'official' interior photos which show greatly improved styling and materials qualilty plus new colours.
GM said the cabin is of "premium quality" and represents a "design mark sea-change for the Meriva's interior".
GM announced the redesigned multi purpose vehicle (MPV) at the beginning of the month. Its key new feature is so called FlexDoors - rear hinged rear doors claimed to provide "unrivalled occupant access and convenience".
Opel/Vauxhall design chief, Briton Mark Adams, described the new interior as "…an expressive yet functional interior with great roominess and visibility"' and said it would "wow" those inspecting the car after it makes its world debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
Opel/Vauxhall also anounced more details of the Meriva's 'unique' FlexRail system which provides convenient and adaptable storage for a wide range of everyday items, from handbags and colouring books to iPods and sunglasses.
Space for the FlexRail between the front seats has been liberated by raising the gearshift location and replacing the traditional handbrake with an electric park brake button (standard on all models). The result is an uninterrupted storage zone that extends rearward from the base of the centre stack and is accessible from the rear seats.
The floor module includes two cup holders, aux-in/USB audio system connections and a 12 volt socket. Above this area, on some models, twin polished aluminium rails feature, and on the range-topping SE a flip-top armrest module is attached, with a smaller storage/cup holder tray sitting below it. Both can be shifted into a variety of fixed positions along the rails, while rear seat passengers can have an optional rear armrest module, which can also be fitted to the centre seat back section when folded down between them.
The improved FlexSpace seat folding system (GM's original C-segment seven-seat Zafira pioneered full-flat rear floor stowage for the five rear seats), like the larger model, offers a range of cabin configurations without having to remove any seats, and is now improved with a one-step action when sliding the rear seat cushions or when lowering the rear seatbacks.
While FlexSpace makes it easy for owners to convert the Meriva from five seats to two, both its outer rear seats can be moved fore and aft individually, and also slide inwards to provide more shoulder width and leg room in a spacious four-seat layout. Additionally, rear seat backs can be fully lowered without having to remove their head restraints.
Rear seatbacks up, the Meriva's boot has a 400-litre capacity, increasing to 920-litres with the seatbacks folded. Filled to the roof, capacity of up to 1,500 litres is available.
Like the recently redesigned C-segment Astra cabin, designers have given the new Meriva "real-world storage solutions for 20 of the most popular items owners carry in their cars".
This includes a large glovebox with space-saving shelf for the owner's manual, as well as coins and pens. There's also a mini glovebox on the driver's side and door pockets can carry drinks bottles of up to 1.5 litre capacity in the front and up to 1.0 litre in the rear. Above the driver's door, there's a flip-down compartment for sunglasses, and some models have a pull-out drawer beneath the front passenger seat, suitable for books or valuable items.
In the luggage area, the floor can be set to bumper height for ease of loading and under-floor stowage, while storage compartments are provided in the boot's sidewalls. The parcel shelf can be removed and stowed behind the rear seats.