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Open doors to embrace life in the Meriva

It takes a lot to change my mind. Strong willed, some may say - pig-headed is what my wife calls it. Anyway, label it what you will, but if I take a notion then that's pretty much it.

One particular notion in the automotive sense is on people carriers or MPVs.

They have always been a bit of a bug bear for me, in fact I'd even go as far as saying that I’m not a fan.

This condition is mainly psychological - having being severely traumatised several years ago in one such vehicle. The particular offender will remain nameless, but a valuable lesson was learned that day.

Mini buses or vans with seats in the rear are not cars, do not drive like cars and above all don't, handle like cars.

That little pointer has stood me in good stead and proved me right ... until last week.

Ladies and gentlemen let me present you with the new Opel Meriva - the MPV which drives better than most hatchbacks.


Firstly let's throw our eye over her MPV credentials. This little beauty gets an A+ for it's family values, space, versatility and safety.

Check out the funky reverse opening doors - cool or what? Now I know this is nothing new and most 50's American motors featured this opening, but it had nothing to do with being cool.

Nope, it's all about safety and when road tested by many parents, will prove a deal maker.

When the front passenger and rear passenger doors are open, you're facing the child rather than having to walk around to lift him in or out.

The extra clearance means extra room to secure your precious cargo - not leaning half in and simultaneously being crushed by a conventional door.

It's also been scientifically proven to be easier on your back, reducing muscle strain by 60pc.

Other brilliantly simple features include green lights in the door handles which illuminate if the child locks are not activated and an alarm sounds if all are not securely belted in.

It’s also green under the bonnet too with the 1.4 litre petrol VVT turbo producing 140bhp and returning 42mpg. It’s also in tax band C - €302 a year tax.

The Opel Meriva starts at €19,995.