The Opel Meriva, already lauded for its innovative ergonomics and flexibility, has been awarded five stars by Euro NCAP for its excellent safety performance. Following in the footsteps of the Astra and Insignia, the compact van achieved high results in each of the four main categories of occupant protection, child safety, pedestrian protection and safety assist.
Euro NCAP tests confirm that the Meriva’s innovative rear-hinged rear doors offer a high level of safety in all crash load cases. The FlexDoors lock automatically once the vehicle speed reaches 4 km/h. Following an accident, this locking mechanism unlocks the doors to ensure that passengers can exit the vehicle.
The FlexDoors are a major part of the Meriva’s well planned and balanced design. The safety program is based on the solid body structure that together with a host of restraint systems ensures passengers have optimal protection. Standard equipment includes three-point safety belts for all five seats, front and side airbags for both front passengers as well as head curtain airbags in front and rear. The front seats also feature dual-stage seat belt pretensioners and there are seat belt reminders on all five seats. Active head restraints on the front seats help prevent whiplash, the most common and often most protracted injury resulting from a rear-end collision.
Drivers benefit from Opel’s patented Pedal Release System, which decouples the pedals in the event of a frontal collision, reducing the risk of injury to feet and lower legs. The new generation Meriva has an energy-absorbing steering system with additional padding in the lower part of the instrument panel. In addition to the crash protection features, the new Meriva offers latest generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as standard with further improved software models for braking stability and rollover protection to support improved driving dynamics and achieve a high level of active safety.
Safety for children – and pedestrians
Engineers paid particular attention to child safety. The first-class score in this category is also the result of Opel child safety seats that come standard with rear outer ISOFIX child seat mountings and fastening eyes for an additional top-tether belt. The front passenger airbag can of course be deactivated so that the child safety seat may be installed in the front seat.
The new Meriva generation also gets an excellent score for pedestrian protection. While the hood is stable, it is also pliable enough in the decisive surface area to reduce the severity of the head’s impact in a typical pedestrian accident. The innovative front bumper system also helps to prevent leg and knee injuries.
Intelligent design pays off
The Meriva’s intelligent design pays off in more ways than one: In addition to optimal occupant safety, Meriva’s service and maintenance costs are low. This applies in particular to damage from minor accidents at low speeds, which account for the majority of collisions. Much thought has been put into the design of areas most often affected by collision impact, and practical repair solutions were a priority. As a result of this, the Flexibility Champion boasts extremely affordable insurance premiums compared to the competition.
The Meriva, already the first vehicle ever to receive a Seal of Approval for its ergonomic qualities from Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (Action for Healthy Backs), now adds this superb Euro NCAP result to its achievements. In light of the fact that the rating system was made even more rigorous last year, these five stars are more valuable than ever before.