Opel Meriva A…a Corsa C that has eaten its fill in quarantine and now comes to light? An Opel Zafira…excuse me, Zamfira for the wussies intimidated by its size? I don’t know either, I’m just asking questions.

The Opel Meriva A always reminds me of Tom and Jerry cartoons. Just like in the cartoons, the Opel Meriva A gives me the feeling of a Zafira that’s been flattened because it’s been violently hit in the side with a frying pan.

I don’t know what it is about this car but I do know that we are in Opel’s heyday, a time when dementia was on the scale every day. The Opel Meriva A was the contemporary of cars worthy of the Broadmoor Hospital, cars like the 240 horsepower Opel Zafira OPC, the Meriva getting “only” a 1.6 Turbo with “only” 160 horsepower, the Opel Speedster or the Vectra OPC. Besides these cars capable of kicking you in the testicles every time you leave the traffic lights, Opel also created the car nobody needed.


In this case, we’re talking about the Opel Meriva and Opel Signum. The Signum was an Astra designed and thought for the rear passengers as if whoever gets a driver will buy an Opel, and the Opel Meriva was a smaller Zamfira? A near-rival for the VW Touran? A VW Golf Plus from Opel? There, we’ve found its main rival: the VW Golf Plus, another car that nobody asked for. Actually, I’m sitting here scratching myself in the ass…that is, if I think about it (I know, you’ll wonder what the difference is), both have comparable engines, comparable issues and both have the high driving position as their selling point. So, I draw the conclusion that the Opel Meriva A is an Opel Golf Plus and with that, I can go home. Not to say that I don’t like it, but the bathroom in the pub from where I am writing this article is starting to smell really bad and it’s time to go.


Opel Meriva A Engines


  • 1.4 MPI of 90 horsepower – A great engine for the Corsa on which the platform is based and decent for the Astra, but for the Opel Meriva this engine is way too small. Yes, it’s reliable, but putting it to work and carrying 5 people and luggage is just aiming too high. Maybe, but at what cost? At the price of the bolts on the cranks, which need changing.
  • 1.6 MPI of 85 and 110 horsepower – I’d avoid the 85 version completely and go with the 110 horsepower. It’s not the most reliable either, but it’s all over the fence because it was popular on the Astra H and you’ll always have parts on hand.
  • 1.8 MPI of 125 horsepower – Under normal circumstances, I’d recommend the glorious 125 hp 1.8 MPI without a second thought. But the Opel Meriva is not a normal car, so I won’t recommend it. Not to mention it, but it’s a really dangerous engine for this body.
  • 1.6 Turbo of 180 horsepower  – Or this. But it’s good to know that by 2005 there were enough crazies. Both from Opel because they thought of the Opel Meriva A OPC, and from the seemingly normal people who bought one. Because you can’t be normal and bine your lips thinking “aaaah, I would like is a sports car and the Opel Meriva seems like the best tool for the job!”.


  • 1.3 CDTi of 75 horsepower – Comically reliable and economical, and comically slow on the Meriva. Sure, on the Corsa maybe it’s a good idea and on the Astra it’s slightly decent, but on the Meriva, it clearly has no business.
  • 1.7 CDTi of 100 and 125 horsepower – By far the most common engine on the Meriva, this engine was taken from Isuzu and was legendary for its hard-working character. I’d go for the 100 horsepower version because it’s not a speedy car anyway and the less power you have the less stress on the engine. Bonus points for appetite for aux belts.


Opel Meriva A General Issues

  • Yes, sure, the Opel Meriva A has many reliability issues, but the biggest issue is stability. It’s a tighter car than…wait, I’m not allowed to write that because there are minors around here…ha ha, who am I lying to, no one reads this site anyway…it’s a tighter car than the libresse the women are stuffing in that week of the month, and that gives it an instability that even the first Logan couldn’t match. Legend has it that if you’re doing 60mph and you sneeze while driving, you have a 95% chance of flipping over.
  • Diesel engines are more strangled by pollution emissions than a libress is strangled by the woman using it that week of the month, so make sure you don’t use them too much around town or you’ll clog the particulate filter.
  • Pay close attention to the M32 gearbox that was fitted to the 1.6 petrol and 1.7 diesel, as the bearings will need changing sometimes. Not if, but when.
  • The Meriva’s, or any Opel of this era, appetite for turbochargers can only be matched by Megan Thee Stallion’s appetite for highly educated and utterly polished music videos, where she’s dressed in full business attire and surrounded only by ladies of high esteem and self-respect.
  • It’s a bigger Opel Corsa so expect electrical problems everywhere. Bonus points for the central locking which no longer applies to the rear doors, but that’s what we discussed in more detail in the Astra H article.


Opel Meriva A Verdict

Like the Opel Signum, I really don’t understand who this car was designed for. Just as I don’t understand who the VW Golf Plus was created for. Maybe it was created for people who want something bigger than a Corsa but smaller than a Zamfira? And when you say smaller, you don’t necessarily mean length as much as you mean width. Is it worth it to buy one? I say yes. The Opel Meriva hasn’t enjoyed the best possible reputation and that’s made its price drop like a sack of potatoes from the attic. And if you have a bizarre fetish with the Meriva and Golf Plus, the Meriva will cost much less and offer roughly the same experience.


Which engines do you recommend? Again, unfortunately, I can’t recommend the glorious 125bhp 1.8 MPI so I’ll go for the dull 110bhp 1.6. And the diesel is definitely the 100-horsepower 1.7 CDTI.