The new Vauxhall Meriva MPV has beaten 34 of the latest models on sale in Europe this year to be short-listed for the 2011 European Car of the Year award.
The innovative Vauxhall Meriva, with its unique in class rear-hinged back doors, known as FlexDoors, was one of just seven cars chosen by 59 top motoring journalists from 23 European countries to be put forward for one of the world’s most prestigious automotive awards.
To be eligible for European Car of the Year, manufacturers can only field new models that will be on sale in a minimum of five European countries, with sales in excess of 5,000 units. There is only one overall award in the contest, with judges marking cars on design, comfort, safety, handling, performance, environmental credentials and price.
Vauxhall clinched Europe’s top automotive trophy two years ago when the Insignia became European Car of the Year 2009, and has since gone on to dominate sales in the UK’s mid-size sector, while also building a retail following which is twice that of the Ford Mondeo and five percentage points ahead of the BMW 3-Series.
Following in the steps of the Insignia, the Vauxhall Meriva has raised the bar in the compact MPV class for quality, practicality and driveability. With an entry price of just £12,995, the Meriva’s clever FlexDoors open to nearly 90 degrees and allow unrivalled access and egress for passengers, while inside features like FlexSpace seating and the FlexRail storage system have broadened the model’s appeal to families with young children.
“Being shortlisted for Car of the Year is a great honour,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Managing Director. “We won the contest two years ago with the Insignia and were shortlisted last year with the Astra, so we’re pinning are hopes on the Meriva’s unique features and innovation to win over judges this year.”
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