As you already know, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) performs its battery of tests on all new vehicles for sale in the EU. And in 2010, the safety-focused organization did just that to the then-new Opel Meriva, powered by the 1.4 liter naturally-aspirated Ecotec engine.
The Gamma-based subcompact MPV received noteworthy scores in the tests, scoring:
- Adult occupant: 89 percent
- Child occupant: 77 percent
- Pedestrian: 55 percent
- Safety assist: 86 percent
As much as it pains us to watch a perfectly new car get smashed up on purpose, here’s the crash test footage:
Unlike the Euro-spec Chevy Captiva, the Meriva looks solid during all of the impact tests, and NCAP’s comments reflect this: “the passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact, the windscreen pillar being deformed rearward only 3mm after the test”, states the NCAP. “There was no excessive deformation of the driver’s footwell or dangerous tearing of the metal.”
The organization goes on to commend the Meriva for protecting its passengers: “Dummy results indicated good protection of the knees and femurs for the front seat occupants. Additional tests showed that a similar level of protection would be offered to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions. In the side impact barrier test, the car scored maximum points for the protection it offered the driver.”
However, the side pole test resulted in the deformation of the dummy’s ribs, which indicates weak protection of the chest area — according to NCAP. That said, the seat and head restraint furnished good protection against whiplash injuries in a rear-end impact.
As a reminder, the frontal impact test takes place at 64 Km/h (40 MPH) with 40 percent of the width of the car striking a deformable barrier. In the side impact, a mobile deformable barrier impacts the driver’s door at 50 km/h (31 MPH), while the pole test involves the car being propelled sideways at 29km/h (18 MPH) into a rigid pole.