The two are going to be joined by a midsize SUV bound to use the same platform as the next-gen Insignia.

Opel wants to capitalize on the growing popularity of crossovers in Europe by replacing the Meriva and Zafira MPVs with a couple of high-riding vehicles. The first to come will be the next-gen Meriva due to be unveiled early 2017, quite possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The folks from Rüsselsheim haven’t said whether the new model will retain the “Meriva” nameplate or it will switch to a new moniker to better reflect the body style change.

What we do know is that it will have a “very stylized” design with a softer appearance rather than a rugged body some other crossovers have. The reveal was made by CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, who went on to specify it will be more than just a rebadged version of the all-new Citroën C3 Picasso. It’s not actually big news taking into account over the past few months we have shared several spy shots showing significant design differences between the two.

Interestingly, Newumann admitted that the initial plan was for the Meriva to solider on as a minivan, but in the end they had no other way but to take the crossover route because Opel wasn’t able to come up with a design suitable to accommodate the PSA platform upon which the new car will ride.

"We tried to do a Meriva and failed and so we said maybe this is not the right car"

2017 Opel Meriva spy photo
2017 Opel Meriva spy photo

Following the introduction of the all-new Meriva, Opel will then replace the recently facelifted Zafira MPV with another crossover, which will also serve as a successor of the Antara. While the Meriva is going to be assembled by Opel in Zaragoza, Spain, the all-new Zafira (name not confirmed) will be built starting from around 2018 by PSA in Sochaux, France where the second-gen Peugeot 3008 is produced.

Further down the line, the two new crossovers are going to be joined by a larger midsize SUV said to arrive by the end on the decade and ride on the same platform as the forthcoming 2017 Insignia. Newumann has already mentioned it’s going to have a tougher appearance compared to the smaller crossovers and most likely it will be built at home by Opel in Germany.

Besides planning an army of crossovers and SUVs, Opel is also working on a subcompact sedan based on the next-gen Corsa supermini, but it's unclear at this point whether it will actually be an Opel/Vauxhall Corsa Sedan or it will wear the Chevy or Buick badge.

Source: Automotive News

2017 Opel Meriva spy photos