Vauxhall Zafira

Tourer SE 2.0 CDTI

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, side static 2
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, side static
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, rear static
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, side static 3
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, side action
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, rear seats
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, front seats
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, dashboard
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, boot

REMEMBER when Henry Ford said you could have his cars in any colour, so long as it was black? That was a long time ago, and the experts reckon he didn't really mean it anyway.

Even if he did (and black paint dried fastest, so the production line could have moved more quickly), our Henry would need an atlas and some patience to deal with car colour today.

You won't find a more colourful description of hues than on the Vauxhall driven here; it would make Mr Ford's head spin. The result though, to these eyes at least, was worth the effort of its description.

The outside of this truly practical seven-seater Zafira Tourer is easily talked through; its 'Macadamia' colour - a sort of deeply brown metallic - borrows its shade from a tree found in Australia and important for its nuts (thanks, Wikipedia).

Inside, things turn more tangled. Take a deep breath and repeat after me, 'Salerno Choccachino Morrocana Coco'. Yep, four words, taking in an Italian town at the start and a North African country later on, that describe 'light brown'.

I've used so many words about colour because it's amazing the way it changes the way we feel about a car, especially when you're sitting inside.

For instance, every car maker turns to black when a car is supposed to be a bit sporty. Black everywhere, from carpet to roof lining, via dashboard and seats. A bit of red piping here and there is sometimes the only concession to a coal hole vibe.

On the other hand, British car makers once excelled at tasteful non-black interiors, making everything feel a bit more cheerful with tan or cream lifting the mood on a typically gloomy mid-winter morning.

So well done Vauxhall for the no cost option of the longest colour description in automotive history. It works a treat and sets the mood for a car that sets out to shun sportiness in favour of family duties.

So, along with the three rows of seats - the rearmost fold down into the boot floor - there are more practical cubbyholes than you'll find in an average Victorian townhouse and even a box under the front passenger seat.

You can give two passenger in the second row a real limo feel by collapsing the centre seat into a big armrest and sliding the two outer ones inwards a little, adding to the sense of space that already sets the Zafira Tourer apart.

Two passengers on a trip to the country thought the car as comfy as it gets, appreciating the controllable air outlets in the door pillars that let them feel almost as well catered for as the two people up ahead. Lots of car makers treat the second row as steerage class; not Vauxhall with this one.

Then there's the ride; nicely controlled and biased gently towards comfort rather than Silverstone humbling ability. Another sensible choice from the design team.

Powering this car was a version of Vauxhall's latest 'Whisper' diesel designed - you've guessed - to be quieter than what went before. It's certainly that, quickly losing the typical diesel clatter from cold and producing the sort of low down pulling power that makes the gear lever almost an accessory out of town.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SE 2.0 CDTI

Price: £25,675

Mechanical: 168 bhp, 1,956cc, 4-cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-spd gearbox

Max Speed: 129 mph

0-62mph: 9.1 secs

Combined MPG: 57.7

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions:129 g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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