Vauxhall Zafira -

Used Car Review

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, front action
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, side action
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, rear action
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, dashboard
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, rear seats
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, boot

WHEN its mid-size MPV was launched, Vauxhall claimed the Zafira was the first of its kind.

While that may not have been true - the Renault Scenic and Citroen Picasso come to mind - it was certainly the first compact people carrier with seven seats.

And it still offers a good secondhand buy for families, with loads of useable space, many special touches, and rearmost Flex 7 easy fold seats that drop down into the floor.

It finally succumbed to the lust for 4x4 lookalike SUVs in 2018, but with numerous updates and revisions and very good standard equipment, it is now quite a bargain.

There are plenty out there so only go for the best one you can afford with the lowest mileage, and never buy without full service history.

Latterly just three engines were available - one petrol and two diesels.

The petrol is a 1.4 turbo with 140bhp that can cover the 0 to 62 sprint in about ten seconds, while achieving 41 miles per gallon at very best

The diesels are 1.6 and 2.0-litres, with 134 or 170bhp. The 134 is the company's whisper quiet engine and is dubbed Ecoflex because it can get to an economy of 62mpg. But its not slow, still reaching 60 from rest in 10.4 seconds.

Top 2.0-litre diesels have 167bhp but driven carefully will still do 55mpg and they cover the sprint in 9.1 seconds.

All three drive the front wheels through a six speed manual gearbox as standard, but were also available with a six speed automatic. These of course will have lower economy and they are also slightly slower.

Probably the best choice for the majority of private buyers is the very good 1.6 diesel, but the petrols often have lower miles for the same outlay.

As you can see performance is pretty good, with quick in-gear acceleration and effortless cruising.

That said, the Zafira is not the most scintillating MPV to drive - that accolade goes to the Mazda5 as far as I'm concerned - but the Flexride chassis borrowed from the Insignia matches most of the others in the class to give decent handing and good roadholding.

It also gives an excellent ride, even when larger wheels and lower profile tyres are fitted, soaking up rough B-road surfaces in its stride.

The steering is well-weighted at speed and through corners, and gives plenty of assistance when parking.

There is a bewildering array of trim options - 11 in all - so make sure that any you're interested in have everything you want. That said, even lower order cars have a good range of kit.

The mid-range SRi Nav comes with climate, navigation, DAB radio with remote controls, Bluetooth, parking sensors, alarm, sports front seats, traction control, cruise and alloy wheels.

A facelift in 2016 brought a new interior and touchscreen, plus a sculptured steering wheel and small windows in the A-pillars helping the already good visibility.

Pay about £9,400 for a '16 16-reg 1.6CDTi EcoFlex SRi Nav, or £11,400 for a '17 17-reg 1.4T Design.

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