The Vauxhall Zafira goes by many names, called the Chevrolet Zafira in Mexico and Chile and the Opel Zafira in China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Africa. It is only referred to as the Vauxhall Zafira in the United Kingdom. All other parts of Europe call it the Opel Zafira as well. The first-generation model is known as Zafira A and it first entered the market in 1999. The second-generation Zafira B followed suit in 2005, while the third-generation Zafira Tourer C was made available in 2011. When it was first released, it brought a nice surprise for being innovative with the Flex 7 seat-folding technology.
The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is larger than earlier models, featuring wider tracks and a longer wheelbase that frees up cabin space and makes it easier to fold down rearmost seats. Mechanically, the Zafira Tourer is a conventional model. Petrol and diesel engine options are available to address more needs.
In keeping with the innovation that the Zafira is known for, the Tourer boasts of ingeniously reconfigured seats where the middle row folds to reveal a flat load floor. Aside from opening up luggage room, good foot space and leg room is offered by the Zafira Tourer. Small-scale storage is also provided, thanks to no less than 30 trays, bins, cubbies, and drink holders in the car.
Steering is swift and responsive and complemented by impressive roll-free cornering, predictable behaviour on the limit, and strong grip that proves the Zafira Tourer is indeed part of the MPV segment. Add great torque and you have a family vehicle that is surprisingly efficient and offers an enjoyable enough cross-country experience. As an option, the Flexride adaptive damping system is also available, highly recommended for those who can make room for it.
For companies looking to build their fleet, the Vauxhall Zafira is a great candidate thanks to discounts to be enjoyed because it produces low carbon dioxide emissions.
The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer’s engine tapers off before 4000 rpm, a tell-tale sign that that it follows a more old-school design. Typically, wider powerbands will be in place and there will be less rattling, but not with the Zafira Tourer. Decent fuel economy is to be expected but opting for a 1.8 petrol engine is not ideal because of the car’s weight and carrying capacity.
While the Vauxhall Zafira is intended for wheeling around families, it is left wanting in the comfort department, weirdly dealing well with larger troughs but struggling with smaller bumps. A bit of stability is added when the vehicle is loaded up but Zafira competitors fair better even without.
At the best combination of a powerful diesel engine and the plushest trimming, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer fetches over £27,000. That’s not cheap and it’s not exactly value for money although you do get a panoramic windscreen, leather trims, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated sports front seats, and a DAB radio. To achieve best resale potential, parking sensors, Bluetooth, and satellite navigation should be added, prompting additional expenses for an already-expensive version of a vehicle.
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