Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

The Essentials

  • Price from £21,010
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 54.3mpg
  • What is it? A cheap way to carry a big family in reasonable style and comfort

Great

  • Classy cabin
  • Plenty of room in first two rows of seats
  • Every car comes well equipped

Gripes

  • Rear most seats are for kids only
  • Middle seats are heavy
  • Ride and handling could be better
  • Drive

    Comfortable enough if you stick with 17-inch wheels

  • Inside

    Good view out but dashboard is fussy

  • Safety

    Most boxes ticked but could be better

  • Reliability

    Vauxhall's reliability is a concern, but it comes with a long warranty

  • Space

    Seven seats but they aren't the cleverest

  • Standard and extras

    Base models are reasonably well equipped

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Zafira Tourer is a fairly big car, but it's not a handful to drive. Light steering makes it easy to park and it doesn't roll around like a bus through corners, either. The steering is vague at higher speeds, however, and the ride is disconcertingly firm for a car that will serve as a family taxi.
    Our favourite engine, the Ecoflex diesel, might be the lean, green option but that doesn't mean kissing goodbye to performance: it's satisfyingly powerful when you put your foot down. It's a shame, then, that it's so noisy.

  • What's it like inside?

    The best MPVs perform so many nifty tricks they'd give Paul Daniels a run for his money. Sadly the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer won't be getting an invitation to the Magic Circle any time soon. The separate middle-row seats slide individually and all five rear seats fold flat, but you'll need both hands to wrestle the middle row seats back into place, whereas the best people carriers let you do it with little more than a flick of the wrist. The centre seat in the middle row is slightly narrower than the outer two and foot space is a bit compromised by a low hump in the boot floor; none the less, the three seats provide enough space to fit three child seats in a row here - we managed to fit a Group 0+ baby seat, Group 1 toddler seat and Group 2/3 high-backed booster across with no problems, though this does depend on which models of child seats you have, as not all will fit. The rearmost pair of seats are easy enough to fold up from the boot floor and while they're smaller than the seats in front, and rather low-set, they're fine for small adults or children. Adjusting the driver's seat and getting a good view out both require a degree of contortionism and navigating the mysteriously similar dashboard buttons is a dark art in itself.
    Entry-level ES cars come with air-con, cruise control and a DAB radio while Exclusiv adds parking sensors and electric rear windows. Strangely, our favourite trim, Tech Line, is cheaper than both but adds alloys, sat-nav and Bluetooth; however, it comes only with the slightly weak turbocharged 1.4 petrol engine which also comes with four-wheel-drive. Cars higher up the trim list add sporty features or more gadgets. All models have Isofix on the two outer seats in the middle row, including top-tether points.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Zafira Tourer is too new for owner feedback, but there's a 100,000-mile, unlimited time period warranty, which you may need - Vauxhall hasn't scored well in the latest reliability and customer satisfaction surveys.
    Six airbags and stability control are fitted on every Zafira Tourer, but the curtain airbags extend only to the middle row of seats, not the rearmost pair. None the less, it achieved five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, with a 94% score for adult safety, and 83% for children.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Zafira Tourer fits the bill as spacious family transport that won't blow the budget. Stick with the Ecoflex diesel and running costs will be minimal, thanks to impressive fuel economy and low emissions - all helped by the stop-start technology which switches off the engine while you're idling. All models get air-con and cruise control, but it's worth paying a little more for the Exclusiv version, which gains parking sensors and electric rear windows. Don't pay list price - massive dealer discounts are available, which helps to offset fairly high depreciation.