Comfortable enough if you stick with 17-inch wheels
Good view out but dashboard is fussy
Most boxes ticked but could be better
Vauxhall's reliability is a concern, but it comes with a long warranty
Seven seats but they aren't the cleverest
Base models are reasonably well equipped
The Zafira Tourer is a 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. What a shame that it's so noisy.
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 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 middle row has two full-size seats, but the middle pew and the two in the back are best left for smaller 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.
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 has scored badly in recent 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. It's a very safe car, though, as it achieved five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, with a 94% score for adult safety, and 83% for children.
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.