During a road test such as this, it’s always a pleasure to unfurl the subject car’s secrets over a matter of time and a number of sections and we hope you feel the same about receiving them that way. But today that’s not going to happen because the single most remarkable aspect of the Vauxhall Zafira you’re looking at now is already obvious: the fact we’re writing about it at all.

For this is a car that first went on sale in 2005, the year in which YouTube hosted its first video. In an era where product cycles are so short cars are almost always replaced within seven years and sometimes as few as five, the fact it has survived not only the passage of time, but the arrival of an all new model, the Zafira Tourer, stands as testament to the rightness of its original design.

And a characteristic of a section of the general public. It was Citroen who first spotted that some cars need not be in the first nor even the second flush of youth to sell. 

What they needed was to be cheap and the kind of car bought through need rather than want, circumstance rather than choice. Hence its Xsara Picasso continued to sell well into its dotage not just because it was available for a knockdown price (although at £9995 it was), but also because for a certain constituency of the car buying community, they didn’t require anything more and responded positively to not being asked to pay for abilities that held no value for them.

This same principle explains the on-going existence of the Zafira, even if the practice is somewhat different: the old Zafira undercuts the new Zafira Tourer by a significant margin at the bottom end of the range and a sizeable one at the top. 

Even so it’s not that much cheaper give the gulf in age and ability. The question is then, how much can you haggle off the price with the dealer (a lot) and can a car as old as the Zafira then be made to make sense?

Looking for a Vauxhall Zafira for sale? Visit PistonHeads Classifieds

Top 5 MPVs

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Hyundai I30 1.4 Turbo prototype
    First Drive
    30 August 2016
    We get early access to the third-generation Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo. Does this prototype show promise?
  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply