Vauxhall has been pursuing a versatility theme for its cars for many years. Even the lowly Corsa is available with an ingenious slide-out bicycle carrier, for instance, and the company has achieved real success with its commodious Meriva and Zafira MPVs, the larger of the two becoming a UK class best-seller.

However, it has never had a competitive contender in the Ford Galaxy/Volkswagen Sharan arena (the Sintra of the mid-1990s firing painfully wide of target), let alone a car to rival Ford’s popular and desirable S-Max.

The Zafira Tourer partly satisfies both requirements and provides plenty of the flexible in-cabin features that have made the Meriva and Zafira so popular.

Ironically, that’s why it appears to offer relatively little that’s new. However, a big effort has been made to provide a premium-quality interior, there’s an optional panoramic windscreen similar to Citroën’s C3 Visiodrive architecture, and the car can be had with a voguish, downsized petrol engine of only 1.4 litres.

The meat of the range, though, is occupied with larger petrol engines and 2.0-litre diesels.

Top 5 Large MPVs

First drives

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • The new X5 M costs from £90,170
    First Drive
    27 April 2015
    Whether the original BMW X5 M has diluted the brand is a moot point. However, there's no doubt that this second iteration is a cracking car
  • First Drive
    27 April 2015
    The original S-Max was a game changer – your only option if you wanted a fun, seven-seat MPV. The new model aims to be the same, only better.
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Space and practicality has never been an issue for the Seat Leon ST, and thanks to a Cupra 280 engine it's now fast, too - but does it gel as a package?
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Ariel's third model is the best yet - in fact, it's one of the best driving experiences we've ever had
  • Car review
    23 April 2015
    Mazda's Skyactiv tech revolution transforms its cheapest model