Despite the choppy ride and high pricing, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is versatile, well-finished and drives well.

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is a super-stylish MPV but lacks sliding rear doors

29 January 2012

What is it?

It’s a measure of the car-makers’ faith in down-sizing that a mere 1.4 litres can be asked to haul along a sizeable MPV of seven seats and modestly luxurious interior.

More than that, this 1.4 petrol turbo costs more than the entry-level 1.8 despite offering the same 138bhp. The logic of this becomes soon apparent when you discover that it provides a sixth gear, more torque to pull it, stronger performance, better economy and emissions of 158g/km instead of 169g/km.

What's it like?

The reality is as convincing as the numbers, too. There’s a good spread of power to work with from low down to over 5000rpm,and if the engine gets a little resonant as it nears the 6000rpm rev limiter, there’s rarely much need to venture there.

That’s not because you won’t want to use the turbo’s go either, one of the most surprising plusses of this bigger Zafira being its deft way with corners. The lack of body roll is impressive for a relatively tall machine, so is its grip and chassis balance and you’ll enjoy fluidly precise steering that subtly encourages you to take advantage of its abilities.

Unfortunately there is a trade-off, the ride sometimes turning pattery and unsettled, although the suspension deals with bigger crests and dips effectively.

Another fine feature, and one more expected in such a machine, is what Vauxhall calls lounge seating, the outboard seats of the middle row sliding in-board and closer to a folded middle seat whose backrest bolsters cleverly double as armrests.

Should I buy one?

The result is a very practical and versatile machine that’s pleasant to sit in – unless you’re a bigger kid banished to row three – well-finished and almost as engaging a drive as Ford’s S-Max. A shame it’s so pricey, and short of sat nav and Bluetooth connectivity too.

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SE 1.4 Turbo

Price: £24,005; Top speed: 126mph; 0-62mph: 9.9sec; Economy: 44.8mpg; Co2: 148g/km; Kerbweight: 1571kg; Engine: 4-cyls in-line 1364cc; Power: 138bhp at 4900-6000rpm; Torque: 148lb ft at 1850-4900rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual.

Join the debate

Comments
33

30 January 2012

It'll be interesting to see if these new downsized petrol units can get closer to official economy figures in the real world than their diesel cousins can. They sound very promising.

With no DPF for starters, petrol engines could make a come back yet...

30 January 2012

The back reminds of an S-Max. Good looking car though. I do like the front end treatment. Vauxhall are doing pretty well in the looks department lately. So what is the plan for the normal Zafira?

------------------

Never wrestle with a pig. You'll only get muddy, and the pig will enjoy it.

30 January 2012

Interesting, good looking car however is it a "new Zafira" or is it now aimed at the Galaxy market?

If the 1.4 turbo engine is anything like the 1.4 turbo Renault unit it'll be a cracking engine however the fuel economy will be nowhere near the claimed figures.

30 January 2012

[quote Autocar]It’s a measure of the car-makers’ faith in down-sizing that a mere 1.4 litres can be asked to haul along a sizeable MPV of seven seats and modestly luxurious interior.[/quote] It will be interesting to hear eventually if the smaller engine can really match it's projected mpg figures. Is it me or does this vehicle seem expensive, say compared to the Renault scenic, ? I like the look of the front end, nicely distinctive. The picture shown of the interior looking forward through the windscreen is intriguing, that's one awfully big piece of glass; wonder what it does for the structural strength of the car without a windscreen header rail ?


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

30 January 2012

[quote Sonett]The back reminds of an S-Max. Good looking car though. I do like the front end treatment. Vauxhall are doing pretty well in the looks department lately. So what is the plan for the normal Zafira?[/quote] I'm glad someone else sees the S-Max in the rear design; I thought that would have been noted before now.

The front end is certainly different; I'm not sure about it just yet but it may well grow on me over time. However I'd hate to see the repair bill for a frontal impact and I reckon we have here another car where a simple light bulb change is a half-day service dept. job.


30 January 2012

[quote Oilburner]

With no DPF for starters, petrol engines could make a come back yet...

[/quote]

+1

Interesting to see they still also offer the 1.8 NA engine as well. Just checked the price list out and it still comes in at a rather heft £21,000, so not the bargain alternative I was expecting.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

30 January 2012

[quote Sonett]So what is the plan for the normal Zafira?[/quote]

The Current Zafira will sell alongside Zafira Tourer for a while yet. probably for mobility customers with next to nothing deposit and for those who dont want to fork out over 23k for the Zafira Tourer. Im really impressed with the design of this car though! whether the price hike will discourage buyers though remains to be seen. I dont think the current Ford Galaxy sells particularly great. We shall see how Vauxhall goes with this car.

30 January 2012

[quote Oilburner]With no DPF for starters, petrol engines could make a come back yet...[/quote]

My relative's Motability BMW 118d coupe sport auto that is used for a half mile journey to work and back, four trips per day, has coped fine so far since early December with no problems from the dpf. She likes the extra performance compared with her previous 116i five door.

Why did she choose diesel for such short journeys you ask. Under the Motability scheme the diesel was about £800 lower upfront payment. I assume due to lower lease costs due to better residuals for diesel cars after the three year lease is up and the car sold on.

It will be interesting to see how these smaller turbo petrol engined cars compare in sales performance as well as real world fuel economy though.

30 January 2012

"Another fine feature, and one more expected in such a machine, is what Vauxhall calls lounge seating, the outboard seats of the middle row sliding in-board and closer to a folded middle seat whose backrest bolsters cleverly double as armrests"

So I look through the photos and am not sure whether I see this or not? To me the closest photo just looks like the middle seat folds flat. If the article talks about a 'fine feature' surely a photo could be included?

30 January 2012

[quote Maxycat]

It will be interesting to see how these smaller turbo petrol engined cars compare in sales performance as well as real world fuel economy though.

[/quote]

There should be plenty of info on these matters by now, as some manufacturers, eg the VW group, have been using smaller capacity turbo petrols in many of their models for quite a while.

On another note, I wonder why they didn't give this larger model a name of its own...'Sintra' would have been a good one.

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