These spy pictures finally confirm that the new Vauxhall Zafira will not have the innovative FlexDoor system of the Meriva.
While the Meriva's rear-hinged doors have proved to be both practical and an effective way of differentiating the car from its rivals, the engineering challenges of fitting the same layout on a seven-seater are too great for them to feature on the Zafira.
The new Vauxhall Zafira is set for launch in 2012, and is said by Vauxhall to be more grown-up and sophisticated than its predecessors, a decision no doubt influenced by the success of its rivals.
The shape of the next Vauxhall Zafira draws nothing from the outgoing model, but incorporates differently expressed Astra/Insignia features such as the side blade, grille and wing-shaped headlights.
The interior has plenty of influence from the forthcoming Vauxhall Astra, too, though Vauxhall’s mission is to move its MPV up a class, into Ford S-Max territory.
The Zafira’s three-row flexible seating system has been completely redesigned and provides independent seats for all occupants. The middle and rear seats can all fold away, leaving a perfectly flat load space.
The next Zafira range is also likely to be offered with Ecoflex-badged versions – Vauxhall’s low-CO2 sub-brand.
A company insider insisted the FlexDoor system would be seen on other GM Group cars in the future, although they would not be drawn on specifics.