There are some great engines at GM which could have been installed in the Vauxhall Zafira, from a peppy 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel capable of nearly 70mpg and sub 110g/km CO2 emissions to a 192bhp, 2.0-litre diesel that would fling it to 60mph in little more than 8 sec.
Vauxhall chose to save its most appealing powertrains (and any choice of automatic transmission) for the more expensive Zafira Tourer. Instead and as outlined earlier, the choice was a 1.8-litre petrol or a 1.7-litre diesel chugger, albeit both available with two outputs.
Both motors provide performance as unremarkable as you’d expect from a car as antediluvian and dynamically unambitious as this, neither offering a prayer of reaching 60mph in a single digit number of seconds without being pushed off a cliff first.
Then again, who is ever going to want to buy a Zafira and also want to go fast? Vauxhall did ask the question with the extraordinarily contradictory Zafira VXR and customers – or the lack thereof – provided the answer in short order.
But just because you don’t want to go to the Nurbürgring and set a time doesn’t mean you have no expectations of the way what little performance there is should be delivered. It should at least be a pleasant car to move through the gears. And it is, just about.
The choice between petrol and diesel is not as easy as it first seems. Instinctively we’d suggest the diesel for, as we shall see, there is a considerable advantage in fuel consumption and what little performance deficit is incurred is unlikely to be regarded as a great loss by the typical customer.