The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer's name is derived from the Arabic meaning ‘to succeed’.
It was a good name for Vauxhall’s three-generation range of seven-seat people carriers, because that’s exactly what they did. I owned two – a Mk1 and a Mk2 – and appreciated their amenable driving manners and Flex7 easy-fold seat system.
The Mk2 Zafira was launched in 2005 and clung on until 2014, two years after its posher sibling and the focus of this guide, the Zafira Tourer, arrived.
That the old-stager lasted so long was largely down to its lowish price, but by 2014 it was easily outclassed. Still, if it’s a cheap and roomy MPV you’re wanting, a one-owner, 2014-reg Zafira 1.8 Design with 52,000 miles and a full history for £5750 looks like value.
To its successor, then: the Zafira Tourer. It was launched in 2012, its job to offer an alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Sharan and Ford S-Max while keeping the flexible interior features that made the standard Zafira so popular.
It shared its platform with the then current Astra, so was longer and wider and therefore roomier than the older Zafira, as well as sharper-looking, with a striking ‘boomerang’ front light arrangement.
Inside, it remained impressively practical. In fact, it was even more useful than the Zafira thanks to the traditional centre row of seats being replaced by three individual and sliding chairs (on some models the middle one can be shunted out of the way, allowing the outer pair to move inwards a little) and the adoption of the sliding FlexConsole storage system.