Vauxhall Zafira Review logo

Vauxhall Zafira Review

hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello

1/10

hello

2/10

hello

3/10

hello

4/10

hello

5/10

hello

6/10

hello

7/10

hello

8/10

hello

9/10

hello

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2012
      Body type
      MPV
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“ Good value seven-seat MPV ”

Best bits

  • Enjoyable and comfortable to drive
  • Some really good engine choices
  • Does a decent job on practicality

Not so great

  • Interior quality is mixed
  • Various bits of optional kit should be standard
  • Some rivals are even roomier

Read by

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front Side View

Overall verdict

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front Interior

On the inside

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Rear Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer isn’t the most practical, the most versatile or the best-to-drive car of its type. It’s not the highest in quality or the most generously equipped, either. However, it’s still a good all-rounder that does a very solid job in all these areas, and it’s good value for money, too."

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front Side View

Despite the incessant rise of the SUV, there’s still plenty of merit in a good old MPV. For starters, the boxier shape means they’re often a big roomier than an SUV, and with a seven-seater, surely that’s important, right?


And in the Zafira Tourer, Vauxhall offered one of the more compelling choices in the SUV market. Its curvier styling made it look swisher and swoopier than most of its boxy rivals, and with competitive prices and low running costs, it was good value (even better for used car buyers, obviously). Granted it wasn’t the roomiest car of its type, but it was competitive on that score and its seating system was as clever and as versatile and anything else in the class.


Sure, the car had some idiosyncrasies. Early versions had a bafflingly confusing dashboard design (sorted out on later examples by a new touchscreen system), interior quality was a bit hit-and-miss, while a complicated and inconsistent trim structure made it rather difficult to choose the version that was right for you.


However, it was one of the better cars of its type to drive. The ride was forgiving enough to keep the family comfortable, while the handling was sharp enough to let the driver have some fun once the kids had been safely delivered to school.


So, while the Zafira Tourer isn’t exactly a stand-out class-leader in any given area, it’s competitive in pretty much all of them, and it’s also an affordable choice. For families on a budget, that’s simply got to make sense.


Is the Vauxhall Zafira right for you?

Admittedly, the seven-seat MPV class isn’t exactly the most stylish sector of the market there is, but you could argue that the Zafira Tourer is one of the more stylish offerings out there. It’s also one of the more enjoyable offerings to drive, with sharp handling, responsive steering and very decent performance. 


Of course, any MPV needs to deliver on the practicality front, and the Zafira does an entirely reasonable job, even if some rivals do better on that score. The other thing that the Zafira does well is value, because you’ll get a lot of car and a lot of space for a very competitive price. Choose the right engine, and it should be cheap to run, too. That’ll make it a very wise choice for families on a budget.


What’s the best Vauxhall Zafira model/engine to choose?

For most buyers, we reckon the 1.6-litre diesel is the pick of the engines. It has enough urge to get you around easily and reasonably briskly, and it’s also impressively quiet, yet it keeps purchase prices and running costs down. Petrol fans will want the perfectly adequate 1.4-litre turbo, while those after more performance will prefer the 170PS 2.0-litre diesel.


On the trim front, you’ll want a Techline car if you can find one. These were versions aimed at company car fleets that came fully loaded despite being cheaper than most other versions (private buyers were discouraged from buying these versions with hefty discounts on the other), so used buyers should stand to make savings on them, too.


What other cars are similar to the Vauxhall Zafira?

As a seven-seater SUV of a certain age, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer had no shortage of rivals to compete with. Probably the most recognisable of them - not to mention the best - were the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, the Ford S-MAX and the Volkswagen Touran. 


The Renault Grand Scenic was another popular choice one-upon-a-time, while the Mazda 5 and Toyota Verso also offered buyers fairly compelling alternatives. Less so the Dodge Journey and Chevrolet Orlando. These days, MPVs have made way to SUVs as the popular way to provide seven seats, and there are far too many of those to mention here.


Learn more

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front Interior

On the inside

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Rear Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Front View

Prices, versions and specification