The Zafira Tourer is an easy and agreeable car to drive, with quite lively performance when not heavily laden.
There are times when a few extra seats in a car can come in very handy. Families with more than three children need something beyond your average five-seater to accommodate everyone. So do those who want to let the kids take friends on a trip with them, or maybe include the grandparents in family outings. Hence the popularity of seven-seaters. Several manufacturers have them in their car ranges, and one of the original and most successful models of recent times is Vauxhall’s Zafira.
First launched in 1999, the Zafira pioneered a trend that led to a string of rivals. Now in its third generation, the latest model has both grown in size and gained a longer name, badged as the Zafira Tourer.
Prices start from £21,000 for a 1.4 litre petrol model and rise to nearly £28,000 for the best-equipped two-litre diesel version. The car we test here, with a 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX turbodiesel engine, is expected to be the best selling model in the range. With a smart-looking MPV body and three rows of seats, it has sub-120 g/km CO2 output and an average fuel economy figure of over 60 mpg in the official test cycles.
The Zafira Tourer is an easy and agreeable car to drive, with quite lively performance when not heavily laden. Driven two-up on a test route through the Fens, where the terrain is generally flat, the car displayed a reasonable turn of speed and behaved slickly through the gears. In hilly country with a full load of passengers it has a harder task, but the robust two-litre diesel engine is very adequate for the job. It has a respectable acceleration time of around ten and a half seconds from 0-62 mph, and a top speed of 120 mph.