Ride quality is generally pretty fair over most road surfaces, and the Zafira absorbs most of the bumps well enough, although it can become a touch jittery over a damaged surface.
Ride and Handling
Ride quality is generally pretty fair over most road surfaces, and the Zafira absorbs most of the bumps well enough, although it can become a touch jittery over a damaged surface. This is quite a tall car, and you cannot expect it to handle of the bends with sports car agility, but for the type of vehicle it is, the handling is assured and there is not too much body lean on the bends. Most drivers will find the ride and handling very acceptable.
The steering is nicely engineered to be light enough to make hauling the car into a tight car park space an easy enough task. The disadvantage of this is that it can sometimes feel a bit lighter and less meaty than we’d like on a fast drive along a bendy road.
Ease of Use
The original Zafira was a significant trend-setter. It was not the first car to have a third row of seats that folded down into the floor, but it was the model that showed how neatly and cleverly it could be achieved. So clever interior packaging and flexibility has always been part of the Zafira’s armoury, and that continues and has been further improved in the Zafira Tourer.
All seven seats are separate, and the middle row of three is particularly versatile, capable of being slid fore and aft individually to vary legroom and access. The two outer seats in the middle row can also be made to slide inwards towards to the middle seat, which can be folded to create armrests and turn the car from a seven-seater into a slightly more luxurious six-seater.
All the seats are pretty good for comfort, but when all are occupied there is only a very small area remaining at the back for luggage, just 152 litres. Fold down the second and third rows to leave a long, flat floor space, and as a two-seater the Zafira Tourer has 1,860 litres of load space. Although stowage around the car is not too bad, and includes door pockets tailored to accommodate bottles, the quantity of stowage is not as generous as in some other seven-seat models. Vauxhall claims there are 30 separate stowage points around the car, but some are very minimal.
For anyone who dislikes the chore of parking, the optional automatic parking system does the job for you, using front and rear sensors linked to a central computer processor. The system can detect a suitable space and works out the optimum angle to shoehorn into it, then controls the car’s passage into the gap.