I bought a Zafira 1.9 CDTi 120 because I wanted a decent size car to transport my children, to carry large items, and be useful for holidays. And if I were to base the review on just these three parameters, then it would be a decent buy - however there are a few flaws with this model of Zafira.
The zafira, even with its van like proportions, is very handsome to look at. It certainly doesnt look offensive for a people carrier, and does look like a big Astra, which in my opinion is an attractive car.
The cabin is very big. Lots of headroom, lots of width, a huge boot (with the 3rd row of seats folded into the floor). Its also looks classy. However, there are many items missing from this car. As a people carrier, it should be clever. it should have cubby holes, and pockets, and storage in places where you wouldnt think to look. But in the cabin, there are thin, almost useless door pockets, a tiny space in the front armrest which is silly as the armrest folds out of the way, so all the items move all over the place, a tiny tray under the passenger seat....and thats about it. No floor bins anywhere (a scenic is brilliant for this). Also, there is no rear seat viewing mirror to observe the rear passengers. The seats are very attractive and look sporty which is nice. But on a long, or actually any, journey they are so firm and uncomfortable. The dashboard looks attractive though but is a bit lacking in equipment. Everything feels a little bit behind the times in technology. The range meter and fuel gauge are useless, as they don't actually seem to understand each other. The dial gauge will go up and down as it feels, and the range meter seems to always over estimate how much fuel is left and has to compensate - so one minute you have 200 miles range then 10 miles later it's down to 130! Its a bit crude. The 12v socket is also located in the most stupid place right under the handbrake. The stereo is ok, but the sound isn't the best. The 3rd row of seats are clever but also impossible to get into unless you are 6 years old.
The steering is heavy as is the clutch. Driving a Zafira Diesel in town is exhausting, and weirdly, for a diesel its very easy to stall. Its not especially economical, and the engine sounds very old fashioned and clattery. Its not fun to drive on that basis. There is also a lot of road noise. Parking it is also difficult without parking sensors as there are numerous blind spots. The handbrake is awful and very hard to use. The worst thing about the engine is the DPF filter. Vauxhall decided that the best way to burn off the Carbon build up was to throw fuel into the exhaust, burn it at 500 degrees and make the car smell like its on fire. And it always kicks in when you just arrive home so the DPF never gets fully cleaned. This car is just not suitable for urban driving as stop start driving will clog it up very quickly. As if it doesn't have a DPF clean successfully finished, it can cause £1000 worth of repairs
The auto lights and wipers are very sensitive, so you really can leave them do do their job well. The engine is strong (albeit very rough) and is great for overtaking and pulling.
So in my opinion, this car is fine as a big tool, For carrying flat pack furniture, for going on holiday with all the kids stuff in tow. Do not buy this car for the school run. Or for taxiing, or if you like driving. I recommend a Renault Scenic 1.5 DCi, or a Nissan Qashqai.
Review also on Ciao.
This is a really good car for families, I'm still amazed by the amount of space inside and all the things that I can fit in it - currently have two prams, a bike, a football and a coupe of bags in the boot and still room for shopping! It's very comfortable inside and smooth to drive, it's very reliable- the only problem I have ever had is with the back windows which have stopped working now a couple of times. It's good on fuel and I have found it fairly cheap to run. When I first bought a 'family car' I was a bit concerned that it would be slow and voting to drive but was supposed to find that for a big car it's not slow. I would definitely reccomend a zafira to anyone with children or who travels in the car on pot or just anyone who likes a lot of space.
I have had this car from new through motability for 2 and a half years, and got it when my kids were 6 and 2. I need a high sitting position due to long term mobility problems so this type of car is ideal. Prior to this I had a 3 Scenics which I loved, so I was unsure of how I would like the Zafira.
- I love the driving position is great and with a high roof the windows are all nice and big making it feel airy and bigger than it really is
- It's a nicely solid car and scores well on safety which was one of my biggest priorities.
- The seating is flexible though I cannot shift the rear row of seats at all as they are too heavy for me. To be honest we've only had the rear seats out a couple of times. However, when we did, there was still plenty of leg room for the kids and they loved being in the boot!
- The car handles speed well on motorways, and accelerates nicely from standing with the turbo
- The seats are comfy with reasonable lumbar support
- The rear seats are reclinable (to a limited extent) which is great for the kids on long journeys
- The boot space is extensive. It regularly carries the kids scooters along with shopping with room to spare. Its great for doing runs to the dump as you can fit so much stuff in. It has flat access (no lip to lift things over) so its easy for me to slide things in and out without hurting myself.
- It rolls somewhat on cornering
- Miles per gallon while good on motorway journeys (550 miles per tank) are not at all great on local journeys (300 miles per tank).
- To get the steering wheeel in a comfy position, you can't see the speedo or indicator lights
- The thick support columns to the side of the windscreen really obstruct your view at junctions and I find them really rather dangerous
- I struggle to shut the boot as the door is really very heavy
All in all its a good enough MPV and great for taking kids and all their kit and kaboodle about, and for those of us with stiff joints can get in and out pretty easily. If you need to stow a wheechair or mobility scooter in the boot you'll manage that fine.
Ive just got a second hand vauxhall zafira after having my second child .I also have three dogs so needed the extra room.Before i had a corsa and was worried about the big jump in size but have found the zafira easy to drive .I seem to be slightly higher up and the power streering is great.
I like the fact that the middle seat folds down as its extra storage for my childrens drinks and toys but also mean my 10 year old cant reach my other child and wake him up when hes asleep.
The black out back windows are good we have not had to got get those horriable sun shades.Its a very family friendly car the only down side i have is the hand brake its very hard to get off if my husband has been driving its like a upside down U shape im sure it has its own word for it but i dont know it.
The onboard display is very good and i find the mile count down for running out of fuel a great idea.
I had one of these as a courtesy car for just one week. And on first impressions I thought that I wouldn't be able to drive a people carrier! But once I get over the initial shock of the car I began to look round it, It didn't look to big for a people carrier and looking I could only see the 5 seats in it.
The model I got was a Vauxhall Zafira 1.9 CDTI Design. This is a diesel and was black in colour. I was told that it's based on the Vauxhall Astra and I can see the similarities of the looks. It had alloy wheels which were nice but not outstanding.
Inside the car - Ok finally after wandering round looking at it I decided to jump in the drivers seat to have a better look. It felt very high up which isn't a surprise for a people carrier. I wouldn't say it was very different to our Vauxhall Vectra, the steering wheel has the controls for the CD/radio which are very plain but do they job well.
The dash had on orange backlight for the speedometer. One thing I did notice though was there wasn't a temperature gauge on the car so you didn't know when it was warm enough to put the heaters on, I do actually find this necessary in the car to have one because Diesel cars take a lot longer to warm up and when it's -12 outside you don't want to blast yourself with cold air in the car.
The other extra with this car is it has a sport button, when you press this it has an orange light to show you it's on. This button is to obviously put the car in sport mode which greatly improves the throttle response and also better steering especially on corners, this is because the steering is quicker.
It has the usual built in CD/Radio which is also orange lighting on it, the stereo was loud enough and once changing some setting on it, it did sound pretty good.
With the radio display it also showed you how many miles you had left until you needed to fill up again. It also showed you miles per gallon but this also went up to 999.99 everytime the car stoped or slowed right down so again I wasn't overly impressed with it. It has a 6 speed gearbox which is very good for your fuel consumption.
The car is very spacious with more than enough leg room, the seats were part fabric and part leather which sounds disgusting but looks really good. The seats are also very comfy and all have headrests. In between the two front seats there is an arm rest which is great to lean on when you are driving or veen for the passenger but compared to the armrest in the Vectra it is very small and thin. It has a button at the front and when you press it the top half of the arm rest lifts open with a small storage space.
The driver seat moves up and down to adjust the height that you are comfortable with as well as usual cars moving back and forth.
There is electric wondows for the front and back of the car which can be controlled at each seat or all 4 can be controlled by the driver. As well as electric mirrors which is easy to adjust them to what way you are ocmfortable with.
The handbrake on this car is like a handbrake on a van, its U shaped. I don't really know how to explain what it's like but it does take a bit of getting used to. Below the arm rest and in between the handbrake there is a cup holder but it's difficult to use when you have the arm rest down, cup also gets in the way when you put the handbrake on.
The back of the car has 3 seats but you can pull the middle seat down to have a table which has two cup holders on it. There is also a storage net on the back of the front seats that would be good for papers and magazines. I was quite surprised to see that they didn't have pull down tables like the ones you get on an aeroplane and also other people carriers.
In the boot the boot door is very large and quite heavy to open. The boot is very large with definately more than enough room for a days shopping spree. It is very flat which I was surprised at because it does have the two seats folded down here. There is a cup holder on each side of the car for the two back seats. I didn't actually have a chance to pull these seats up to see what it looked like but have been told that they are very roomy.
The car is a 1.9 diesel which is the same as the Vectra but I have to say it is a lot nippier than the Vectra is. It seems to get up to 60mph very quickly which I was surprised about. And I have actually checked it and it says it takes 11.7 seconds from 0-62mph but I did actually feel that it was faster. But still very good for this type of car. I found the fuel consumption in this car was good, I put £10 in it just before it went back to the garage and it said that would do 120 miles but this did vary depending what speed I was doing so it's not the best way to tell how much miles it would do.
Ok the cost, because I haven't actually bought one of these I am going by prices on the internet. On www.vauxhall.co.uk the car is selling for £20,645.00 but will cost extra for some colours etc.
Overall it was a lovely car to drive, it has fantastic brakes on it like most vauxhalls do. It was comfortable to drive and would be fantastic for long distances, when I was in it I just wanted to keep on driving. I didn't find it difficult to drive this even though I thought I would because it's a lot bigger than i'm used to but it was easy and even parking was very easy. I would definately consider buying one of these if I had children because they have loads of space but not worth having one for just a couple.