I've been driving Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 Club for more than 4 years now. Originally bought for £5,000 in 2006 I was satisfied with my decision.
Being the oldest son and the only driver in a family of 6 with two little sisters aged 7 and 5 I was forced to look for something bigger than a 5 seated car which looked reasonably compact and has some space. I was so surprised that Zafira has met my expectations comparing to other similar models. This car is perfect for carrying kids, thanks to the seating - and there's lots of space for lugging less precious loads. In fact not only kids enjoyed being driven in this vehicle, it was my friends who were always over the moon to be taken by me on the nights out, trips and all sort of social activities, the only drawback of having such a car is the fact that I was always a dedicated driver. Well I am not great drinker anyway but having a car which can be transformed into a mini-van with a simple rear and middle seats adjustment has its own benefits , you can fit a mattress at the back, put in some pillows and blankets and you may well have a proper mini version of caravan.
If you are after transporting some huge staff; listen to this. I have managed to squeeze a two seated sofa, on a different occasion it was a cooker, I can still recall transporting a fridge. Yes 1.6 litter engine may lack some horse powers but it can still be driven fully loaded and with a roof rack attached, it can still manage 70 miles per hour on motorway with no apparent struggle and it can still be classified as economical.
The Club version of this car has air conditioner, electric front windows, the original radio is a bit of shamble really, well mine had cassette player or rather cassette chewer, I have swapped it for a more serious Sony xPod CDX player with USB/Aux connections and mp3 reading capabilities and it was such a difference. In fact the factory installed speakers are decedent in it turns of handling 4x52 Watts outputs and the quality of sound is a top-notch .
Mechanically, I had few issues when I hit 60K miles on my speedometer. I had to replace few things like a water pump, a timing belt, a belt that connects to the generator, a battery, one of the sensors that were connected to the exhaust. But the cost of the parts and the labour is very cheap since it is a local UK build car. The normal servicing parts are cheaper, to change the oil and replace all the filters as well as plugs would cost around £30 if you buy them from Euro Car Parts or similar supplier. If you can do it your-self like me then running cost of this car can be minimal.
So if you decide to go for this car and buy second hand, make sure that the timing belt has been changed. This car with regular servicing should not bother you until 50 -60K miles when the timing belt and other parts has to be replaced , but since most of the old type Zafiras are old enough and are well over 60K miles this should not be a problem as longer as the car had a decent service history.
Overall, I would still recommend this car as it is fun to drive, very comfortable, spacious to carry kids and drunken friends. Could be transformed to a mini-van, sound system is of the good quality, interior is basic but it can do for a big car like this. The running cost of this car is relatively cheap comparing to other similar model cars. The insurance band is surprisingly low although the road tax will be higher than average since it is a 7 seater.
Have had two of them this ones better than previous one.
Very well designed good looking car, smart interior,fantastic storage and really good for wheel chair users. It has a high driving seat position ideal for people with back problems It also has a cd/radio player,front passenger tray for storage underneath the seat. Front and rear pockets and holders for drinks emergency break and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
Generally comfortable lots of space to move around however seating could be better. The only downside is that to access the back two seats you have to move the entire center seats forward. It has good air conditioning with a activation light great for when your too warm.
Easy to control smooth steering is very easy good cornering and road holding and quiet engine
Good safety locks at side doors and no rear electric windows which is safer if you have children.It has a ABS however it has very prominent A pillars that obscure view especially from the right which is very bad on roundabouts and junctions which is quite dangerous.
It requires quite a lot of petrol
Pleurisy now diminishing, what say I launch into a 5-year progress report on our much respected, if not exactly loved Zafira. According to Wiki, the Zafira was named after a Hungarian porn actress called Zafira. She recently underwent breast enlargement because one breast was larger than the other. Hey - same's true of my hands. We should meet.
Here's an early disclaimer:
I know bugger all about cars. I let mankind down. I am as worthless as a worm.
I can drive.
I know where the petrol goes.
So, purpose of disclaimer is to get people who watch Top Gear off my back from the off. There will be no talk of bhp, torque or carburettors. Hey -I spelt it right. No red line. Cool. This will be a simple explanation of experience/costs/likes and dislikes and practical stuff like wot I do know about. All technical stuff will be dispelled in the first section.
What the f**K does that mean?
That done, down to the nitty-gritty (which is apparently a very racist term, related to the slave trade but I can't remember from whence it came).
The Zafira was pretty much based on the old Astra with a slightly extended chassis. The Astra was not especially good-looking and hey - guess what? My wife dislikes it's looks totally. She likes minxy in a car and this ain't it. It isn't ugly - just bleugh. Very non-descript. The stubby bonnet sweeps up to a large windscreen and on to the long, essentially rectangular body. Very little in the way of curves here. The rear drops precipitously to the tail. Ours is silver. So it is also shiny.
Inside, the layout is much like the Astra. The dash (and I did have an Astra by the way, once, in a former marriage) is a large chunk of black plastic with black control knobs. The usual stuff is there - and that's it. No bells and whistles in our rather basic model. The car came with a CD player. So what I hear you say? Well bugger off, I'm struggling to impress here. The glove compartment is roomy enough for the first aid kit (we don't even remember is there) and snotty tissues that get thrown in from time to time. The electric window control sits on the door arm rest.
In the back, there is little to talk about other than the drink holders and side pockets.
All-in-all pretty unimpressive stuff. Nothing to make anyone whoop in delight. So then - the beauty of the car must lie elsewhere. And it does.
Which, for once, is good.
The car is a seven-seater MPV. Now this isn't something unique - just something I think the car does very, very well.
My sister has a Galaxy. Also a seven seater. Now, if on one very boring Sunday afternoon I were to challenge to an inter-family 'Who can convert their 5-seater to a 7-seater and then back again' race I would seriously whoop her ass. I have a competitive streak, OK?
As she was struggling to get her seats from where-ever she last buried them, clip them in, and then unclip them I would have finished, flown to Milan for a cappicino, and then got home. With a tan.
On the Zafira, everything sort of slides out of the way and/or into position. The rear seats are stored under the middle seats when they are not up. You just move the middle seats forward, Slide up the rear seats to a vertical position and er.... That's it.
I have heard a few people complain that the rear seats are not that comfortable but we just shove the kids on them and if they complain I ignore them. They never have anyway. The kids have ample leg room back there, leaving the kids in the middle with plenty to spare as well. I admit, adults might get a bit squished in the very back after a long journey but I doubt it would be any more than you would get in the back of a hatchback.
Off course, when the seats aren't up there is a huge storage space in the back - easily challenging an estate car. If you want, you can have just one rear seat up and leave the equivalent to a 'boot' next to it.
If you have anything long to get in, all the rear and middle seats will collapse to near flat. We've had doors in there, a wardrobe - all sorts and still shut the boot. To cut funeral costs, you can put a coffin in it.
Cost a lot?
The care has, in 5 years (60,000 miles) been through 2 and half sets of tyres and 2 sets of brake pads and the end/middle exhaust section. The servicing has been done on time, so far for about £150 a pop. It's had, I think 4. All done at Vauxhall apart from the last one, where we went to the independent garage round the corner. Nothing major needs doing. Yet.
However - twice now, the engine warning light has popped up with the useful manual telling us to take it to a Vauxhall garage to attach to the computers. Both times the warning was an error. Both times it cost £50 to attach it to the computer to tell us it was an error. In a way, it is a testament to modern computer technology that everything works so well that the computers get bored and 'pretend' there is something wrong 'for a laugh'.
Fuel economy is diminishing rapidly with age. Where once it probably clawed 35mpg, 25mpg is now a more realistic proposal. Put it this way, every school holidays I go to Check Point Charlie in Newbury to pick up my 2 kids from the ex. Actually it's Sutton Scotney services but there is no adventure in the admission. This is a 430 mile round trip which costs £85 in the Zafira not including the M6 toll road (traditionally, you paid to use a toll road to avoid bandits, nowadays you use it to subject yourself to daylight robbery). It costs £40 in the 206 deisel. No contest.
You would not think you were in a seven-seater that's for sure, The elevated driving position is actually quite cool and makes you feel big and safe. The car handles like a car. Like an Astra to be precise. It is perhaps a little bit skittish under acceleration in terms of steering but it does accelerate pretty well for a heavy tank of a car. Around town, it's nippy, which it really shouldn't be. On the motorway, 5th gear still has heavy revs I find which I don't like. It's quite noisy and feels like it must be drinking the fuel with a straw.
Having said that, we have done some pretty large runs in it (Scotlad) with everyone fairly comfortable - including the driver (me - hi!).
Do things fall off it?
No but a few things have gone kaka on it but not the cars fault.Firstly, there is a detachable rear shelf/boot cover. This clips into a couple of holes on either side of the rear passenger compartment. These are the exact size of Oidz - you know - those magnetic anusol suppository shaped things for kids. When an 11 year sticks an Oidz in one hole and the 3 year-old copies and shoves one in the other hole you can no longer attach your rear shelf. Vauxhall obviously didn't do their research, or failed to take into account that children are sort of retarded.
As further proof, when a short 11 year-old opens the boot to get football boots out and then tries to shut the boot - he can't reach. Obviously the eleven-year old will jump up to grab the boot lip, allowing his weight to pull it down. If he grabs the middle.
If he jumps to grab the right edge instead, his weight will only be enough to bend the hydraulic door-arm, rendering it useless and spraying hydraulic fluid all over himself. From this point on, the one remaining hydraulic arm will be insufficient to hold the boot up by itself, requiring you to balance the boot on your head.
Now, I'm a tolerant man.....................
Other than the involvement of children, the build quality has been pretty good and nothing else has broken.
Well, that's exhausted my scope of car interests. Let's face it - cars are pretty complicated and exhaustive things and I could go on forever - but there is only so much strength I can muster and soon I will begin to delve into things of which I know nothing.
In summary - it isn't pretty. It isn't all that economical to run, though servicing so far hasn't been very painful.
It is hugely practical. We genuinely need 7 seats on a regular basis and having the Zafira means not having to use 2 cars to go everywhere, which does balance the fuel consumption somewhat. It has been very reliable and little has gone wrong we could blame the manufacture for.
The £10,000 we paid 5 years ago with 3000 miles on the clock has been money well spent.
Actually - one thing I just remembered - all those moving parts and collapsing seats make it a bugger to clean - the bits of cake, finger and crisp packet manage to get into every nook and cranny - places most vacuums live in claustrophobic fear off.
Thanks for reading.
May also be found on other review sites where this review, due to the fact that there will have been dozens similar, will pay about half-a-penny per read. If I'm lucky!
It was that blissful, summer month of May 2003 and three, and my mates parents could not resist but drive to their local vauxhall deler, and drive a 1.6 Club Zafira away from the clutches of the showroom manager. So straight from the horses mouth, here's what my mate has to say on life with a Zafira.... The Zafira is a big car, and it can seat up to seven people, although i find that the rear seats are useless. The other seats are very comfortable though, and the trim is quite pleasing to the eye. The engine on this model is under powered, motorway over-taking is not an option, and it is noisy when revved. It drinks petrol, and does approximately 23 mpg, to our knowledge. The servicing costs a small fortune, and the car doen't have many mod cons for the price we paid, in my opinion. Albeit there is air conditioning, but there is no Cd Player. Overall, in my opinion, it is best avoided. i woul recommend the VW Touran, because it has a better specification for the proce, or Ford Focus CMax 2.0 TDI Six speed Zetec, because it has the most fuel-efficient and powerful engine of the cars I have mentioned. Finally, I would say that the Zafira could have been a good car, but Vauxhall has ruined it. So there you have it, my mate's opinion on the Zafira. I will be happy to pass on any questions or queries to him!!!
Ive just this minute got back from a bowling tournament. Our bowling coach hired out a Zafira to get us there and back. There was 7 of us, and rather handily ( is that a word ) there is 7 seats. On the way there I was sat on the second row, the leg room is ample, well maybe more than ample if it hadnt of been for the dozen or so bowling balls ladden about the car/mpv thingy. However on the return journey, considering this is a 100 mile trip from Notts to Aylesbury, I was stuck in the back seat. If they can be called seats, the leg room is awful! I am only 5"10" and i looked like a 7fter in a train seat. I had to sit with my head on the ceiling, and rear end perched half way up the back of the seat ! The Zafira does have a lot of good points, these include decent stereo system, swift accelration and mid range pickup. The build quality is excellent and you can feel this whilst cruising along the motorway at 100mpoh, not a thing rattling or engine purring louder than a cat. And as the man on the telly says...its got 37 ( i think ) seat combations thanks to flex 7 techonlogy. And indeed it has, very good design indeed.
Having owned my Zafira for 14 months and driven 14,000 miles, I have to say I am really pleased with it. I have a family of four; a wife and two children aged 11 and 6. The reason we originally bought the Zafira was mainly because we had previously owned a Vaxhall Corsa, and whilst we we happy with the make, we definately wanted to 'stretch out'. We opted for the Zafira, fearing that it would be a little on the large side for our needs. Well, in the last year or so I have lost count of the times we have been glad of the ability to carry six/seven people. My eldest has some kind of juvenile radar for spotting his mates in town who we could invite home for dinner! It may, perversely, be a disadvantage that having such flexibility does seem to turn you into the local taxi. Anyway, the good points about the Zafira are the seating flexibility (I drove to Liverpool and back from Torquay to watch a football match with six adult passengers, and no-one required physiotherapy), reliability (no problems at all), performance, fuel economy, handling (far better than my old Corsa!), equipment level, and overall build quality. The negatives are few, but worth a mention; Oil - I never had to top the Corsa up. Never. I am glad I checked the Zaf 'cause it drinks oil! To be fair, the manual does mention this as being the case in the engine's early miles, so it should ease off. Plastic clips - the plastic panels on either side of the boot that provide access to the rear light bulbs, and provide a useful storage area, are retained by some clips. These have broken twice and although are cheap at 65p to replace, should be stronger. Radio/CD - The CD is excellent, and I really like the facility to have the radio increase in volume automatically as road speed increases. The AM part of the radio is pants however! I am a big fan of Radio 5 Live and Talk Sports, both available only on AM. My radio has a very annoying habit of buzzing to make recep
tion of AM stations impossible. I have complained to the Main Dealer, but they maintain this is a common issue with no remedy. All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons, which to be honest are trivial. I hope the next fourteen months are as enjoyable drive-wise as the last.
The Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 Club Since its entry into the very competitive MPV market the Zafira has grown in stature and reputation. The brief was simple - spacious interior within a compact exterior. I have been the proud owner of one of these mid range people carriers for just over a month and it has been a revelation. This car performs very well - I have had up to five on board and the journey was very comfortable. When you first drive the Zafira you notice the raised driving position, giving a commanding views through the acres of glass. The multiple seating arrangements are fantastic and will satisfy even the most restless of passengers. The trim level is very high - even the base model, known as the Club. Goodies included are air conditioning, electric windows, heated and electric mirrors, rear seat passenger heating and fine stereo system. The raising seating allows for good passenger views and a good game for the children is 'Watch the Thermometer', which gives the outside temperature. The performance of the Zafira is surprising. The 1.6 engine spins freely and is very responsive through the close ratio gearbox. Fuel economy is good with infrequent visits to the pumps. Luggage space is excellent, with a huge, but lightweight tailgate allow good-sized loads in the rear of the car. The boot space can be customised to suit most needs. I would recommend a test drive of this mid range MPV if you are looking for a change and then take the plunge - and enjoy the endless hours of fun with the seating system.