I would just like to write a review on the Vauxhall Zafira 1.8, after having driven my dad's for a bit over the past few days. It is also worth pointing out now, that in light of everything else that I am about to write about this particular model of car it is the Comfort model and it is also a seven seater version of the Zafira. I have been told that this can often make all of the difference or so it would seem, but to me a car is simply only something that I am able to drive!
The car I am writing about is an X registration, but although it may be slightly older thansome of the newer cars (OK that is a bit of a state of the obvious remark there!) it still does have some of the fairly modern features. It has remote central locking (although this can still be done by way of using the good old fashioned key in the drivers' door); ABS; power assisted steering; air bags to both the front seats; air conditioning, and of course a CD player.
The car is a comfortable drive, although normally driving an older car I had to get used to the fact that the clutch is easier to touch and the brakes are also not as hard as mine! Having jolted it once or twice in the early stages, it is a car that within ten minutes is an easy ride (but as with all experienced drivers once you get behind the wheel of a car it is easy to pick up). I also enjoy the fact that you are a little higher up than most of the other cars on the road, and can see so much more than others! Notice I said cars, as no doubt somebody will make a wise crack comment about vans or other such vehicles!
In terms of space inside the car, I only really have to grumble about the fact that the dashboard is so big! There is so much space between the steering wheel and the front windscreen, I had to remember that there was even more in front of me to take care of when driving! I am going to slightly condratict myself now in light of something I said in my initial paragraph, but the boot space is fairly spacious - I have noticed that in many people carriers, there is not a lot of boot space to play around with but in Zafiras in particular I can honestly say that there is a decent amount in comparison to other such cars and even in comparison with other smaller cars.
You will no doubt have noticed that I have stated that in some ways I have actually contradicted myself, and this is because of the statement I made about this being a seven seater - and then going on about boot space. Well, the two seats that are located in the rear most part of the car are also located in the boot space - and can be folded up in to the floor either doubly or as single seats, in order to create some form of boot apce as required. I do so also believe that the three seats in the middle row of the car (which are the rear most seats in most) can also be split to be folded down either leaving the single or the double up to create extra space, but I have not seen this.
In terms of fuel consumption, I filled the car up with £40 at my local Sainsbury's store (which is currently priced at 112.9 and has been for quite some time) at the start of this week which actually in fact pretty much filled the tank up according to the petrol gauge on the car, and have driven to Newquay and back (which is almost the far end of Cornwall from where we are in Plymouth) twice to take my parents down there and then picked them up again and have also driven a little just to keep the car going and there is just under a quarter of a tank full left in it still.
Extra features on this car that I didn't actually mention, are that there are controls for most of the extra added features on the actual steering wheel that can quite easily be used with your thumbs when driving to avoid you constantly having to look away which is something that I do actually like about cars! Not looking away, I mean by actually having the controls literally at your fingertips as it were.
Having been bought about eight months ago seconhand, it cost my dad about £1,700 from a local car garage. But of course, prices may always vary according to where you buy them and so on so take a good look around. In terms of repairs needed, there are hardly any that are ever needing to be doen and it passes its MOT every time first time around (at least according to the service history it has done!). Any work that does need doing is only minor repair work when and if it arises, as with almost any other car.
I cannot thoroughly recommend this car enough to you, so should you be looking for something like this then go for this one!
The Zafira is a great family car, comfortable, roomy and easy to drive. It is also reliable and fairly compact externally making it easy to park. We bought our Zafira four years ago as we needed the extra seats for occasional outings with grandparents, friends etc.
Having thoroughly researched the MPV market in advance, the Zafira stood out because of the ease with which the back row of seats could be raised for use and replaced into the floor of the boot when not in use. Many MPVs, such as the Galaxy etc required you to store the back seats elsewhere when not required! To be honest we don't actually use the extra back seats as much as anticipated but when we do there is more than adequate leg room for adults and the seats are fairly comfortable. However, this would not be the car for you if you wanted to have the back seats permanently up as this renders the boot space virtually non-existant. When these seats are not in use the boot is enormous (we've managed to get a fully erected pram in there!).
My only criticism of the car is that the front upright crashbars on either side of the windscreen are quite wide and can partially obscure your vision creating an occasional blindspot at a T junction. Other than that I would recommend it as a reliable family car.
Well, what can I say? If you haven't yet got a Zafira, go out and buy one right now!!! I've had a Cavalier, 3 Vectra hatchbacks and most recently a Vectra Estate, and the Zafira is better than all the others put together! I bought the 1.8 16V Elegance, and it's wonderful! O.K. I admit, I only bought it this morning, but I started driving, and didn't want to stop, and as I'd taken a day off from work to collect the vehicle I gave in to my urges, and have covered almost 200 miles already!! My 6ft 3in son was with me, and has tried out all the seats for size, even the third row. He'd have problems with comfort in the third row seats, but he has abnormally long legs, so that's not totally unexpected! He has more room in the back than in any previous vehicle I've owned, and is as deeply in love with the Zafffy as I am. I haven't found anything to complain about so far, it handles beautifully, is instantly responsive, (although it took me a while to get used to the smaller engine, my last Vectra was a 2.2) and is an absolute joy to drive. I have the new model, which has a few more refinements than previous models, the seating fabric is velour rather than the old harsh fabric, the centre console is charcoal grey instead of black, and the instruments have chrome edging, very classy. The second row of seats is now a 40-20-40 split, which is far more practical than 60-40. I've heard people complain that it takes a lot of effort to put the third row of seats up or down, and all I can say to that is RUBBISH! I'm a mid forties woman, with a touch of arthritis, and it takes me less than 2 minutes to make it into a seven seater, or back into a five seater. It's so easy, everything just falls into place, all it takes is a little concentration the first time, and from then on, easy-peasy! I won't bore you with all the technical specs, just say again that I love this vehicle, and altough I never kee
p any car for longer than 18 months, I have the feeling that this Zafira will be replaced with another of the same!
There are six people in my family so my Mum decided to buy a Mitsubishi Space Wagon, although it is regarded a being a full sized MPV its proportions were actually quite small, making it easy to park, fast and good to drive. It wasn't until she saw the Zafira until she decided to replace it, the main problem being that the price of Mitsubishi parts are a total joke, they are often several times the price of other manufacturers. She decided to go for a Polar Sea Blue Elegance 1.8 16v (the dealer ALWAYS said 16v so I thought I'd better add it here!). The car took a while to come, initially because it was ordered with the optional seat coverings. However, the first one ordered had no foglights and although Vauxhall offered her a £500 refund my Mum decided to wait for another one. This may seem pathetic but the foglights are the main feature which distinguishes the Elegance from the other models. In the fog though they are much better than just full beam headlights. After waiting a while the Zafira finally arrived and it wasn't a disappointment. Just about every car magazine and show has put the Zafira down for its dull looks and bland dashboard but I think it's a good looking car. From the front, the sloping headlights give it a muscular chiseled look which is complemented by beefy 5 spoke alloys. The Zafira has very short overhangs which I think adds to it's looks. Inside, everything is clearly laid out, all in dark plastic which gives the cabin a quality feel. I think the new Fiat Multipla looks awful and creative as the dash is, I don't think I could live with it. The soundquality of the stereo is excellent, my Mum opted for the cassette player instead of the standard CD player which I think was a good idea, with a cassette player you can use an adaptor to play CDs and MDs as well as cassettes. There are controls on the steering wheel for the stereo, I know Vauxhall are far from the first to do this but I st
ill think its a very good feature to have as you can adjust the stereo without taking your eyes off the road. So what about the biggest selling point, the seven seats? The design of the Zafira is clever though not as unique as Vauxhall claim. In the Space Wagon, the rear seats folded down into the floor to make room in the boot. The sixth and seventh seats are very easy to put up and down, the only disadvantage is that you have to move the middle seats forward. The back seats are a reasonable size, when I have have swapped palces with her so I am driving she has found the room at the back to be perfectly acceptable. With the back two seats down there is plenty of bootspace although there is virtually none with them up. To get round this, we put a roofbox on which hardly affects the cars performance. Even if you are unlikely to use them when they are folded down you will never notice them but they could be handy if you ever need to carry more than five people. I haven't actually driven a Multipla but seeing it on TV with 6 people looks uncomfortable, I like the room you get in the Zafira as a driver. The Elegance comes with ABS, traction control, electric sunroof, CD player, alloys, foglights, air-con, front electric windows, deadlocks, alarm, roof rails and a radio key fob. The ABS is good although the standard brakes are very powerful. The Zafira features brake discs all round which means even in wet conditions I've done emergency stops without the ABS kicking in. The traction control is good as well, I haven never driven a car with a traction control featuring electric brake force distribution (this feature can brake individual wheels to prevent them locking up). Most of the time you don't notice the Traction control however, one time when I was taking the dog in the car for a walk I had to drive up a stepp gravel track which had a layer of snow over it. The Zafira had no problems tackling it, I just drove up it as I woul
d normally drive up tarmac, the only exception was that the little traction control light flashed an awful lot! The only problem with the car was with the alarm which went off quite frequently, but this was fixed under warranty by Vauxhall, apparently there was a faulty sensor. One option I would suggest to avoid is the no cost option hand woven seat covers which are available on the Elegance. We have a Blue Roan spaniel and despite the fact he is only allowed in the boot of the car his hair always seems to appear on the seats and his white hairs show up very clearly on the dark fabric, which seems to attract them like a magnet. Onto what I think is the Zafira's strongest point, the engine and handling. The 1.8 litre engine doesn't look very impressive on paper only 115bhp and 113 lb/ft torque. However, the engine features a variable intake manifold which boosts torque at low revs giving a wide power band. On the road this means the Zafira smoothly climbs the rev range and startlingly fast, even at motorways speeds. Another feature of the engine is that it is very quiet, there have been times when I have sat in a carpark trying to get the engine to start, only to notice the revometer sitting at 800rpm. This does lead to the slight problem that it is very easy to go over the speed limit and not notice because the engine is so smooth and powerful. However on single carriageways it makes overtaking much easier as you can simply pull out, nip past the vehicle and back in again. You would think that the fuel economy would suffer but it doesn't, despite the Zafira having the same size of engine as the Space Wagon, the Zafira is both faster and more fuel efficient. Driving 150 miles to Edinburgh costs around £16 and that's not driving economically. Around town the fuel economy isn't as good but it's a relatively big engine and this is to be expected. The Zafira's handling is very good for the size it is, as it is qui
et a bit higher than the Astra it is based on. The power steering is quite light although it has a bit more weight in it than other systems I have used. The tyres are 195 width which gives the Zafira plenty of grip. Overall the suspension is quite stiff, not uncomfortably so but enough to prevent too much bodyroll in corners. The big disadvantage of the Zafira is price, my Mum added rear electric windows, pearlescent paint and dog guard which took the cost to over £18000. The Scenic is cheaper and comes with more equipment, and the same can be said for the Multipla. The other disadvatage is the looks which although I like, some people might prefer the Scenic or the Multipla for their looks. Reading through my review you probably think that I am overrating the Zafira but I am truly impressed by it, I think it Vauxhall have made a very impressive mini-MPV.