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Vauxhall Zafira Elegance 2.0DTi 16v 5-door MPV

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      10.02.2003 17:34
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      Vauxhall Zafira Elegance 2.0 DLT I originally meant to write this report 7 months ago,immediately after taking delivery of my new Zaffy as I was so impressed with it. Now that it is run in after covering some 10,000 miles,I feel I am in a better position to pass comment. From the outset,I had never really taken any notice of MPV’s/People Carriers or what ever other label takes your fancy. I had been a Vokswagen man for the past 17 years,driving all sorts of Golfs but last year my Mk4 (Still under Warranty) developed a niggling problem that their Customer Services just showed me 2 fingers. So there and then,I decided to ditch it and look for something different. VW make great cars but unfortunately because of the attitude of their Customer Services,I will NEVER buy another car from their stable. Having a family consisting of 3 teenagers,we felt we needed something bigger and just by chance we were passing a Vauxhall garage (Gillespies of Lenzie,Nr Glasgow) so went in and had a look, Before we knew it,we were all away for a test drive for about 30 mins. There was no pressure from the salesman (Eddie Clements) and we eventually put pen to paper and bought it. I had never had a diesel before but sadly,there were no petrol ones available at the time and I guess I was just a bit impatient,so this time decided just to go for it. I have not been disappointed. Amazingly,the Zaffy was only about 6 inches longer than my previous Golf,but the difference in the back seat for my kids is tremendous -- no more pressing knees into the back of my seat. And the seats,great quality and a great driving position. The driver's seat has both manual height/reach/back tilt adjustment and lumbar support. Sitting higher up gives a better vew of the traffic all around. There are storage compartments all over the car,so you should find a place for everything. However,one thing that has
      annoyed me is the wipers. The car seems to have been set up for driving in Europe as the passenger wiper goes right up to the edge of the windscreen,wheras the drivers side stops about 2-3 inches from the edge,potentially creating a blind spot when the windows are dirty. I reported this to Vauxhall and a modification was put in but this made little difference. Everything else appears to be bolted down well although I have recently heard a few rattles somewhere in the back.... Nothing to worry about too much but I’ll keep an eye on it. Heck,is that not why I have the superb stereo radio/CD with eight speakers, as standard. The basic controls for the radio/CD (volume, radio search & CD to radio switch) are also mounted on the steering wheel, which means that you do not need to remove your gaze from the road to perform these functions. What an absolutely marvellous idea. Performance.... don’t be silly,this is a diesel!! In saying that,the 0-60 isn’t fast but on the motorway the puling power in the higher gears is tremendous and once moving,would sit all day at 90+. Because it’s a diesel,the fuel consumption is much better. On a recent journey to England,it returned approx 46mpg and that’s whilst keeping it above the speed limit with a full load. I guess I get between 500 -550 miles per tank which equates to approx 43mpg. A lighter right foot and I have had 49mpg. It drives just like an ordinary hatchback and corners really well. You do not get the impression you are in something bigger as it drives so well. In all the years I have owned petrol cars I have never had to fill the engine with oil between services. With the Zaffy,this is not the case. I have to put in about 1/2 ltr for every 750 mles.When I mentioned this to the salesman,he wasn’t aware of it but a quick,friendly chat with the service manager confirmed that it was part of the desig
      n of this particular diesel engine and should level off after approx 15,000 miles.We’ll see ..... Of course,the great thing about the Zaffy is the sheer versatility of it. How many cars nowadays can really be described as “family cars”? I have the potential of changing it from a 1 seater to a 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 seater in a matter of minutes.Anybody who says it is difficult to do should stick to riding a bike. Once mastered,it can almost be done with your eyes shut. The two 'extra seats' are located under the floor of the boot - you slide the whole middle bench forward and just pull one or both levers up, slide your middle seat back and Bob's your Uncle. Mind you,when all 7 seats are in place there is next to no room for anything else,but hey - you can’t have your cake and eat it! And the boot...... It’s just cavernous. On weekends away,I can fit a couple of sets of golf clubs plus all the luggage we need. Wth prevous hatchbacks,just try fitting 2 sets of clubs in the boot -- you’ll find you have to put your passengers on the roof !! Overall, this is an amazing vehicle, mainly for those who would like to combine the comfort of a family car with the capacity and versatility of a small van. It is awsome and something I have never regretted purchasing. If anyone is still in doubt about this vehicle’s capability,then don’t. It doesn’t get the ‘What Car’,car of the year in it’s section, for 3 years in a row for nothing.

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