Ths is a really horrible car!
The problem is noise.
I drive the far more expensive 2.2. model which cost me £20,000.
The noise; tyre noise, wind noise, engine noise is really hard to live with; within 5 minutes of me steppinginto the car it gives me a headache. On the mtorway, one of my children sitting in the back said it 'sounded like an aeroplane taking off'. I couldn't have put it better.
It seems well put together but it's refinement is the worst I have encountered in a new car in years. One Vauxhall employee told me (off the record) that it was the worst car for refinement that he'd driven since the mark 2 Escort .
Vauxhall have stone-walled me and the many other dissaisfied owners and refuse to admit to the problem (see other forums to see evidence of the levels of dissatisfaction). The dealers are obstructive, unhelpful and rude.
Really my worst purchase ever; TEST DRIVE BEFORE YOU BUY!!!!
The Vauxhall Zafira is one of the most popular compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) on the market. Out of all its competitors it accounts for 40% of all 7 seater MPV Sales.
*~*~*Which model am I reviewing?*~*~*
I am reviewing the Vauxhall Zafira Life 1.8i 16v petrol model with 140bhp that we hired for 4 days.
It is the latest model from Vauxhall after recently being revamped last year, it is a 5 door model with a seating capacity for 7 passengers.
The Zafira does come in different engine sizes as you would expect the smallest being a 1.6i and the largest being a 2.0i Turbo with 240bhp.
I am used to a 1.25i fiesta so to drive this it obviously felt much more powerful but for my partner it was a different story.
The "New" restyled Zafira is a lot sleeker and sexier than the previous model however it is still not that easy on the eye.
Less aggressive styling makes it a bit more family car orientated than people carrier, also with bodycoloured bumpers and less black plastic to the exterior this has fast become one of the most stylish MPV's on the market.I do not like the cars that look cheap with the plastic and I have noticed that a lot of car manufacturers are now offering bodycoloured bumpers and mirrors etc as standard and I like that on this model there is now a lot less plastic.
Our model was in the Star Silver 2 coat metallic paint which after a bit of research discovered costs a further £350 onto the base price of £15825.00. I personally would not pay for this if I opted to purchase this vehicle and go for the standard paint and find it atrocius that manufacturers can add this on to the price of a new car.
I am not a keen lover of people carriers but I do have to say that the improved Zafira looks a lot better than the previous model and is definitely styled in the correct way and compared to other people carriers we have recently had such as the Picasso and the Scenic this rates quite high on the list.
As an added plus the Zafira can boast a 5* Euro N Cap rating with twin, front, side and head air bags.Call me paranoid but I always check out where the airbags are when I gt into a car I like to know exactly how safe I am. The clever seat occupancy detection system works out whether the front passenger seat is occupied, and the facility to disable the airbag is also a great option for passenger seats fitted with a child seat.
My niece is still in a child seat and I would never put her in a passenger seat of a car unless I could have a guarantee to turn the passenger airbag off, my fiesta does not have this facility and I do wish that it did.
The Zafira is great in all angles for visibility apart from the small windows to the side of the vehicle just in front of the wing mirrors, these are a major distraction when driving down the dual carriage way or motor way, the white lines and cats eyes catch your eye constantly giving a flashing image which can be off putting.
The rear view visibility is great and there are not many blind spots within the vehicle.
The Zafira is renowned for its space from the advert with the two little boys showing you how easy it is to convert from a 4 seater to a seven seater in two easy moves. When the seats are all flat the space is unbelievable and you could have a real car boot sale in one of these and could even fit a double mattress, although I would not like to actually try!!
The "Flex 7" as it is known, allows the third row of seats to fold flat using a lever and the middle row of seats fold upwards as standard cars seats do as well as sliding forward, so the space is definitely a plus.
The front seats recline and there is well and truly enough space for 7 very tall passengers, this is not hard to imagine as the Zafira does seem to be fairly great in height so I am sure the tallest of passengers would feel as comfortable as myself a 5ft 4 individual and my boyfriend who is 5ft 8 he had plenty of room in the front, centre and rear seats.
One complaint I do have is that when all the seats are set up the boot space is minimal and if you have a young family this can only be a disadvantage as there would be nowhere to stock items that are required by younger children.
I have to admit that the interior of the Zafira is very disappointing the dash is very cheap looking and definitely very plastic looking and did absolutely nothing in convincing me that this car was in fact worth its weight in gold.
Two rear reading lights are fitted so that each row benefits from light when entering and exiting the vehicle and they can be adjusted to stay on and used as a reading light.
Each row has drinks holders, the front has them contained in the door, the centre consol and in third-row seat side armrests, ideally they would have been better located for the driver but you can't have everything I suppose.
Electrically front operated windows are standard on this model and all of the windows are tinted slightly but I am unsure if this is a bonus feature.
One feature that I always find a bonus is somewhere to put loose change and this vehicle is missing this facility which is something that should be considered as standard.
Air conditioning is standard in this model and is controlled by a rather large knob that turns to direct the ventilation and here is where we come across a major flaw, as the driver it is imperative that you become familiar with which position controls the flow of air as once you move the knob it is extremely difficult to see the instrument panel to the left and know what options there actually are, as I was not familiar with the car it was a major distraction if it had to be altered whilst driving.
The cigar lighter or the electric point is located under the handbrake and this makes it extremely difficult to use and the positioning was not the best compared to other cars, so for things such as Satellite Navigation the cable is overstretched to the power point and twists itself around the handbrake, definitely not a good feature to have.
The Zafira Life comes with a one disc cd player that has FM and MW reception on the radio with an automatic search feature.
There was no remote control option on the steering wheel to control the volume or change station so in a car that proposes to be safer on the road than others this is a feature that should definitely be considered as a family car and the distraction of children it would be a lot easier to change channels, tracks and volume from the safety of the steering wheel.
The interior features are pretty standard and what you would expect in the basic model of car, but this is not the basic so it is a bit of a let down as far as buttons and gadgets are concerned as in there not being any at all.
*~*~*Performance and Fuel Consumption*~*~*
The Zafira 1.8i 16v has a maximum speed of 122mph however the most we got was 100mph and then the car did not feel safe at all, the steering began to shake and I did not feel in full control of the vehicle so reduced the speed back down to a nice and safe 70 mph on the motorway.
The car takes just over 10 seconds to reach 60mph but believe me it feels a lot longer than this.
On a straight stretch of road the Zafira is not one of the best performers out their feeling sluggish at any speed, however on twisty roads the Zafira is a surprisingly good ride, maintaining stability at quite high speeds, easy to control and extremely responsive.
I have to say that the fuel consumption on this car was surprising using just half of its 58 litre tank of petrol on our journey of approximately 250 miles the statistics state that the Zafira can offer 36.2 miles to the gallon which is pretty efficient considering that it is petrol.
Insurance is not to bad either starting from Insurance Group 8.
The Zafira is a quiet drive too, that is until you let rip on the motorway and the noise of the wind just gets right into the car, this also affects the control as well as on open, windy roads the car does start to feel out of control.
*~*~*Safety and Security*~*~*
The Zafira is fitted with an engine deadlock immobiliser and remote control deadlocking to the doors tailgate and fuel flap. Something I always like remote central locking and even Vauxhall kept it simple with two buttons one to open and one to lock.
A fantastic feature especially for all those stressed parents is the audible warning when the key is left in the ignition which is an option more cars should have.
Now the safety features this car claims to have them all with side impact protection beams, ISOFIX child seat system for outer second-row seats.
As per most modern cars airbags are fitted as standard for the Driver and the passenger, ABS (Anti-lock braking system) and Child-proof locks.
There are many more safety features packed into the Zafira including the Pedal release system to reduce injury on front impact crashes.
Vauxhall have obviously tried to include as many safety features as possible but in my opinion there are not enough airbags for the number of passengers that this car carries.
In my opinion this car is not the best on the market and if I had to look to purchase an MPV the Vauxhall would not be my first stop.
The engine is adequate for its size and the price is ideal for the capacity it has.
I have to admit that I am disappointed with the cheapness of the interior and think that Vauxhall could well improve the interior to make it even more competitive.
The Zafira is definitely a great car if space is what you need and you have a large family however if you have a small family of 4 there is not really much need to purchase one of these cars but in my opinion there are much better cars available on the market at more competitive prices but the safety features may well win a potential buyer over.
Definitely a suitable car for a large family and for plenty of city driving, leave the motorway driving to a bus.
In my opinion Vauxhall's are very over priced and I would not be able to contemplate ever buying this vehicle even if I had the family to fill it as I REALLY do not see the purpose of these vehicles unless you area taxi firm.