Zafira Dual Fuel 1.8 Comfort

17 Sep, 2002 6:38pm Craig Cheetham

Buy this car and next year you could have the holiday of a lifetime! It's not some competition, but that's what you could afford with savings you make driving 10,000 miles every 12 months in the latest version of Vauxhall's popular Zafira. It could leave you with £2,500 a year extra in your wallet - or enough for a family trip that you'll never forget.

Verdict

The Zafira already makes great sense for families, and the Dual Fuel option adds to this. With huge potential savings each year, plus a similar driving feel to the standard car, there's no reason not to buy this version - especially now LPG is easier to find.
Buy this car and next year you could have the holiday of a lifetime! It's not some competition, but that's what you could afford with savings you make driving 10,000 miles every 12 months in the latest version of Vauxhall's popular Zafira. It could leave you with £2,500 a year extra in your wallet - or enough for a family trip that you'll never forget.

With LPG costing a little over half the price per litre of petrol, the car manufacturer has long been among the keenest promoters of alternative fuel technology. Fleet managers have already warmed to Dual Fuel versions of the Omega, Vectra and Astra - but the Luton-based company is hoping its latest LPG model will appeal just as strongly to the private buyer.

For £995 more than a standard Zafira 1.8 Comfort, the Dual Fuel version incorporates a 50-litre gas tank mounted where the spare wheel usually sits underneath the boot floor. That means the fold-away rear seats used in the Flex7 system are unaffected by the installation, although you'll have to make do with a can of puncture repair foam if you get a flat.

You don't need to worry about being caught short of an LPG filling station, though, as the car also has a full-size petrol tank as a back-up - giving the people carrier a potential range of more than 700 miles using both fuels.

But is the transition to LPG really a viable proposition, or does it mean too many compromises to satisfy all but the most frugal of buyers? In the Zafira, there's no argument. Petrol or LPG can be selected by simply flicking a button on the dash, and the switch between the two fuels is barely noticeable.

When running on gas, the Vauxhall feels slightly less lively than it does on petrol and lacks the same low-down torque, but on motorways or around town it's virtually impossible to tell which fuel the car is running on - until you come to pay at the pumps! Topping up is simply a case of plugging the nozzle into the car's filler, and you'll find that most of the bigger service stations now have an LPG pump, and more are being installed every day.

By using gas, the MPV will return 24.8mpg - a drop of about 7mpg over petrol - but with the alternative fuel costing only 37p a litre compared to the UK average of 73.5p for unleaded, the potential savings are obvious. Sure, the Dual Fuel Zafira is more expensive to buy than a standard model, but even average mileage drivers will recoup £2,500 by mainly using LPG.

For the family driver, that means no more scrimping and saving for holidays, birthdays and Christmas presents - simply spend the change that's left from the 'petrol money' jar!

Key specs

* Vauxhall Zafira Dual Fuel on sale now, priced from £15,495
* Lower rate road tax of £110; exempt from congestion charges

Auto Express 1,343
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links