It's larger and more luxurious than ever before... No wonder the Luton firm is betting its new Zafira Tourer will overtake the Ford S-Max in the race for sales when it goes on sale early in 2012.
Called the Zafira Tourer to distinguish itself from the basic Zafira, which will continue to be available, the newcomer made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Unveiling the car to the public for the first time, Vauxhall also confirmed that the entry-level ES badged model will cost £21,000 – £1,200 less than its key rival.
All cars promise plenty of kit, and the ES gets a 138bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine. Inside there's standard air-conditioning, a digital radio, cruise control and six airbags.
The car also gets an updated and evolved version of the the firm's innovative Flex7 seating arrangement, which folds flat to create an enormous load area.
As part of the new system, there is also storage in the cabin's roof, plus the option to adjust the seats in the rear to give passengers more leg and shoulder room.
The Zafira Tourer ES 1.8 (140PS) will come equipped with a comprehensive range of kit as standard, including air conditioning, a digital radio, cruise control, MP3/Aux In connections, six airbags, seven-speaker sound system, active headrests, and Flex7 seating.
Under the body, there's an all-new chassis that's been derived from the same one that underpins the Insignia. With a longer wheelbase and wider track, there's more room inside than before.
The Insignia's FlexRide adaptive damping system – a rarity in this class – will also be available as an option.
Safety has been a top priority too, and the Zafira gets Traffic Sign Recognition, Side Blind Spot Alert and Advance Park Assist – which helps drivers find an adequate parking space and guides them in to it – are among the option highlights.
Two new engines – a 1.4 Turbo petrol and a 2.0 CDTi diesel will join the 1.8-litre petrol unit. A 119g/km ECOflex version is also under development.
Cars will sit above the current Zafira in the Luton's firm line up, but won't replace it completely.
Zafira Tourer Prices
The 1.8i 16v (140PS) with 5 speed manual transmission starts at just £21,000 and comes with air conditioning, DAB radio, cruise control, MP3/Aux in connections, 6 airbags, 7 speaker sound system, active headrests and Flex7 seating. If diesel is what you're looking for, all cars come with a 6 speed manual gearbox. The 110PS engine starts at £22,265, rising to £22,950 for the 130PS ecoFLEX with Stop/Start technology.
The Exclusiv trim adds front and rear parking sensors, electric windows both front and rear, front fog lights and a USB connection with iPod control. Prices hike by £1,000 for the Exclusiv trim, with the addition of the 1.4i 16v Turbo engine which starts at £22,315. This benefits from a 6 speed manual or optional auto 'box. In addition, there are two diesels, 130PS and 165PS - the latter can be specified with an automatic gearbox.
The SE adds 17inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails and climate control. Prices kick off at £23,665 for the 1.4i 16v Turbo with manual 'box and climb to £26,965 for the 165PS 2.0CDTi diesel with automatic transmission.
For the same money as the SE (£23,665 - £26,995) you can get the sporty SRi. Standard kit over the Exclusiv include 18inch alloys, sports seats and pedal, and tinted rear windows.
Topping the range is the Elite trim level which throws in leather, a panoramic glass roof and individual 18inch alloys. The Elite starts at £25,165 for the 1.4i Turbocharged petrol, to £28,465 for the 2.0CDTi diesel with 165PS.