Bold new Vauxhall Zafira

29 Oct, 2010 7:50pm Luke Madden

New Vauxhall Zafira MPV will get Ampera-style nose, and rear design inspired by Meriva.

Vauxhall’s seven-seat Zafira is turning on the style! Our exclusive images reveal a bold new look, which will help the practical MPV take the fight to class-leading rivals such as the Peugeot 5008 and Renault Grand Scenic when it goes on sale next year.

The company’s new design language has been updated for the Zafira. The most recognisable feature is the boomerang lights – first seen on the GTC Concept in 2007 and then the upcoming range-extending hybrid Ampera. 

Elsewhere, the car borrows a few trademark styling touches from other models in the range, including the blade motif on the flanks and the ridged bonnet. At the rear, the family resemblance to the smaller Meriva is clear. The crisp tail-lights stretch around to the sides, and a black panel between them gives the illusion of an extended rear screen.
 
However, there is one crucial difference: where the supermini-MPV is fitted with innovative rear-hinged FlexDoors, the new seven-seater will get a more traditional set-up. Bosses claim the benefits of this unusual configuration are lost in a car with three rows of seats, so a large door with easy entry was chosen instead.
 
Interestingly, Vauxhall chose not to adopt a sliding rear door set-up similar to those found on the Mazda 5 and Volkswagen Touran. This is because they’re heavy, costly to produce and force designers into giving the car a boxy shape. Plus, they incorporate unsightly runners into the rear flanks.

Inside, practicality is key. The spacious cabin will offer an updated version of Vauxhall’s Flex7 seating arrangement. It will draw on the stylish design and impressive build quality found in the Meriva and Astra.

Under the bonnet, the engine line-up is likely to be similar to the Astra’s. The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol unit is expected to kick off the range, with 114bhp 1.4 and 178bhp 1.6-litre turbos topping the petrol line-up. Diesel buyers will be offered a choice of 1.7 and 2.0-litre powerplants.
 
Sadly for performance fans, bosses have confirmed that the VXR performance flagship, which featured a 237bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre, won’t be returning in the newest version of the Zafira.

Instead, the focus is more on efficiency. To this end, Vauxhall will offer a range of ecoFLEX-badged models, with sub-120g/km CO2 emissions and improved economy. The all-new Zafira is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and hit dealers by the end of 2011. Prices will start from around £19,000.

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I think this looks great - innovative and high quality. Up till now the interesting styling has been left to Renault and Citreon but you don't want one of those unless you have some serious breakdown cover and a desire for a close friendship with your dealer. My experiences of GM products have not been too good on that front either, so let's hope they can make the mechanicals match the look.

It is a nice looking car, quite stylish for an MPV actually, not the usual boxy shape at all. I do wonder though about a 1.4 engine being capable of pulling something that size. I would have thought 1.6 was an absolute MINIMUM for something like this. 114 Bhp with 7 up is really going to struggle. Even a 1.6 with 178 b.h.p. on offer could probably only best be described as leisurely. I think for me it would have to be the 2.0 litre or one of the diesels.

Vauxhall Opel are at last producing modern and stylish cars.
Shame the same cann't be said for its woeful dealer Network.

This looks pretty good in my opinion. Distinctive, in a market of boxes!

I can vouch for the fact that a naturally aspirated 1.6L petrol motor is definitely not man enough to drag around a vehicle of this size. My previous model Zafira 1.6 Life was about as lively as a dead snail. It developed less than 100bhp and that was very apparent when trying to make a sharp exit from a junction, even 1 up.

114bhp from the 1.4 turbo will probably just about work, but lets hope it has a 6 speed box or it will bog down unless it's thrashed within an inch of its life.

The 1.7 turbo diesel will probably be the biggest seller. It's a fairly decent motor with good torque and economy stats. However, it's still a Vauxhall. That means dealing with nonchalant dealers and regular niggly breakdowns.

Vauxhall design is right on the money at the moment - they build family cars that look good and have massive versatility. This will fly out of showrooms. It's nice to see some daring design.

MORE BOLD AND STYLISH

I have a 1.9 CDTi 6 speed Auto, it is my first Vauxhall in 40yrs of driving and also after many years of Volvo and VW’s, and I just love it.
The car has lots of room, enough power, and good acceleration and reasonable economy, but I would not want to drive the same car with a smaller engine, the Zafira is a big car and if fuel economy is paramount in the new Zafira range then performance and driving pleasure are going to suffer.
Vauxhall should not put smaller overstressed engines in big bodies, they should bring the weight of the car down by using modern lightweight materials as did lotus with its use of bonded alloys etc.
There are now many new lightweight materials including metals, plastics, and Carbon Fibres, yes I know Carbon is expensive by the process of making 1 off’s for F1 etc, but by using lightweight Fibres on an industrial scale it will bring the price down to the sort of costs the industrialists expect.

The quarterly figures show that GM whilst in the States/Asia they are slowly coming on course allbeit with hiccups like the 560 PS Cadillac Coupe it is losing even more money than before in Europe. This is fact not an opinion!

It means Nick Reily at GM OPEL Europe has to stop trying to be Mr Nice Guy and start making and enforcing hard decisions. One must be that the name Vauxhall and all this extra marketing effort and cost has to go! It has to be all OPEL!

The other one is that whichever way you look at it GM even now has simply too many factories and workers in Europe Full Stop. This means that some have still to be closed and very quickly too!

And the other is that the coming new OPEL Trixx for Eisenach has to come a lot earlier than 2013! It means the people at Opel have to pull out al the stops and actually have this car on the market and selling by Mid 2012!

Of course it is possible and the people in Eisenach will make it possible but only if the OPEL managers in Rüsselsheim overcome their lethargy and start making things happen instead of just having endless meetings!

Over to you Nick Reily!

Is it me or does the back and side view look like a SMAX / Galaxy?

I like this great styling ,sits well ,vauxhall have being designing great cars lately ,and then to top it of they give you a 100k warenty ..would be my next choise of car ...

Yes, a cracking design - as are the Insignia and Astra.

However the Achilles heels are a)dealers and b)mechanical reliability. My brother in law's Zafira blew up its engine, my daughter's Corsa was nothing but trouble. So I shall not be putting my order in any time soon.

I think this new Zafira is a true Vauxhall masterpiece. The new styling of this car is nothing but a triumph, in my opinion. Well done, Vauxhall, on making the best-looking Zafira ever!

The Zafira is a family car and should be practical. In my eyes Vauxhall shot themselves in the foot by not giving it either rear sliding doors or revers opening doors. I find the doors a complete pain when trying to put 2 small children in the back. Also really hard to move the rear bench with a child seat fitted using a seatbelt (and before anyone pitches in with isofix, yes we did try those but the best safty seats did not actually fit to our satisfation using this system) The 1.6 naturally aspired engine is utterly crap, It would be faster if i fitted the children into the engine bay!. At least vauxhall will, I hope, be offering the lifetime warranty although i bet it is not as comprehensive as we would hope.

...it would be intriguing to investigate whether the Opel badged cars sold in Europe suffer from the same niggly problems as most Vauxhalls and also whether the dealers are any better...

Why would you think that Opel badged cars would suffer any less problems than ones with the griffin on? All Opel/Vauxhall models are built in the same factories (Zafira in Gliwice Poland, insignia in Russelsheim Germany, Astra in Elsmere port UK etc) by the same people using the same parts and tooling. I very much doubt that they put aside faulty parts just to fit to Vauxhall models ;o)...but I agree on dealers, for example I can't imagine that any German with their reputation for über efficiency would have the total lacklustre attitude that seems to be engrained in most Vauxhall dealer after sales departments. And that’s not just your or my opinion just look at auto expresses latest dealer power survey, Vauxhall = great new products with lots of potential BUT shoddy after sales...they needed to bring out that lifetime warranty, as it seems to take that long for some dealers to fix a problem!

.....it's just a computer generated image and they tend to always look much smarter and more futuristic than the finished article. If it really ends up looking like this then Vauxhall are on to a winner and I would seriously consider buying one as replacement to my current Toyota Verso. However, I fear it will be just as dull as the current version (I still remember the stunning images of what that version was going to look like, only to be left disappointed). Anyway, it's not even due on sale until 2012, don't understand why the launch date is so long after the Astra.

I run the current Vauxhall Zafira through the Motability Scheme and we are due to change this coming September. We were hoping that a new Zafira would have been introduced a bit earlier. We have looked at the Meriva as an alternative, as we don't really need a big car. But I don't like the rear suicide door arrangement, also I don't think they are selling as well as expected, I havent seen many on the road, compared to other Vauxhall models. So we have decided to have the new Nissan Juke. Our main concern was being able to get a small mobility scooter in the boot without having to drop the back seats and this is possible in the Juke. Being a crossover it is high off the ground and is easy to get into and looks quite sporty too. Sorry Vauxhaull, but for us I think it's time for a change, maybe we will come back when the Juke is due for renewal but having test drove the Juke, I think that we are really going to like our new car.

A stylish Zafira at last.

Makes the original one look even more blander than before.

Audi could learn a thing or two about adding a bit more flair to their models instead of just having small, medium, large, extra large and every variant under the sun but with almost the same grill grafted onto every single model.

Have Audi any plans for a Q1 to stand alongside the Q3, Q5 and Q7! A Q1 quattro perhaps!

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