Vauxhall Zafira

How many kids does it take to fill a Zafira? In the case of the Gibson household one - my daughter, Olivia - is plenty. But that doesn't mean the other four seats lie idle all the time. Come the weekend, the Vauxhall regularly acts as unofficial team bus for the Great Baddow thirds football squad.

  • Cabin big enough for seven footballers plus kit, strong 1.9-litre diesel, Sport button, long service intervals
  • Raising and lowering the rear seats, A-pillar blind spots, one-touch indicators
Find your Vauxhall Zafira
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
9/10 sellers got the price they expected
Advertisement

How many kids does it take to fill a Zafira? In the case of the Gibson household one - my daughter, Olivia - is plenty. But that doesn't mean the other four seats lie idle all the time. Come the weekend, the Vauxhall regularly acts as unofficial team bus for the Great Baddow thirds football squad.

My people carrier has been pressed into service for various trips to far-flung corners of Essex, and even with all seven positions filled, and the boot loaded with kit bags, the 1.9-litre common-rail diesel never struggles. What's more, there are remarkably few complaints about overcrowding - even from those in the cheap seats.

That's not to say the seating layout is perfect, though. For
much of the time the rearmost chairs are stored under the floor, so the boot can be filled with all my camera kit. But getting them out isn't easy. First, the child seat has to be removed, so the middle row's base can be tilted up and the whole thing slid forward. Only then can you reach in from the boot and pull the handles to raise the rears. But for 90 per cent of the time that's a minor niggle, since I tend to be alone in the car, nipping to and from photo locations.

With time to kill on long journeys, I've been paying attention to the Zafira's other features - qwwespecially the Sport button mounted below the screen. I've never thought of the Vauxhall as a sports car, but this button improves throttle response, as well as sharpening the steering and ride. It's pretty good and makes the car feel more nimble - helpful when I'm trying to keep up with the road testers on their favourite roads through north Wales. I've nicknamed it the "daddy's-on-his-own" button for obvious reasons!

Now the car has some miles under its belt (13,140 to be precise), the 1.9 CDTi engine has loosened up nicely, and is returning some good economy figures - even better, it doesn't need a service until 20,000 miles.

I'm also a fan of the sat-nav. It's an expensive option at £1,250, but I've found it faultlessly easy to use, while dynamic guidance helps avoid jams, and the journey-time predictor is spot on.

The only downside to running the Zafira is the image - put simply, I feel a bit middle-aged and sensible driving it. But I suppose family life catches up with us all at some stage - I certainly haven't heard any complaints from my team-mates on a Sunday morning. Pete Gibson

Second opinion
The Zafira was greatly appreciated on a day out to Chessington World of Adventures. With three rather larger sized children than Pete's young daughter Olivia on board, all arguments of not sitting in the middle or behind the 6ft 2in driver were irrelevant, as we even had the option of an extra set of seats at the back. Dawn Tennant, picture editor

Most Popular

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class
Renault 4EVER concept car in 1962 4L paint - front 3/4 static
News

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class

The forthcoming Renault 4 is likely to offer a four-wheel-drive option, helping it to stand out in the market for baby all-electric SUVs
27 Feb 2024
Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’
Dacia badge
News

Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’

As big names vacate the traditional C-segment, Dacia sees an opportunity for its new petrol family car
27 Feb 2024
New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market
MG badge
News

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market

MG has confirmed it is working on an entry-level electric car to rival Citroen e-C3 and new Fiat Panda
29 Feb 2024