Vauxhall Zafira review

The evergreen Vauxhall Zafira medium MPV has been a frequent fixture in best-seller lists in the UK, and the seven-seater remains a strong proposition, especially for families.

The Zafira has a massive seven seats inside, despite a relatively small frame, while there’s still room for luggage even with all seven seats taken.

Where the Zafira really excels is that all of the seats can be folded flat, turning the Vauxhall into a serious load-lugger if required, with over 1800 litres of space inside.

All five rear seats can fold or slide backwards and forwards, meaning the interior lay-out can be altered in dozens of different formations.

In five-seat format, with the rear two folded down, the Zafira can store 620 litres of luggage, while there are dozens of storage cubby holes dotted around the cabin. Up front it’s roomy and the Zafira boasts an elevated seating position for good visibility.

There’s also lots of choice in terms of specifications and engine choices. Six airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and radio/CD player are standard on all Zafira trim levels, with plenty of options available to adapt the Vauxhall MPV to your needs. Any specification can be chosen with the Ecoflex model.

Vauxhall’s strong turbodiesels are a good choice for the Zafira, including the low-CO2, low-consumption ecoFLEX model, but there are also plenty of petrol options. Smaller petrol engines should be cheaper to buy, and will appear to low-mileage buyers looking to make an outright purchase.

1.9-litre diesels will offer a good blend of performance and economy, but there’s also an even more economical model.

The 1.7-litre Ecoflex diesel model we took out for a test drive will return an impressive 53mpg and emit only 139g/km of CO2. That means running costs are low – VED is a mere £120 – and a tank of petrol will get you nearly 700 miles.

Performance isn’t lacking either, with a big chunk of torque meaning the Zafira is responsive through the lower gears, while a high final gear makes for relaxed and economical cruising.

The Zafira provides an excellent mix of handling and comfort, far better than a seven-seat car has any right to. The emphasis is on a smooth and relaxed ride, but the Zafira is also good to drive, especially for a seven-seater.

The Zafira is a great all-rounder, offering the size and practicality of much larger cars with the handling of a smaller car.

As a result it’s a great choice for a family car, and one the cheapest ways to seat seven in the motoring world.