Is the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer the best MPV in 2012?

In the battle for the title of ‘best seven-seat MPV’, the Seat Alhambra, a vast people carrier launched at the beginning of 2011, was well out in front.

Taking on the likes of the Ford Galaxy, Chevrolet Orlando and Peugeot 5008, the Seat Alhambra was named best MPV by Auto Express, What Car, Diesel Car and, last year, Fleet World.

The high specification interior, superb handling akin to a smaller car and typically stylish design led to a haul of awards unmatched by other MPVs.

However, the new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, an upmarket, seven-seat people carrier aimed at a more executive buyer, has now taken the title of best MPV for 2012 at the Fleet World awards and is the major challenger to the Seat Alhambra’s best MPV of 2012 title.

Comparing Vauxhall Zafira Tourer prices with those of the Seat Alhambra, the former undercuts the Spanish MPV by nearly £2,000 with entry-level models priced at £21,000.

The new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer comes with cruise control, air conditioning and radio/MP3 player as standard on its entry-level ES trim.

However, entry-level Seat Alhambra models also come with climate control, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and 16″ alloy wheels – more equipment than the entry-level Zafira Tourer.

The Vauxhall model’s flexible seating system is more versatile, offering a huge range of seating options including two rows of seats facing each other for business travel, but the Seat also boasts flexible seating and electronic sliding doors for easy access.

As a family or business car, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer does edge the Seat Alhambra in terms of warranty because it comes with Vauxhall’s ‘lifetime’ warranty covering the car for an unlimited time up to 100,000 miles.

The new 2012 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is on sale now at Vauxhall dealerships from £21,000. Its main rival for the title of best MPV in 2012, the Seat Alhambra, is on sale priced at £23,000 from Perrys Seat of Aylesbury.