So Vauxhall’s improved Zafira Tourer offers it, now smarter and much better connected. Plus as before you get taut handling and clever seven-seat versatility from a shape not too big and not too small. On paper at least, it’s everything a modern MPV should be.
You won’t be expecting a seven-seat family MPV to feel very sporty to drive – in which case, you might be quite pleasantly surprised by this Zafira Tourer. It turns into corners with remarkably little body roll, much like a well-sorted estate car rather than any kind of People Carrier. As a result, find yourself running late and, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up driving in a fashion that’ll be most unwelcome to your occupants should you be travelling seven-up. The flip side of this is ride quality that may be a little on the form side for some. Still, if budget permits, you can improve this by specifying the optional ‘FlexRide’ adaptive damping system
Under the bonnet, two older engines are carried over from this model’s original launch, albeit with minor changes. Namely, the 140PS 1. 4-litre petrol unit we’re trying here and the 170PS 2. 0-litre CDTi diesel that many buyers choose. Our recommendation though, would be to go for the third option, a 134PS 1. 6-litre CDTi diesel that’s quite adequately quick and notably more economic, this powerplant capable of up to 62. 8mpg on the combined cycle and 119g/km of CO2.
People Carriers must be spacious, but that doesn’t mean they have to look boxy. Here’s a case in point. The Zafira Tourer has always been one of the better looking MPVs in its segment and in this revised guise, it still is. British stylist Mark Adams and his team wanted to bring some of the style of the seventh generation Astra to this improved model, hence the changes made here at the front end.
This is one of the biggest mid-sized 7-seat MPVs you can buy, something that really benefits luggage space. Inevitably, there’s not that much of it with all seven seats in place – just 152-litres – but if you fold down this third row, the figure rises to 710-litres. Go further and fold down the second row and up to 1,860-litres of space is revealed.
Time to take a seat inside. The centrepiece of this restyled dash is this beautifully-integrated 7-inch Intellilink infotainment screen which incorporates the usual DAB stereo, Bluetooth ‘phone and informational functions. Include the optional satellite navigation system and you’ll be better set up to use this car’s other key technical innovation, the OnStar ‘personal connectivity and service assistant’. This includes a vehicle tracking system in case of theft, creates in your Zafira Tourer an in-car wi-fi hotspot and will allow you to monitor key vehicle information via a downloadable ‘MyVauxhall’ smartphone app. ‘OnStar’ will also automatically alert the emergency services if the airbags deploy. And if you press the system’s blue button on the roof, you’ll be connected through to an operator who can find just about any information you might need throughout your journey. If Navigation has been specified, the ‘OnStar’ representative will download any directions needed directly into the Intellilink sat nav system.
Enough with the front seat experience: what’s it like in the second row? You get three individual comfortable and flexible seats that can separately slide by around 100mm backwards or forwards and recline for greater comfort into three different positions of 16, 20 or 24-degrees.
Go for a plusher Zafira Tourer with so-called ‘Lounge Seating’ and you’ll find that they can do even more, should your need be restricted to the carriage of two rearward occupants seeking greater ‘Club Class’ comfort.
So, how to sum up? Well provided you’re not troubled by considerations of badge equity and you can balance the efficiency returns against an affordable up-front asking price, there’s remarkably little not to like about this car. Some might find the ride to be a little on the firm side. Others might want a little more in terms of standard electronic safety cleverness. Overall though, this smarter, cleverer Zafira Tourer is a very complete package. If you’re shopping in this segment, it’s simply got to be on your shortlist.