2019 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer MPV review | What Car?

2019 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer MPV review | What Car?


While more and more people are turning to
SUVs for their people-moving needs, there is still plenty of life left in the traditional
MPV. These cars are practical, spacious, and the very best are also good to drive and keep
running costs to a bare minimum. The Vauxhall Zafira was something of a trend-setter
when it was launched in 1999, because while it was Renault which created this market with
the Espace, it was Vauxhall that first put seven seats into a compact MPV. So, does its successor, the Zafira Tourer,
continue that trend-setting tradition? In this review we’ll tell you what it is like to live with,
how much stuff you can get inside it and what it’s like to drive. And if at the end of
this review you’re interested in buying one, then visit our new car deals section
on whatcar.com to see how much we can save you – it could be thousands of pounds. The Zafira Tourer’s engine line-up is refreshingly
simple, in that there are only three options to choose from. The entry-level one is a 1.4-litre
petrol, and that’s the engine we’re testing today. This is the cheapest way into a Zafira
Tourer, and this engine’s peppy responses make it ideal for use in town – and even
when the car is fully loaded it doesn’t struggle. And, if you’ll be doing enough miles to
justify a diesel, then there are 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre options to choose from. Stick with 17-inch alloy wheels on the Zafira
and the car can deal with lumps and bumps in the road well, at least at speed. Around
town, minor ruts in the road can cause the car to jostle around. But at least the light
steering makes manoeuvring and parking a doddle. Just bear in mind that these large door mirrors
generate a bit of wind noise at speed, and the diesel engines can sound a bit rough. Visibility can be a problem in some MPVs,
but not the Zafira Tourer. Thanks to its slim windscreen pillars and deep rear screen mean
that you’ve got a great view out of the front and back, plus you get front and rear
parking sensors on all models, and you can spec a reversing camera for not much extra. You should be able to get nice and comfy inside,
too, thanks to this supportive and adjustable driver’s seat, and there’s plenty of adjustment
in the seat and steering wheel – although the lever for adjusting the angle of the seatback
can be hard to reach. The Zafira might be priced towards the budget
end of the MPV spectrum, but you’ll find plenty of soft-touch materials in here, even
if the overall effect isn’t as classy as what you’ll find in a Volkswagen Touran
or Citroën Grand C4 Picasso. In terms of infotainment, this system is shared
with the Vauxhall Astra and it’s easy to use most of the time. It’s not quite as
intuitive as the system in Volkswagens or SEAT cars, but is much better than Ford’s
Sync system. You can also connect your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Space and practicality are where MPVs like
the Zafira Tourer really need to excel. And the good news is there’s plenty of head
and leg room in the front of the Zafira even if you’re six foot, and lots of storage
space dotted around. Another cubby-hole there, an okay sized glovebox, and decent sized
door bins. Move into the middle row and it’s a similar
story, there is plenty of head and leg room, plus the three seats here can be slid backwards
and forwards independently. With them all the way forward, there’s enough room in
the rear seats for even tall adults. With the middle row seats all the way back,
anyone relegated to the Zafira’s third row will need to be small. It’s a bit of a squeeze even for 5ft 4 1/2in me, but a small child will be okay. All five of rear seats fold flat to let you
maximise luggage space, but the process does require two hands. In five-seat mode, the Zafira Tourer loses
out to the rival Volkswagen Touran when it comes to pure boot space, but there’s still
enough for a couple of suitcases. With all seven seats in place, the Zafira Tourer has
more space available than almost anything else in this class. There are six trim levels to choose from in
the Zafira Tourer, but there’s really no need to look past the entry-level Design models,
because these still come with 17in alloy wheels, Vauxhall’s OnStar personal assistant and
a touchscreen infotainment system. All Zafira Tourers have plenty of airbags,
but sadly automatic emergency braking is only available as part of a rather expensive options
pack which also includes blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. So, the Zafira Tourer is both spacious and
well equipped, and while it’s not as practical as some MPV rivals, it is very well priced. The news gets even better if you’re thinking
of buying one, because if you go to the new car deals section on whatcar.com you can see
how much we can save you when buying one – remember, it could be thousands of pounds. And remember, on whatcar.com you’ll also
find our full reviews of the Zafira Tourer and its key rivals. But before you do any
of that, click subscribe to never miss another video.