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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Elite Nav 2.0 CDTi 170PS

Click to view picture gallery“Whats in a name? Everything if it
  happens to be
Zafira, which means
 
success. As proven by Vauxhalls
  seven-seater people carrier
the
  Zafira
that outsells the competition
  like no other multi-seater...”


FRESH FROM A RECENT FACELIFT, the Zafira Tourer presents an attractive façade to the world fronted by a new grille flanked by new headlamp clusters with precisely-chiselled 'double wing' daytime running lights, and long flanks punctuated by neatly defined wheelarches underscored by sculpted 'blade' crease lines.


Zafira Tourer customers can choose from eight trim levels to pair with any of three powerplants: a petrol-drinking 138bhp 1.4i Turbo; a 132bhp 1.6 CDTi 'Whisper' diesel; or, as tested here, a 167bhp (170PS) 2.0 CDTi diesel that can be had with either a manual or an automatic transmission.

If you demand a WOW from your car's cabin then the Zafira Tourer delivers — its panoramic windscreen stretches from the base of the fascia almost to the B-pillar and is an eye-opening feature that will most definitely broaden your horizons. And if all that sunshine ever gets too much you can easily switch back to standard windscreen mode by pulling the full-width screen header section forward and down.

If you demand a WOW
from your car’s cabin
then the Zafira Tourer
delivers — its panoramic
windscreen stretches
from the base of the
fascia to up well past the
A-pillar and is an eye-
opening feature that will
most definitely broaden
your horizons...”
For the record, the huge windscreen is made of heat absorbing glass so no fear of you 'cooking' while enjoying the far-reaching views on high summer days. Which is good news because the 'light fantastic' doesn't end there — flowing directly from the top of the panoramic screen is a panoramic sunroof that runs all the way back to the rear cabin.

The Tourer's A-pillars are each defined by two slim bars framing large quarterlights that optimise front three-quarter vision for the driver and make accurately placing the Tourer a no-brainer.

The rest of the roomy interior is smartly designed and detailed with metallic highlights and there's a plush, well-tailored air to it all.

The leather seats are as comfortable as they look — as indeed they should be, being ergonomically-certified AGR sport seats. In addition to being exceedingly supportive in all the right places they also benefit from extendable seat cushions, tilt adjustment, four-way power lumbar and three-stage heating (if you like plenty of adjustability, the driver's seat gives it to you — it adjusts 16 ways!). Generous headroom can also be taken for granted.

Measuring close to 4.7 metres nose-to-tail, this latest version gains a longer wheelbase and wider tracks, freeing up more inner space for as many as six passengers plus the driver. Tourer watchwords are 'versatility' and 'flexibility', which together have made the people carrying Zafira range an evergreen hit with customers.

From behind the nice-to-grip multifunction wheel it's all good news: the interior makeover is a visual and ergonomic success and the new central infotainment display has eliminated a host of buttons and switches whose functions are now operated via the touchscreen, which is intuitively straightforward to use. The new instrument panel ensures everything is easily seen from the commanding driving position with a no-nonsense driver's display between the main dials that, along with all the trip essentials, also shows your road speed in large digital figures.

Connectivity is another done deal thanks to the latest generation Vauxhall IntelliLink software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for your smartphone, as well as a WiFi hotspot which enables up to seven devices to be connected.

Vauxhall OnStar — a fully-manned, personal assistance service — guarantees that a special adviser is only ever a button-press away and, amongst many other things, it will, in the event of a crash, automatically send out an SOS.

Forget Love —
Torque is all you need!
And the 167bhp
2.0 CDTi has a nice fat
295lb ft wedge of it that
kicks in low down
like it means business
and stays with you
through the mid-range
to make short work
of both town traffic and
quick A- and B-roads...”
Navigation is as hassle-free as it should be these days, with 3D mapping, sharply defined road names, full postcode destination input, and clearly spoken directions — you'll never get lost in a Zafira!

Music fans will enjoy hearing their sounds played through the six-speaker stereo with 20-watts-per-channel output. There's also Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB radio, MP3 capability, and a USB connector with iPod control. If you want to push the boat out you can specify the optional Infinity Premium Sound System with a 315-watt stereo that comes with a hill of speakers (midrange, tweeters, wide-bands, plus three subwoofers).

On a more practical note, between the front seats is a multi-functional FlexRail console system. This nifty, multi-level storage feature includes a voluminous bin with a roll- top style lid, individual cupholders (two sizes), and a central armrest with a storage box below — simply slide any level's features to whatever position suits you best. And although we didn't count them, we'd be happy to take Vauxhall's word for the fact that there are more than thirty various cubbies, trays, bins and drinks holders (many lined so no annoying clinks and rattles en route). Particularly good for valuables is the well concealed hidey-hole built into the base of the front passenger seat.

In addition to kit already mentioned there's plenty more including dual-zone climate control, ambient roof lighting, dark-tinted rear windows, power front and rear windows, electrically-adjustable & heated door mirrors, cruise control with speed limiter, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, electric parking brake (with a foolproof 'drive-through' feature for hassle-free getaways), automatic lights and wipes, an Electronic Stability Programme, tyre pressure monitoring, height-adjustable front seatbelts, LED daytime running lights, and a set of 18-inch alloys.

The Flex7 seating system does exactly what Vauxhall claims — provides über-easy, max-flex accommodation. Passengers planning to travel in the second row can, if they number two or less, maximise their comfort by customising their seats using the clever 'Lounge' setting.

In 'Lounge' mode the three individual middle row seats can quickly be converted into two Captain's chairs: fold down the centre seat's backrest then simply press a button and the seatback, complete with side bolstering, folds upwards like a butterfly's wings to form a long, comfy inner armrest for each outer passenger seat.

In ‘Lounge’ mode
the three individual
middle row seats can
quickly be converted into
two Captain’s chairs
which can be slid further
back and inwards
towards the centre of the
car to create generous
leg, shoulder, and elbow
room for some seriously
indulged lounging...”
For even more personal space the Captain's chairs can be slid further back and inwards towards the centre of the car to create generous leg, shoulder, and elbow room for some seriously indulged lounging.

Alternatively, when in their standard three-abreast format, each of the seats can be individually slid forwards or backwards to customise legroom, and tilted for access to the third row seats.

Another 'plus': they're also set high enough off the floor to ensure decent lower leg comfort on long journeys — and eliminate 'are we there yet' comments from passengers of all ages. Parents will be glad to know that ISOFIX mounting points for child seats are standard-fit on the outer second row seats.

Adding to the rear cabin's pleasant ambiance is a panoramic sunroof that flows directly out of the windscreen and stretches to the rear of the vehicle; combined with the glasshouse's deep side windows that extend almost all the way back to the tailgate and truly panoramic front screen — and with its one-shot 'blackout' sunblind powered fully back — views from any of the five rear seats are pretty dramatic.

The seven-seater Tourer's boot, while housing a pair of individual, fold-out-from-the-floor, third-row chairs with decent legroom that are just the thing for a brace of youngsters, provides 710 litres for luggage when loaded to the glass line (the parcel shelf conveniently stows away beneath the floor should you need to load to the roof). With all seven seats in use there's still 152 litres for squashy bags.

Should you ever need to go into 'cargo' mode, dropping all five rear seats opens up a cavernous 1,860-litre loadbay with a seamless floor that sits level with the bumper (so no awkward lip to load over). Loading and unloading is made even easier because the tailgate self-lifts almost as soon as it's cracked open. And for what won't, or can't, go inside, there's always towing — and the 2.0 CDTi's 1,650kg braked limit will be more than adequate for most users.

However, if it's bikes you need to transport, well then you've come to the right place because the Zafira's Flex-Fix rear-end carrier system offers a practical and easy-to-use solution for cyclistas — the integrated carrier slides out of the rear bumper and can carry up to four bikes; better still, it can be tilted even when fully loaded so the tailgate can still be opened.

If it’s bikes you need
to transport, well then
you’ve come to the right
place because the
Zafira’s Flex-Fix rear-end
carrier system offers
a practical and
easy-to-use solution
for cyclistas —
the integrated carrier
slides out of the rear
bumper and can carry up
to four bikes;
better still, it can be
tilted even when fully
loaded so the tailgate
can still be opened...”
Forget Love — Torque is all you need! And the 167bhp (170PS) 2.0 CDTi has a nice fat 295lb ft wedge of it that kicks in low down like it means business and stays with you through the midrange to make short work of both town traffic and quick A- and Broads

The turbodiesel's strong-hearted 'go' makes it the swiftest Tourer of the Zafira pack; top speed is 129mph and will hit 60mph from standstill in a crisp 9.1 seconds. Better still, it's generally pleasantly refined and quiet at speed.

It won't take you long to spot the two buttons — Sport Mode and Tour Mode — either side of the red-triangle hazard warning switch set in a strip along the top of the infotainment screen.

And you won't need to refer to the handbook to confirm that they trigger driving characteristics that will enhance your driving pleasure: Sport sharpens up the whole experience; Tour smoothes it all out. We enjoyed driving in both modes and our passengers especially enjoyed the supple touring mode.

While officially the 2.0 CDTi's Combined Cycle consumption figure is 54.3mpg (with 137g/km), manual gearbox models are fitted with auto stop-start technology to boost economy — it's unobtrusive in operation but it can easily be switched off using the 'Eco' button. Our pretty hard driven test car recorded an overall average of 42.9mpg; good enough but a little less pedal-to-the-metal should see most owners bettering that.

The Tourer also puts in a good showing when it comes not just to straight line speed but providing driving enjoyment while delivering on family duties. For a start the accurate steering is well weighted and reacts quickly to the leather-wrapped helm; body lean is reassuringly controlled (noticeably so through the twisty bits); and it grips well and has enough verve to make decent use of the turbodiesel's torque.

But the good news doesn't end there because the suspension serves up not just agreeable handling but also a pleasant ride, and that's undoubtedly down to the optional FlexRide chassis that was fitted to our test car. A word to the wise: instead of going for an automatic, go for the driver-orientated manual and tick the FlexRide box — you'll ride better and still be quids in!

Flexibility, as well as spaciousness and practicality, make the Tourer a first choice for anyone with a need for a convincing carryall that also provides comfortable long-distance travel. Factor in a ride and performance mix that will satisfy both driver and passengers and it's no surprise that the Zafira more than lives up to its 'successful' name. ~ MotorBar
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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Elite Nav 2.0 CDTi 170PS Start/Stop | £29,120
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-60mph: 9.1 seconds | Test Average: 42.9mpg
Power: 167bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 137g/km

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