Used Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012-2018)

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is a good value seven-seat family car, but it does feel outdated

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Quiet cruiser
Smooth ride comfort
Practical interior

Weaknesses 

Dashboard is a sea of buttons
Rearmost seats most suited to kids
No four-wheel-drive option
Vauxhall Zafira prices from £6,998   Finance from £133 per month

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer isn’t only a great family car, it’s a footnote in the history of consumerism. When sales of the third-generation Zafira were ended in June 2018, Vauxhall said there wouldn’t be a successor because most drivers are only interested in buying Sports Utility Vehicles. In other words, if you want a Vauxhall MPV, you'll have to buy used.

Which is a shame. Because when approaching a family car like this with the head in control of the heart, there is plenty to recommend about the Zafira Tourer.

One of its most appealing features is that it has seating for seven. In fact, the original 1999 Zafira introduced the concept of a third row of seats that fold into the floor – known in Vauxhall speak as Flex7.

Something else that families will doubtless appreciate is that the Zafira Tourer is relatively affordable. 2015 registered cars start from £8,000, which is bang on the money when it comes the typical amount a UK family spends on a car.

Also in that price range are equally practical cars including the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, Ford Grand C-Max, Renault Grand Scenic and Volkswagen Touran. And if you need something bigger still try the Ford S-Max, Seat Alhambra or VW Sharan; they will be older, higher mileage cars for the same money as a Zafira Tourer, but there’s more room for passengers and in the boot.

The car underwent a facelift and simplifications to the engine range in 2016. There are three core engines for used car buyers – a petrol and two diesels, which will have differing appeal depending on your usage. Most will be happy with the smooth and economical 1.6-litre diesel, which Vauxhall calls a 'Whisper' diesel.

Admittedly, there are some people carriers that feel less like a half-asleep parent, and are a little bit more stimulating to drive. The Ford S-Max is the best in that respect.

However, when sitting at 70mph on the motorway the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer makes a good case for itself as a long distance cruiser, as it's quieter than the Renault Grand Scenic or Ford S-Max.

The most important factor in a family people carrier is space and practicality and in this area the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is right up there. Pockets and compartments abound. The seats all fold flat into the floor but when in use the middle seat in the second row is narrow and there's a hump in the floor that’s annoying. The rearmost seats too aren't really large enough to seat adults for any meaningful duration, but that’s an issue in common with most cars in this class.

And even though there's a large, panoramic windscreen, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer's small windows and dark trim means it feels less airy and spacious than the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

At the forefront of the mind of anyone buying a car for their family is whether it’s safe. In the Zafira’s case, it’s extremely safe, scoring a maximum five star EuroNCAP rating, with a 94% adult 83% child occupant score. But it can only be had with two Isofix mounts for child seats, on the two outer chairs of the middle row. That’s less than some rivals that manage at least three locations for child seats.

Owners say good things about their Vauxhall Zafira Tourers in the annual Driver Power survey, and so far it's proved to be a sturdy, reliable car.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 14:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
152 litres/710 litres/1860 litres (7 seats up/5 seats up/seats down)
Width: 
2,099mm
Length: 
4,658mm
Height: 
1,685mm
Tax (min to max): 
£20-£205

Best Vauxhall Zafira for... 

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – Design
The 1.6-litre 'Whisper' diesel engine in this Vauxhall Zafira Tourer returns a claimed 68.9mpg and road tax of just £20 a year makes this a great choice for those wishing to spend as little as possible on fuel and tax.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – SE
This is a great-value trim level and it comes as standard with OnStar, Vauxhall's concierge and connectivity service. Kids will love the 4G wireless connection.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0CDTi 170PS Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – SRi
The powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine in this car provides plenty of performance and SRi trim adds sporty details like bigger alloy wheels, sports pedals and a roof spoiler.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0CDTi 170PS ecoFLEX AT6 – Elite
This engine and trim level make the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer a very expensive car indeed, without much extra equipment – it even misses out on fuel-saving Start/Stop technology.

Vauxhall Zafira History 

2012: Model launched. Early cars were available with a 1.8-litre petrol and 1.7-litre diesel both of which are best avoided
2013: Vauxhall introduces the 1.6CDTi diesel engine which is the pick of the range
2014: Vauxhall drop the older Zafira from its range making this the brand's only 7-seat MPV
2015: Older models of Zafira are recalled after some caught on fire but this doesn't affect the Zafira Tourer
2018: Zafira Tourer is discontinued

 

Understanding Vauxhall Zafira car names 

  • Zafira
  • Trim
    Elite
  • Engine
    1.6 CDTi 136PS
  • Gearbox
    AT6
  • Economy feature
    Start/Stop EcoFLEX
  • Trim
    Trim options are Design, Energy, Tech Line, SRi, SE, Exclusiv and Elite - though not all are available with every engine.
  • Engine
    There are five engine choices - petrol 1.4i, and diesel 1.6 CDTi and 2.0 CDTi are the newest. Older cars also came with a 1.8-litre petrol or a 1.7-litre diesel.
  • Gearbox
    AT6 means the Zafira Tourer has the optional automatic gearbox.
  • Economy feature
    All Zafira Tourer diesels have the ecoFLEX badge but not all get the fuel saving stop-start technology.

Vauxhall Zafira Engines 

Engines: 1.4i Turbo, 1.6CDTi, 2.0CDTi, 1.8-litre petrol, 1.7-litre diesel

Originally the Zafira Tourer was available with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, but this was replaced by the 1.4i Turbo. The 1.4 provides just as much performance but uses less fuel, making it a better choice, especially if you do most of your miles in town.

There was also a 1.7-litre diesel but this was an old engine and felt unrefined, so it was replaced by the 1.6CDTi 'Whisper' diesel engine. This gives really good economy and is smooth, making it the pick of the range. It can return up to 68.9mpg.

If you need extra power, there's the 2.0 CDTi unit which is the most powerful choice. However, the trade-off for the brisker performance is that it’s noisier. The price difference between used examples is only a few hundred pounds.

From mid-2013 there was also an even faster, 2-litre biturbo diesel engine, featuring two turbochargers, but this flagship was dropped from the range in 2016.

Most of its engines provide respectable fuel economy for such a big car, but make sure you find one equipped with Start/Stop technology if you can.

 

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

Fuel

1.4i Turbo

39.2-42.2mpg

138bhp

9.9-10.2s

122-126mph

Petrol

1.6CDTi

35.3 - 36.2mpg

134bhp

10.4s

120mph

Diesel

2.0CDTi

46.3-67.7mpg

168bhp

9.1-9.3s

127-129mph

Diesel

Vauxhall Zafira Trims 

Trims: Design, Tech Line, Energy, SRi, Exclusiv, Elite, SE

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer has a wide trim line-up with plenty to choose from. Those after a sporty look will enjoy the SRi level which adds spoilers and a bodykit, while the basic Design grade is good for those on a budget. Tech Line trim gave a lot of equipment and proved popular with company car drivers.

An equipment highlight is OnStar – Vauxhall's information service which provides a 4G internet hotspot, call centre advice and will even call the emergency services if you have an accident. OnStar comes as standard in Tech Line, Elite and SE trims.

Vauxhall Zafira Reliability and warranty 

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer used to be available with a lifetime, 100,000 mile warranty, but from 2015 it was dropped in favour of a three year, 60,000 mile package instead.

The car should be reliable though, especially the 1.6CDTi models – the company invested heavily in this engine to ensure it's as sturdy as possible. Owners tend to be satisfied with the Zafira Tourer, rating it higher than a lot of Vauxhall's other cars – it came 12th out of 150 in the 2013 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey - only beaten in the MPV class by the Renault Grand Scenic.

Used Vauxhall Zafira 

Prices start from £133 a month for a second-hand Zafira Tourer from 2015. Whereas nearly-new cars with delivery mileage will set you back around £22,405.

As with any car that's been used to ferry a family around, look carefully at interior trim as it could be as battered as a toddler’s high chair. Check all the lidded cubbies open and close correctly, then work your way through the electronic features and make sure nothing is faulty.

We advise buyers avoid the early Zafira Tourers with the 1.8-litre petrol engine, as it is gutless and thirsty, while the 1.7-litre diesel was rough and noisy. A better bet is the 1.4-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel.

And finally, to put minds at rest, this isn’t the generation of Zafira that suffered a spate of dangerous fires. That was the previous generation Zafira.

                          
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0CDTi 170PS

£12,000£9,852£8,000

Best for families Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi 

£12,990£11,289£8,000

Best for economy Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi Start/Stop Manual 

£12,990£11,289£8,495