Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012-Present)

A great motorway cruiser but not as up-to-date as rivals

Strengths & Weaknesses


Refined, high quality interior
Efficient 'Whisper' diesel engine


Confusing, button-heavy dashboard
Rearmost row not very roomy
Choppy ride

There's plenty to recommend the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer as a practical family purchase. It's more traditional than some rivals - with regular hinged doors rather than sliding ones and only an optional touchscreen - and doesn't have the futuristic appeal of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, but that doesn't mean it's not desirable, as Vauxhall's endowed the Zafira Tourer with a classy interior and smart exterior design.

There are three engines on offer – 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.
Keen drivers should look elsewhere at the Ford S-Max or Ford Galaxy, as the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is quite dull to drive. It's got accurate steering and feels planted on the road, but it's quite bouncy on twisty British A-roads and feels as big and heavy as you'd expect.

However, when sitting at 70mph on the motorway the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer makes much more sense, 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 good but not class-leading. The seats all fold flat thanks to a system Vauxhall calls 'Flex7', but the middle seat in the second row is very narrow and there's a hump in the floor to compete with. The rear seats too aren't really large enough to seat adults, unlike the SEAT Alhambra. 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.

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. It's definitely worth a closer look.

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 14:30

Key facts 

3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
152 litres/710 litres/1860 litres (7 seats up/5 seats up/seats down)
Tax (min to max): 

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

Understanding Vauxhall Zafira car names 

  • Zafira
  • Trim
  • Engine
    1.6 CDTi 136PS
  • Gearbox
  • 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 three engine choices - petrol 1.4i, and diesel 1.6 CDTi and 2.0 CDTi.
  • 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

At launch, the Zafira Tourer was available with a 1.8-litre petrol engine, but this was replaced by the 1.4i Turbo. This provides just as much performance but uses far 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 a very old engine and felt unrefined, so it was replaced by the 1.6CDTi 'Whisper' diesel engine. This gives really good economy and is very smooth making it the pick of the range. It can also return 68.9mpg on the smaller alloy wheels.

If you need extra power, there's the option of a 2.0CDTi unit which is the most powerful choice. It's more clattery than the 1.6 but also much faster. It's also only a few hundred pounds more expensive.

There used to be an even faster engine with two turbochargers but this has been dropped from the range.
All of these engines provide great fuel economy for such a big car, but make sure you find one equipped with Start/Stop technology if you can.




0 - 62mph

top speed


1.4i Turbo







35.3 - 36.2mpg











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. Company car buyers benefit from Tech Line trim, which gives loads of equipment for a very low monthly cost. A particular 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 this has been dropped in favour of a 3 years/60,000 mile one instead. The car should be reliable though, especially the 1.6CDTi models – the company has 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 

As with any car that's been used to ferry a large family around, look carefully at interior trim as it could easily be tatty. Avoid earlier cars with 1.8-litre petrol engines, as they are gutless and thirsty, while the 1.7-litre diesel was rough and noisy. Zafira Tourers hold their value very well in the class, so won't be as cheap to buy used – but will retain more money when the time comes to resell. They depreciate more than the Volkswagen Sharan but not as much as the Ford Galaxy.


List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for economy

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – Design












Best for families

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6CDTi Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – SE












Best for performance

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0CDTi 170PS Start/Stop ecoFLEX Manual – SRi