In 5 seat mode, space is great with plenty of room in the middle seats and the boot is nice and large. Turning the car into 7 seat mode is a doddle too because the back row chairs easily flip out of the boot floor although the back row is only suitable for kids. It’s not as versatile as some rivals though with one complaint being the middle row, which only slides forwards and backwards as one unit rather than independently.

Quality inside, though, is very good but the dashboard design is starting to look a bit dated compared to newer rivals.

Reviewers were surprised at how an MPV such as this was fun to drive. It goes round corners as well as a normal hatchback and there’s hardly and body roll. On the motorway however it’s not as quiet as some rivals.

The Vauxhall Zafira comes with a choice of two petrol engines: a 1.6 and a 1.8 or you can get a 1.7 ecoFLEX diesel. All of the engines do have some flaws though. Both the petrol engines are quite noisy and unrefined and the diesel can feel weak at times. Still, the diesel would be the best choice since it has the best performance and economy balance for most needs but some diesel rivals provide diesels with better mpg.

Value for money
Standard equipment isn’t brilliant with all cars getting air-conditioning, a CD player, remote cetral locking and electric front windows. You only get a socket for your MP3 player on higher-spec Elite models and rear electric windows and alloy wheels on design models. A Renault Grand Scenic is cheaper to buy and run.

Worth noting
If you want a higher spec car, it’s worth paying the premium for the much newer Vauxhall Zafira Tourer as it comes with more equipment as standard, it’s much more stylish and has a higher quality cabin.

If you’re looking for a decent 7 seat MPV that provides a good drive and is reasonably cheap to run then take a test drive with the Vauxhall Zafira but it’s worth test driving rivals too.

Key Details

Price range:
£18,340 – £25,325
36 – 55
Date released:
Replacement due:
Very soon, likely by the end of the year
Model history:
In 2008 the Zafira got a facelift with subtly different exterior styling and a few extra bits of kit as standard
Other variants:
There’s also a new larger version of the Vauxhall Zafira, called the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
Engine naming:
CDTi engines are diesel