Vauxhall Zafira Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

An MPV with lots of space is a great choice for a growing family, and the Vauxhall Zafira certainly delivers. With seven seats and a large boot, its family-friendly appeal saw it in production for a long run from 2001. Vauxhall saved its best version until last with the most recent iteration, the Zafira Tourer, available between 2012-2018. Its sliding seat configuration is incredibly versatile, and it received the maximum five stars in safety tests, too, making it perfect for school runs and longer family outings. You’ll find both petrol and diesel engines, plus six trim levels to choose from. With such a popular and long history, there are plenty for sale on the used market.

Visit the Vauxhall Zafira model page to learn more.

What we think about the Vauxhall Zafira

With space for all the family and offering plenty of versatility, the Zafira is a comfortable and enjoyable drive.







Good safety rating


In-cabin storage could be cleverer

Only two Isofix points in second row

Most rivals have more standard equipment

Vauxhall stopped production of the Zafira in 2018, favouring its SUV models such as the Mokka. It had three versions in its lifespan, with the Zafira Tourer delivering the most class and sophistication. The Tourer has six trim levels: Design, Energy, SRi, SE, Tech Line and Elite.

Driving performance of the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

For an MPV, the Zafira is surprisingly smooth and responsive. It feels stable when cornering and has minimal body lean, which is great when you’ve got a carload of passengers. It’s got accurate steering and a good grip that connects to the road. Lower level trims include 17-inch wheels, and these are comfier than the larger rims found on the SRi, as its suspension is quite firm. This stiffer setup helps to keep the larger chassis remain fully controlled, especially at higher speeds.

Safety and reliability of the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Safety Rating6 / 10

Scoring the maximum of five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests back in 2011, the Zafira boasts features like airbags and Isofix child seat fixings, as well as electronic traction and stability functions. Automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring were only offered as optional extras, so this is something to bear in mind as they’re standard in most modern cars. It’s also worth noting that older models have been recalled on a couple of occasions due to excessive numbers of car fires, with the last recall taking place in 2016. This affected the Zafira B (2005–2014). We’d recommend checking this out if buying an older version.

Under the bonnet of the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

Our engine pick would be the diesel 1.6-litre. It’s sufficiently punchy, offering 132 bhp and reaching 60 mph in just over ten seconds. It’s also good when it comes to fuel economy. The other diesel, a 2-0-litre, has 168 bhp and a bit more grunt, which is ideal if you’re doing lots of motorway miles with a full load. A 1.4-litre turbo-charged petrol engine completes the line-up, although older models did also have a 1.8-litre variety.

What you'll find in the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Design Rating7 / 10

The Tourer’s chassis is based on the Vauxhall Insignia and takes design inspiration from another of Vauxhall’s staple models, the Astra. The slightly boxy body gives you plenty of space inside without it looking too unsophisticated, while its 2017 facelift gave it a sleeker body line that really freshened up the look. It has a quality feel both inside and out, and we’d definitely recommend the more refined design of the Tourer above older models.

Comfort and interiors in the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of headroom and legroom in the first two rows. The middle seats can slide back and forth independently of one another – a big plus for older children or adults. The third-row seats are perfect for children and can be neatly folded down when not in use to create extra boot space. It might be a bit of a squeeze to fit adults comfortably in the third row, especially on a long journey. Storage in the boot is sufficient when all seven seats are in use and rises to an impressive 710 litres with the back row stowed away.

The driving position and visibility are excellent, and the dashboard is well designed – though this isn’t the most gadget-filled MPV. Later versions have a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with an improved satnav system.

vauxhall zafira dashboard

What features you'll find in the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Features Rating7 / 10

In newer models you’ll find most of what you need in the lowest spec, including air-con, cruise control and front and rear sensors. If you’re looking for a bit more tech, the Energy trim has additions such as satnav, fog lamps and privacy glass. Showing that an MPV doesn’t have to be boring, larger rims and sports seats can be found on the SRi trim. The SE has the more premium touch, offering automatic lights and wipers, an electric parking brake and lounge-style seating. For a the panoramic roof, leather upholstery and heated front seats, you’ll need to spring for the Elite trim.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

If you’re racking up the miles, the Zafira is decent on fuel economy. Our favourite is the 1.6-litre diesel, which achieves 62.8 mpg and has a great CO2 emissions rating of just 119 g/km. The larger 2.0-litre diesel can do 57.7 mpg, which is still competitive for such a large vehicle. If you’re only running around town then the petrol might be your best pick, as it’s got good pick-up at low speed – although you’ll only get 44.1 mpg.

Running costs of the Vauxhall Zafira

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

Servicing is recommended every 20,000 miles for the Zafira and shouldn’t be excessively costly. If you’re getting an older model, you’ll want to check out its service history to ensure there are no big surprises on the horizon. Insurance premiums should be less than average, with models sitting between insurance groups 15-22. Its road tax is very affordable too, the Zafira’s low CO2 emissions helping to keep the cost down. The great mpg of the diesel varieties should offset any difference in fuel costs when going to the pump to fill up.

Our verdict of the Vauxhall Zafira

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

A great all-rounder with a practical yet stylish look, the Zafira offers brilliant value for larger families. Enjoyable and comfortable to drive, you'll forget you're in an MPV.