Champion drifter Dai Yoshihara finds out as Run The Coast hits Willow Springs racetrack…
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The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Zafira
For:Versatile Flex7 seating arrangement, cheap to run
Against:Only undercuts better Tourer by around £1,500. That's not enough
1.7 CDTi ecoFLEX Design  5dr
It’s all about the engine here: the new 1.6 diesel is excellent. Combine that with Zafira Tourer’s looks and you have a halfway decent MPV.
Yes, the Zafira has a swanky new name and a snazzy new look, but it’s still an MPV at heart
The Zafira finally gets desirable: meet the new ‘Tourer’, an MPV you might actually want to be seen in…
There are two ways of looking at the Zafira VXR. Try to see it as a sporting car and you find that it isn’t. Oh, it’s fast, but otherwise it’s not...
What we say:
Introduced a decade ago, the Zafira now exists beside the Tourer in Vauxhall's line-up. If this is a hidden gem, the sparkle is now well-hidden...
What is it?
The new Zafira Tourer hasn’t killed the old Zafira. Rather, it’s been reconfigured as an entry-level people carrier (although prices still look optimistic to us). It’s dated but still as practical as ever: the Flex7 seats have been much-copied, but with good reason.
Like any high car, the Zafira doesn’t handle as fluently as the hatch on which it’s based. It can be hustled through a string of bends at an impressive lick, but you don’t get much sensation and the driving position is hardly racy.
The 1.6s are slugs. The 1.7 diesels go well, and the bigger petrols are sweet-natured and hard-working. Unfortunately the VXR, which was far faster than sanity required, is no more. Sad - it was a good overtaker and, if you didn’t have kids getting sick in the back, surprisingly handy in turns.
On the inside
Five people can be comfy in a Zafira but the last two seats are occasional or just for kids. The ride is fairly supple and the engines quiet, so there shouldn’t be complaints whether it’s the school run or a long trip.
The second row of seats slides and folds, and the third-row pair individually slot into the floor. If you don’t have more than two in the car, you’ve got a van-like flat-floored cargo hold. All useful stuff, but of course you can’t carry seven people and luggage. Which is why it probably doesn’t matter the final two are only occasional seats.
Everything is solidly bolted to a Zafira, which is just as well given the attack it will come under from tiny hands.
This is another reason the Zafira is seen everywhere. Its low servicing and insurance costs make it a fleet favourite.