Vauxhall Zafira Estate 1999 - 2005

Vauxhall Zafira Estate 1999 - 2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • A versatile and practical family car
  • Great and powerful GSi and diesel engine

Cons:

  • The rear row of seats is not comfortable
  • Interior lacking attention to detail

Overview

When the Zafira appeared in 1999 it was neither the first nor the best looking MPV in the market. There wasn't anything revolutionary about it, but it soon it conquered a massive margin of the European family market. It managed this favourable position because it became a good choice for a family as it is reliable, practical and offers a choice of various engines.

Exterior and Interior

Although the Zafira is quite a big car, it shares its platform and many other parts with the Vauxhall Astra. Its exterior design is simple, unpretentious and classic. Although it looks like a typical middle class MPV, there is a level of elegance about the car. Its cabin has 3 rows of seats and it was advertised as a 7-seater. Although the middle row of seats is really comfortable, you cannot say the same about the 3rd row. It can seat two adults, but they will soon get tired due to the limited legroom and the seats being quite cramped. They had to keep the size of the 3rd row to a minimum because of the novel way of folding the seats. They don't have to be removed and they don't keep taking up the space by remaining semi-folded somewhere behind the middle row. The Zafira's extra seats disappear into the floor providing an excellent flat luggage compartment with a decent volume of 1700litres. It is, however, considerably less than the Renault Espace has to offer ‐ the difference being almost 1000litres. The materials used are good quality and the overall interior is acceptable. The car is well equipped, even the basic trim comes with two air bags and electric windows. For an even better level of equipment, look for the Elegance edition. Most of the Zafiras come with air conditioning.

Performance and Economy

The entry level 1.6-litre engine is rather weak, but is still suitable and shouldn't be a problem even with a fully-loaded Zafira. It also delivers a respectable 37mpg. For a little more excitement, there's a 1.8-litre powerplant. The fuel economy goes downhill from here. The 1.8-litre version gives 32mpg and the 2.2-litre engine returns 31mpg. Somehow the sporty 2.0-litre GSi doesn't really suit the Zafira. Why would a humble family MPV need a sporty engine? However, it depends on how you look at it. If you don't want a diesel version and are going to go for one of the larger petrol engines, you might as well be a bit bolder and choose the GSi. Its fuel economy is within the range of 30mpg which is not a lot worse than the 1.8 and 2.2-litre engines but the power it delivers is amazing. As for the diesel, initially the Zafira was sold with an old-style 80BHP diesel engine, so it's a good idea to look for a car that's been manufactured after 2000 because that's when a turbo diesel appeared and it was a good one. Delivering 44mpg it is as economical as many smaller cars.

Like to Drive

The Zafira is a large and comfortable car. Power-wise there's not a lot of excitement to be expected, unless you go for the GSi model. The Zafira is built for comfort and utility and it doesn't have to be flashy to attract attention.

Faults and Repairs

The Vauxhalls of the late 90s were already on a road of improvement and generally the Zafira is a reliable car. The older models might have some Astra-esque faults, especially with engines and gearboxes. If you buy a relatively new Zafira, you should be ok. One thing that often goes wrong is the air conditioner. Repairing it might be very expensive and considering its compressor is so integrated within other systems, you simply cannot afford to buy a Zafira with a faulty air con.


Overall Rating:
Review by jazzer
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Reliable MPV Car"

Exterior and Interior

Good design, car is 13 years old and no rust found so far. It has got 7 seats and is easy to convert to a 7 seater version with foldaway seats. When the 6th and 7th seats are folded away you have a large boot, in fact, when I folded all seats down I was able to load a settee in there.

Performance and Economy

Reliable, average 30 mpg in town areas, over 40mpg on out of town main roads and A roads, motorways etc.

Like to Drive

Very easy, fast acceleration, good for cruising, very smooth, you never notice the auto changing gears. It is capable of going very slow in traffic queues, just need to brake if stopping then the engine can be held at low revs or you can put engine in neutral with handbrake on. It also has a button for snowy conditions which is useful. <

Faults and Repairs

It broke down on the M25 motorway on way back from Tonbridge, it was a fault connected with the alternator, so called breakdown service who towed me and my passengers to Clacton from Brentwood. The only other fault was the CPU computer processor broke down when car was about 3 years old, the dealer said it was a very rare fault. It also recently broke down due to faulty battery which was replaced by breakdown service.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value

Overall Rating:
Review by Sam
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Gets the job done"

Exterior and Interior

Not a great looker compared to some other larger vehicles but by no means ugly. Interior isn't what I would call luscious, but is very spacious and the 2 folding seats in the back are a great feature. Lots of head and leg room all round even though the car is fairly compact for its purpose.

Performance and Economy

Big and chunky so doesn't exactly speed off the line but the large engine gives it a decent amount of power for getting around. With regards to economy it's the same as any other large diesel car really.

Like to Drive

Slow and boring but very comfortable and it works very well for its purpose as a family car. Obviously manoeuvrability isn't great but that is expected with this size of car, still solid at slow speeds though. <

Faults and Repairs

Needs to be driven quite often to keep the engine in shape, have had numerous repairs done including starter motor.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value