Opel’s seven-seater people carrier was introduced for the first time in 1999, when it stood out from the crowd for its exceptionally modular design. The new version is also easy on the eye and comes with a wide choice of engines.
Whilst other manufacturers are moving away from people carriers in favour of SUVs, Opel remains loyal to the concept, since the demand for such vehicles is indeed still there. In the case of the new Zafira, what strikes you immediately is the more dynamic, more streamlined contours of the vehicle, reflecting the basic stylistic features of the brand, as recently unveiled on the new Astra and notably including the bold design of the double wing daytime running lights, the upper part of which forms the indicator with the headlights joining up with the radiator grille. The days of large, box-like people carriers appear to be well and truly over!
That said, the passenger compartment is certainly not what you would call small. The concept of modularity means that the vehicle can safely and comfortably carry up to seven people (the two folding seats fold into the boot in the standard configuration). As was the case with previous generations, the driver and front passenger are particularly spoilt with their ergonomic seats that have been certified by AGR (Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. - an association set up to promote back health). The sliding console between the two seats provides some very practical additional storage, not to mention the modular design of the vehicle, which has always been the Zafira’s strength. The seats in the second row slide forward or backwards for greater freedom of movement and even fold down individually to create an entirely flat surface.
The impressive range of engines available includes both petrol and diesel versions, the power of which ranges from 88kW/120hp to 147kW/200hp. We trialled the 125kW/170hp 2.0 CDTI BlueInjection version, fitted with a manual six-speed gearbox. Performance was good, despite the vehicle weighing 1.8 tonnes, and with a torque of 400Nm between 1,750 and 2,500rpm acceleration is efficient. The Zafira, equipped with the adaptive chassis, is also pretty agile, even in ‘Standard’ mode.
Other new features of the Zafira include technologies such as automatic lights and a front-facing camera that recognises traffic signs and detects both the level of external light and how far it is from the vehicle in front. Furthermore, the Zafira is also fitted with the latest-generation IntelliLink multimedia system.
This major facelift has enabled the Opel Zafira to maintain its image as a spacious vehicle for large families who like to travel long distances in a vehicle that combines comfort, modernity and practicality. The base price of our test version with the ‘Innovation’ finish is €24,962.