Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012 – 2018) Review

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
While the Zafira Tourer isn’t exactly a stand-out class-leader in any given area, it’s competitive in pretty much all of them, and it’s also an affordable choice. For families on a budget, that’s simply got to make sense.

+Enjoyable and comfortable to drive, some really good engine choices, does a decent job on practicality.

-Interior quality is mixed, various bits of optional kit should be standard, some rivals are even roomier.

Insurance Groups are between 11–22
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The 2010 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer isn’t the most practical, the most versatile or the best-to-drive car of its type. It’s not the highest in quality or the most generously equipped, either. However, it’s still a good all-rounder that does a very solid job in all these areas, and it’s more stylish than your average seven-seat MPV, too, (if a bit less stylish than an SUV). It’s also really good value for money thanks to affordable prices, and if you choose the right engine, it should be affordable to run, too.


Funny how tastes change, isn’t it? Once upon a time, in the heyday of the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, big seven-seat MPVs like these were loved by families for whom a regular saloon or estate was just not practical enough, and sales figures reflected that.

Then all of a sudden, somebody decides that SUVs (previously seen as evil gas-guzzlers, you’ll remember) are more stylish, and as they become the thing to have, the humble MPV more or less disappears.

However, despite the incessant rise of the SUV, there’s still plenty of merit in a good old MPV. For starters, the boxier shape means they’re often a big roomier than an SUV, and with a seven seater, surely that’s important, right?

And in the Zafira Tourer, Vauxhall offered one of the more compelling choices in the SUV market. It’s curvier styling made it look swishier and swoopier than most of its boxy rivals, and with competitive prices and low running costs, it was good value (even better for used car buyers, obviously).

Granted it wasn’t the roomiest car of its type, but it was competitive on that score and its seating system was as clever and as versatile and anything else in the class.

Sure, the car had some idiosyncrasies. Early cars had a bafflingly confusing dashboard design (sorted out on later examples by a new touchscreen system), interior quality was a bit hit-and-miss, while a complicated and inconsistent trim structure made it rather difficult to choose the version that was right for you.

However, it was one of the better cars of its type to drive. The ride was forgiving enough to keep the family comfortable, while the handling was sharp enough to let the driver have some fun once the kids had been safely delivered to school.

Ask Honest John

I need a ULEZ-compliant family car. Could you make some suggestions?
"I live just outside London and my car is about to be rendered useless by the ULEZ. I have a Ford S-MAX (diesel 2.0-litre) and although I'm used to the space, I don’t really need a 7-seater. I'm totally lost by the amount of choice out there! I have 3 teenage children (4 of us altogether) and we tend to do one really long summer trip abroad in the car. I love the power of the S-MAX and the boot space but otherwise, I have no idea what kind of car I need. My budget is about £12k-13k. Please help!"
We'd recommend a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer or Volkswagen Touran. They're very versatile five-seat people carriers available with punchy ULEZ-compliant engines. If you'd prefer more space, take a look at the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you suggest a compact, reliable, petrol MPV for a small family?
"I've been a Honda Jazz obsessive for the past 10 years, but now equipped with two little people, a dog and far too much stuff to lug between stays with the in-laws, I'm craving that little bit more space without losing all that I love the Jazz for. I have dreams of the Honda HR-V or CR-V one day, but sadly cannot currently justify the extra size and cost. So I'm left looking for a reliable and economic compact/mid-size MPV. I have up to £12,000 to spend on a used car, with the criteria - automatic, petrol, as much boot as I can get, a relatively high driving position with easy access, reliable and economic when it comes to tax/servicing. Thank you! "
We'd recommend a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. The 1.5-litre petrol engine used in the 218i provides low running costs and punchy performance. Also consider a Volkswagen Golf SV or Touran – the latter's a particularly practical choice, although you might struggle to find a petrol model. Alternatively, a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer could be a good choice. It's quite a big car but offers loads of space for the money and won't cost a fortune to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best secondhand MPV?
"Which secondhand MPV would you recommend for about £12,000?"
A Vauxhall Zafira Tourer represents excellent value for money and there are plenty available on the used market. Also look at the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso or a SEAT Alhambra if you need more space.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which is the most reliable SUV to fit three comfortably in the backseat?
"Which is the most reliable automatic SUV to fit three comfortably in the backseat? My budget is £10k - which are my best three options?"
You'll need something pretty big like a Volvo XC90 or Land Rover Discovery to fit three people comfortably in the back. These aren't options we'd recommend with a £10,000 budget and a desire for reliability, though. We'd suggest looking at a people carrier like a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (2012 – 2018) cost?