Vauxhall Zafira (2005 - 2014)

4
reviewed by Robin Lewis, on 23 December 2020
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 27 November 2020
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 13 November 2020
3

Activ SE 1.8

reviewed by dombat on 22 February 2020
3
Overall rating
4
How it drives
1
Fuel economy
3
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
3
Cost of maintenance and repairs
1
Experience at the dealership
3
How practical it is
1
How you rate the manufacturer
2
Overall reliability

Ok for the price

As an owner of three Nissans and one Honda in the 15 years before this, with 100% perfect reliability on all, I was sceptical about getting a Zafira. I was attracted by the huge discount on the old model and needed a 7 seater. The 5 year guarantee is attactive which also helped. As part of the deal they also threw in bigger alloys, bluetooth, parking sensors, climate control and cruise control, all for a fiver under 11k. In comparison we were looking at 10 year old Mazda 5's for 6K and 3 year old Toyota Verso 7 seaters for 10k - this puts the Zafira deal in context.

It is quite nice to drive. It handles well and has suprising grip with traction control of some kind. It doesn't like going much above 4000 RPM but that's ok I suppose. The gear change is nice and the driving position is commanding.

There are some things I really dislike:
* Terrible fuel economy - 25-30mpg average. My 55plate 1.8Tino before this (which was only 50Kg lighter) was burning a litre of oil a month yet still managed to hit 40mpg all the time.
* Tyre wear on the front tyres is huge, just over a year has passed and they will need replacing soon.
* The front de-mister is obviously computer controlled, so you press the button and it takes between 7 and 14 seconds for it to actually start blowing. Why does it need to "think"? If I press the button, start demisting! Very frustrating.
* Radio is hard to use sometimes as in all Vauxhalls it seems (our 03 plate Corsa had the same functionality, I could never use it properly).
* Voice control is impossible to understand and programme. The manual for the in cr audio is about an inch thick!
* Seats are supposed to be clever but they are not. The fold and move, but in my old Tino you could take the seats out completely. Even though it's a 7 seater, is is difficult to fit a bike in without removing the front wheel.

Update: Dec 15 - The indicator "tick-tock", front parking sensors and the "clonk" noise on the stalks (e.g. switch on window wipers) have all stopped working. It is booked in to be looked at next week.

Update: Under warranty, the parking sensors were rebooted which fixed them. The tick tock noise was fixed by a new "SIM" module behind the steering wheel. They broke the coding on the keys so the next day I had to go back and get it re-programmed.

Update: Jan 18 onwards - The intermittent fault that they all seem to have with the electronic boot catch has started happening. At first the boot wouldnt unlock. Of course when we took it to Vauxhall it worked when the engineer looked at it. A month later, the boot wouldnt unlock, but with the additional behaviour of occassionally UNLOCKING itself while driving! This happened 3 times in a week. I mentioned this to Vauxhall HQ but they didn't seem that bothered, so I reported it directly to the DVSA. Imagine you have a massive dog in the back that understand the unlock noise as "get out for walkies" and pushes open the lid onto the carraigeway. Currently (mid March 18) the boot is working fine so we have not had it fixed (because it needs to be broken so they can plug the computer into it to find out its broken!)

I have removed an extra '*' from reliability because when I owned Japanese cars they never went wrong and this has at least once a year now (luckily nothing serious yet).

Update 2019/20
The most unreliable car I've ever had! Luckily nothing serious (yet) but no more Vauxhalls for me. Japanese or Korean everytime from now on.
* Middle row, middle seat jammed down (Oct 2019)
* New front AND rear brake disks and pads @ 49K miles (Nov 2019)
* The boot switch finally broke (see main review) - £60 "computer diagnostic" and then £150 for new switch (Nov 2019) - Terrible service by the Vauxhall dealer in Camberley, we kept trying to get this booked in before the warranty expired but they were so incompetent we ended up paying.
* Rear passenger door fails to unlock. (Feb 2020) £120 fix by mobile "central locking specialist". Some wires in the wiring loom snapped.
* Needs new exhaust flexi pipe @ 51k miles (Feb 2020)

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5
reviewed by Anonymous on 31 May 2019
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 21 May 2019
4
reviewed by Alan Burtonwood on 23 August 2018
1
reviewed by helenrufus on 6 July 2016
3
reviewed by JM Prieto on 18 August 2015
5
reviewed by MTD on 22 March 2015
3
reviewed by fonmenage on 16 October 2014
3
reviewed by theoldboy on 29 August 2014
4
reviewed by RodM on 28 August 2014
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 5 June 2014
1
reviewed by zafiramuck on 24 June 2013
1
reviewed by Dust on 13 February 2013
4
reviewed by exmulet on 7 February 2013
3
reviewed by Swiss bloke on 26 October 2012
4
reviewed by cbell on 18 March 2012
5
reviewed by jeffh42 on 19 December 2011
2
reviewed by Molnboman on 16 August 2011
4
reviewed by NBLondon on 10 April 2011
2
reviewed by Exzafiradriver on 4 April 2011
3
reviewed by bluebottle7 on 26 December 2010
3
reviewed by theoldboy on 1 October 2010

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About this car

Price£13,995–£27,300
Road TaxE–L
MPG29.4–55.4 mpg
Real MPG85.0%

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