The exterior of a silver Vauxhall Zafira

Vauxhall Zafira review

The Vauxhall Zafira is a comfortable people carrier with seven seats, lots of storage space and seats that fold flat for easy loading. It also won't cost much to run.


  • Practical with excellent interior space
  • A high level of standard equipment
  • Diesel engines deliver great economy and performance


  • Resale values aren’t as good as some SUV rivals
  • Boot space is limited with all seven seats in place
  • Despite being good to drive, it feels a little like a minibus


“Although it's a large people carrier, the Zafira is a practical and easy to drive seven-seater.”

The Zafira is a family-friendy people carrier. One of the best things about it is that it’s easy to drive despite being a large car. It’s comfortable and offers good visibility of the road, which makes it relaxing on both long journeys and short trips, like the school run. 

Inside, it’s super versatile with an impressive amount of space for people and luggage. There’s also lots of practical storage areas for keeping your essentials in. 

The Zafira is well built with solid feel hard-wearing materials throughout. It’s also safe, reliable and has low running costs.

The exterior of a silver Vauxhall Zafira

What's the interior like?

“Even basic models have a high level of equipment and the interior is highly practical”

Inside, there’s a great level of standard equipment. All the materials feel premium but hardwearing which is great if you’re driving the kids about. 

High spec versions have a windscreen that curves into the roof which gives the cabin a much lighter feel and provides some additional visibility for the kids in the back seats. Look for post-2016 models for the best interiors.

The Zafria also features Vauxhall’s Flex 7 seating. The middle row of seats can slide forwards or backwards to provide more legroom for middle or rear row passengers. You can also fold the back of the second row’s middle seat down to provide a table for the kids to play card games on. The third row of seats is also quite roomy, although taller adults won’t feel comfortable sitting there for long.

Another advantage of the Zafira is its ability to carry larger loads. Fold the two rear rows down and you basically have a carpeted van with up to 1,860 litres of space, which can hold anything from large flat pack furniture to a bike.

Boot space shot of the Vauxhall Zafira

What's it like to drive?

“It's better to drive than many rivals. The Zafira is as good on the school run as it is on long journeys.”

The Zafira is very pleasant to drive with far less body lean when going around corners than you’d get in an SUV. The driving position is also excellent with lots of adjustment options.

The suspension handles most bumps in the road well and the interior stays fairly quiet from wind and tyre noise. Most models also have a Sport button for a more exciting and involving drive.

The diesel engines are a great option both for economy and performance. The top 2.0-litre CDTi is ideal if you tow a trailer or caravan. The 1.6-litre diesel is the best all-rounder though, while the 1.4 version will suit families who mainly need their Zafira for the school run.

Rear seat shot of the Vauxhall Zafira

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Zafira offers lots of value for money.”

As people carriers are less popular than they used to be, you should be able to find some good deals on used Zafiras and Zafira Tourers.

The diesel models are the cheapest to run, particularly for those doing a higher yearly mileage, such as 12,000 miles a year. The most economical is the 1.6 CDTi, but even the 2.0 CDTi is good.

Insurance, tax and servicing for the Zafira are also great value.

The exterior of a redVauxhall Zafira

How reliable and safe is it?

“It has a high level of safety and reliability.”

Vauxhall has a great reputation for reliability, so the Zafira shouldn’t let you down.

As a family car, Vauxhall has included quite a lot of safety kit, from airbags to electronic stability control. Some models will have additional driver assistance so look for these extra safety features.

Engine shot of Vauxhall Zafira

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.6 CDTi

Best for family - 1.6 CDTi

Best for fun - 2.0 CDTi 195 hp 

If you spend all your time in town, then go with the 1.4 turbo petrol as it's low on fuel consumption and emissions. If you venture further afield, the 1.6 CDTi diesel is the one to go for as it’s by far the best all-rounder in the range. If you’re going to do any towing or want something with a bit more performance, the 2.0 CDTi will be your best bet. 

All models are well equipped but the middle of the range Tech Line or SRi are likely to provide all you need.

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