Opel/Vauxhall Zafira 2016

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourers boomerang headlights have gone and are not coming back – the characterful front-end binned for a generic Astra-aping one in the name of brand continuity. What a shame.

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There’s good news inside though. The decluttered dashboard finally features a 7in touchscreen so the button count can be reduced to less than a 747’s. OnStar is also standard, which can send assistance in an emergency or help you programme sat-nav directions to John Lewis.

All the good bits remain – five clever rear chairs that disappear to boost the 710-litre boot to a fulsome 1860 litres, or fold and slide to enhance passenger leg and elbow space.

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Flat backrests cap the lateral g-force you can subject your rear occupants to, as does the squashy ride. This 2.0-litre diesel version has plenty of punch and matches well to a smooth six-speed automatic gearbox, but it’s simply not as good to drive as Ford’s dynamically adept C- or S-Max.

A large sliding sunvisor made of a flappy material more usually seen in Millets slides behind the driver and passenger’s heads to transform the windscreen from letterbox to full panorama, and the modular FlexRail armrest contains a cubby box and a pair of cupholders; the latter rattlier than a cocktail shaker.

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Vauxhall has upgraded its big-selling MPV with small brushstrokes so it’s as easy to recommend as ever, though its days as a packaging trailblazer are long gone. It won’t make your pulse race, nor will your passengers feel seasick. A well-balanced and flexible family wagon that goes on sale in October.

SPECIFICATIONS


Vauxhall/Opel Zafira Tourer Elite 2.0CDTi 170 Auto

opel-zafira-2016-4Price: £28,880
Engine: 1956cc turbodiesel
Power: 168bhp @ 3750rpm
Torque: 295lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Suspension: MacPherson strut front and Watts linkage rear
0-62mph: 9.3sec
Top speed: 127mph
CO2: 161g/km
On sale: October

VERDICT 3/5

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Still flexible, but no longer amazing

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