- We like...Seats seven and very quick
- We don't...Cabin looks cheap in places
Road burning power and seats for seven make this one of the quickest buses aroundSeven seats and 200bhp. Yep, this is a bus that’ll blast your socks off. We suspect this Zafira is aimed squarely at well-off dads but with mums firmly in mind. How? It gs like this: dad wants a hotshot car. Mum wants a seven-seater so that he’ll drop the kids at school before work. Or maybe it’s the other way round. Whatever. This Zafira makes them both happy.
Inside, it’s like any Zafira: two chairs up front, a bench for three in the middle, and two singles in the back. The bench folds each seat back individually, its nearside one tipping for entry/exit to the back. It also slides to and fro as a unit so that you can tailor space between it and the other seats. Then the two rearmost chairs drop into the boot floor until needed, and then you pluck ‘em out by pulling a handle. Owners loved the set-up when the Zafira arrived back in 1999 and it’s stayed –because it’s a great design. The rearmost seats are low-set and best reserved for kids – but they offer more space than most and will take adults at a pinch.
Seats up, there’s just a narrow wedge of luggage space left. But with the back row stowed, there’s a huge space for luggage or kids’ bikes.
Of course, you can get all that in the cheapest Zafira, which clocks in at £12,995 – over £10k cheaper than the car standing here. The extra cash buys extra kit, including the natty leather seats, heated for the driver and front passenger. These are very practical, too, because kiddy spills and dirt wipe off so much more easily. But elsewhere some of the seat and dash plastics look and feel too cheap for the £22k asked for this car.
But it’s the stuff you can’t see that makes this Zafira special. There’s the 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine, pumping out 198bhp. That matches many a GTi hot hatch and, if you need, will whisk you from standstill to 60mph in 8.4sec. Sports suspension teams with this to keep all that power in order.
The upshot is that this Zafira drives like two cars in one. Stay easy on the throttle and it pootles gently, just as you’d want for the school run. Feed in the fuel, though and it picks up and dashes. Give it everything and, for a people-hauler, it feels very quick. And while the ride is a mite harsher than in other Zafiras, it retains enough give to keep occupants content. It’s forgiving for what it is, by any measurement, a sporty car.
All that power sends running costs upwards. Insurance weighs in at a fair enough group 14E, fuel consumption is good at 29.7mpg overall, although it’ll drop to 21mpg in town, but CO2 emissions of 228g/km mean higher road tax and also company car tax, if it applies.
Should you buy one? Well, there’s little else that gs as quickly and seats seven. This Zafira has as much power as a Volkswagen Golf GTi and is just £1000 dearer. It ds all the people-carrier seats-and-luggage stuff as well as any other. But where the Golf will still be worth £10k, when it’s three years old, this Zafira is likely only to fetch £7k. Something to think about?
- Engines2.0 turbo
- 0-60 mph8.4sec
- Insurance groups14E
Motors.co.uk value verdict: