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The Warsaw Voice » Society » June 29, 2012
CAR REVIEW: Opel Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTI
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Room for Seven
June 29, 2012   
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The third-generation Zafira is nothing if not mature. It has inherited all the practicality of its predecessors and added the attractiveness they lacked.

The market was well and truly backfooted when the Zafira first came out in 1999. For all its petite stature, this compact MPV from Opel was exceptionally functional and could seat seven—despite a body of just 4.32 m and a wheelbase of 2.70 m. There were two retractable seats hidden under the floor of the trunk. When the need arose, these could be unfolded to seat an extra two people. Admittedly, this was not the most comfortable vehicle to drive and the seats seemed to have been designed for children, but a seven-seater was really something back then.

Fast forward six years and we had the Zafira B. The car had grown a little (4.47 m) and was just as impressive. But the-third generation Zafira, the Tourer, which appeared last fall, has really ushered in some fundamental changes.

The profile is very attractive. The Zafira looks like the electric Ampera from the front. The front headlights and fog lamps, which are shaped like a boomerang or an arrow head, are what stand out most. This offbeat design alone gives the car something of a futuristic feel. The side line is sporty for a family car. The acutely sloping front windshield, the high line of the tinted windows, and the design of the lower part of the body, all combine to give the profile a slender appearance. Even the rear end, with its narrow, diagonal taillights and ribbed trunk lid, looks graceful.

With a body length of 4.66 m and a wheelbase of 2.76 m, the interior is extraordinarily spacious and, like the rest of the range, can seat seven passengers. While the trunk has a diminutive capacity of just 152 liters when all the seats are occupied, including those in the third row, this increases to a respectable 710l when five are seated and the third-row seats are folded down. When both the second- and third-row seats are folded down, the Zafira becomes a real delivery vehicle with a generous 1,860l of luggage space.

The interior has all sorts of innovative ideas to make your journey a pleasant one. There are three separate seats in the middle row instead of the usual bench seat. These can be configured as required. They can also be moved forward or back (as required) 26 cm. There is a similar arrangement between the front seats, where there is a large sliding compartment that can act as an armrest, for example. The passenger cabin has 34 compartments of varying kinds that come in handy during long trips.

There is a choice of three gasoline engines, three turbodiesels, and a CNG-powered unit. The car we test-drove had the most powerful engine in the range—2.0 CDTI/165 hp. The engine seems to manage the 1,658 kg car quite well. It can accelerate to 100 kph in 9.8 seconds and has a top speed of 208 kph. Average fuel consumption is 5.2l/100 km, according to the technical specifications. We were unable to achieve this during our test-drive. Even though we switched on the economic Start/Stop system, our fuel consumption was 7.8l/100 km after driving for nearly 1,000 km. This is probably because we often made use of the “Sport” mode, one of Opel’s more interesting functions. The central panel has a “Sport” and a “Tour” button. The driver can select one or the other to change the engine, steering and suspension parameters to either go for more power or make the drive more economical and comfortable.

The model we drove, with top-of-the-range Cosmo fittings, a Start/Stop system, and a six-speed manual transmission, costs zl.110,900. If you find that a little steep, you can always opt for the previous generation “Family” Zafira. Either way, you’ll get a car that will seat seven.
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