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Vauxhall Zafira 5-Door

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September 2005

Vauxhall Zafira
1.6 Life People Carrier 5 dr, £14495

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When it was first introduced in 1999 the Zafira revolutionised the compact MPV market with its Flex7 seating system. While few people can realistically claim to need the seven seats it offers everyday, it's good to know that they're there for school run emergencies, or when you're ferrying friends about. This second generation Zafira, based on the current Astra's chassis offers more of the same. That means you get five conventional seats and two that fold under the floor for occasional use, a smart and well built interior and similarly inoffensive styling. Now featuring a dash-mounted gearlever it's less of a stretch to swap cogs, and the handling has been improved too, making it more enjoyable to drive.
Space in the boot is excellent when carrying five, but compromised significantly when travelling with a full compliment of passengers. It's a complaint that's common to its rivals, but many of them offer more innovative storage solutions around the interior for oddments. With a wide range of engines and transmissions sourced from the Astra range there should be a Zafira to fit everybody's budget, and there's promise of a scorching VXR model in the future for faster families, too. Not a revolutionary change over its predecessor admittedly, but that package was so right in the first place Vauxhall hasn't needed to change much. Overall the new car polishes off some of its predecessors rougher edges, ensuring it's certain to continue to be a huge seller, but it's a shame Vauxhall hasn't injected some of the Astra's bolder style to inject a bit more visual appeal to this family favourite.

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