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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer MPV (2012-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is good to drive and be driven in, with an engine to suit every priority

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer may not be as much fun to drive as the Ford S-MAX, but its decent handling and generally comfortable suspension can be coupled with a variety of engines to create a Zafira Tourer for most people’s needs.

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer petrol engine

The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine is lively and has a decent enough amount of power. While it’s not hugely quick, its 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds ensures keeping up with traffic isn’t a problem. Vauxhall used to offer an entry-level 1.8-litre petrol engine with the Zafira Tourer, but this wasn’t very efficient and has since been dropped from the range.

Diesel engines

Provided you cover enough miles each year to justify the extra expense, the Zafira Tourer’s diesel engines suit it best. The 1.6-litre diesel is smooth, strong and impressively efficient. 0-62mph takes 10.4 seconds with this engine and once on the move it pulls pretty well.

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The 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel is a better choice if you regularly fill the Zafira Tourer’s seven seats, or do a lot of motorway miles. It feels a fair bit more powerful than the 1.6-litre diesel, and takes 9.1 seconds to go from 0-62mph.

The  Zafira handles well for an MPV. It feels predictable, stable and secure on the road, with lots of grip and a lot less body lean in corners than you’d expect, which is good news for rear-seat passengers in particular.

The Tourer can be a bit bouncy if you push along a twisty B-road, but on the whole it’s composed and comfortable. The steering is light yet fairly accurate, and the suspension copes well in town and on the motorway. The car is nice and quiet, too. The cabin blocks out a lot of road and wind noise, and the car becomes even more hushed at speed. The six-speed manual gearbox has a pleasingly slick shift action.

If you add the optional adaptive dampers, you’ll be able to choose between Tour, Normal and Sport modes, which offer a soft, balanced and sporty ride respectively.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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