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Opel Zafira 1.8

2006-10-25 11:52

Janine-Lee Gordon

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Opel
Model Zafira
Engine 1.9 DTH
Power 110 kW
Torque 320 Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Top Speed 202 km/h
Price R253 700
MPVs - people carriers - are definitely IN. Ugly is out. The Opel Zafira is a great-looking MPV and it's state of the art. So it's REALLY in!

What's it about

The new Opel Zafira has had quite a good face-lift in terms of styling. It looks much funkier and does its job well, making it a good buy if you're looking for something other than a big estate vehicle.

The best point about it definitely has to be the versatile seating plan.

Driving it

There's nothing special about the drive, so it falls under the 'average - okay' category.

All that aside, it delivers a smooth and comfortable drive and it's even easy to park despite it's size. The only noise you'll hear a lot of is that of all the kids at the back as even road noise is minimal.

It's a big MPV so you'd expect it to be slow. However, it punches out 110 kW of power, getting around quite easily in city traffic and keeps its pace out on the open road. In fact, with a top speed of 202km/h, it's not bad at all and can get you where you need to be in good time.


The latest styling definitely looks much better, especially with all the extra chrome, and you also have matt finishes available as an option on the door handles and side mirrors. The panoramic roof with glass panels and storage compartments gives the car an element of 'cool'. It never fails to impress the kids, or the older ones still young at heart. It also features audio controls on the centre console for the rear passengers, and comes with earphones.

And it's so versatile - the Flex7 seating concept makes this a car you can do almost anything with. Whatever you choose to do or whichever seating configuration you set, the seating arrangements can be changed very easily and quickly to suit any need. It goes from the usual 2:3 rows to 2:2, 2:2:2 or 2:3:2. You can put all the seats flat to move some heavy equipment or even furniture, the kids can all be crammed in, or specific space can be made for the family road trip to the coast.


The Flex7 seating concept converts the Zafira from a seven-seat passenger car to a load mover with a capacity of 1 700 litres. That's all good and well, however don't expect to put anyone younger than the age of eight in the third row of seats. They're only meant for two very tiny people as leg space is almost invisible.

The interior looks a bit tacky, as though it was all just put together without much thought about the consumer. This results in the ergonomics being a bit clumsy looking.

Driving vision is slightly impaired when having to turn at intersections. It's a bit annoying when you need to lean totally forward to see if there is oncoming traffic heading your way.


It's one of those MPVs you have to call a mommy-taxi - something to carry all the little ones around to the next soccer match. For the loads of space and easy seating plan the Zafira is a good buy, but unfortunately it has a lot of competition out on the market and does not make a bold enough statement to be in a class of its own.


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