It is hard to see anyone desiring a Vauxhall Zafira, crossing the road to look at one or suffering insomnia the night before a test drive. Of almost all cars on sale and certainly those that would classify themselves as MPVs, this is a car you buy because you need the facilities it provides and it provides them at a price you can afford.

There is nothing wrong in that and the very fact the Zafira remains on sale so many years after its introduction proves the efficacy of the formula.

As a new car the obsolescent Zafira is hard to recommend, unless you drive a hard deal

Its problem is one without solution. When it was new in 2005, the Zafira was one of the best MPVs on sale and duly went on to top the sales charts as had its game-changing predecessor. But it’s not just in looks that the world has moved on far, far beyond the point occupied by this car. 

The Citroën C4 Picasso is a wildly better prospect in all regards save its handling and is state of the art so you’d expect it to be vastly more expensive. But it’s not – indeed even the seven seat Grand C4 Picasso range starts at much the same money as that of the Zafira, leaving the only real difference as how much more you can persuade a Vauxhall dealer to lop off the price than a Citroën dealer.

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It’s not enough. Even now the Zafira is not a bad car, but it is a once good car now grown old and made mediocre by the passage of time. In short and unless it fits your bill very precisely indeed, there are many better alternatives more deserving of both your time and your money.

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