Swift-acting steering, impressively roll-free cornering, strong grip and predictable on-the-limit behaviour comprise a surprisingly complete dynamic arsenal for the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer which is, in the end, an MPV.
Couple this to the CDTi’s torquey performance and you have family wheels that will make unexpectedly efficient and enjoyable cross-country progress.
However, your passengers may be less impressed with the ride, mostly because it’s often more turbulent than it should be in a vehicle primarily designed for carting families in comfort.
It deals well with bigger troughs and crests but struggles to absorb the chop of small bumps. The result, on typical British B-roads, is a ride that’s rarely settled for long. It’s better when loaded up, but the S-Max proceeds with greater sophistication and more calm.
This is an MPV that’s more about handling than ride, curiously. The steering is quite good in its weighting at speed and it provides some detail when the front wheels lose adhesion but, like the ride, there’s a slight coarseness of action that leaves you feeling that this is a vehicle rather less sophisticated than some of the subtle stylistic flourishes in its cabin might suggest.