Vauxhall Zafiras. Are they terrible?

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  • Vauxhall Zafiras. Are they terrible?
  • Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    With a heavy heart I have come to the conclusion that my next car will probably have to be a 7 seater.

    What are Zafiras like from 08 onwards?

    What sort of mpg does the diesel return? My 2.0 tdi Vectra does 40 mpg no matter how badly I drive it.

    Premier Icon ton

    i had a zaffira for 5yrs, it was ace
    i now have a astra, it is shyte
    i wish i still had my old zaffira. never had any issue with it. it was unleaded tho.


    I have an old zafira. It’s a bit thirsty on fuel – 35mpg ish, but is incredibly easy to work on (apart from getting old exhaust off) and touch wood seems fairly reliable.

    Roter Stern

    We had one of the newer ones for two weeks after our car got stolen. It left me a bit underwhelmed TBH. The quality of the finishing was a bit poor IMO. What about a Sharan or Touran? I used to have a Sharan a fw years ago and liked it a lot as a kids carrier.


    BiL has a 7 seat version 2.0 D and if memory serves its an 57plate thingumybobs. It does its job very well around the farm even surpassing the Landy (when that heap won’t start) folded seats mean masses of space and if you take out the rears it’s like a small van. I got MrSchamncy init with the seat pushed down a bit no probs.
    the plastics are a bit Vauxhall, the air cons packed up and they can’t be bothered to fix it, the switches on the rear doors for the Leccy windows have been filled full of banana skins and still seem to work fine.
    It’s not a bad driving vehicle coping with the lanes around Harrogate/Nidderdale quite well, doesn’t crash over bumps, quite powerful on the go and quiet.
    I don’t particularly like anything Vauxhall make but this vehicle is, in my view, what Vauxhalls should all be like.
    Lean, functional, spacious.
    It carries eggs well..


    Had a 1.6 hire car

    Never everever not enough power at all for the size of car, 7 people and a hill = backwards progression

    Anyone else noticed the seat pedals and wheel dont line up in vauxhalls ? We hired most of the range over the year and not one was right. My fronteras the same.


    Not the best car i’ve had but ive just picked up 10 2.5m arris rails 8 packs of 1.5m feather board and 4 1.8m fence posts oh and 2 bags of concrete all inside the car!. for carrying stuff its great without being too big. i’ve the 1.6 petrol (dont ask its awful and underpowered) and the clutch slips when cold. also the door electrics can be a bit fragile. lastly the front visibility around the a pillars is a bit crap but if you ask me if id buy another then yeah but it would be a diesel or bigger petrol i can live with its other faults. I do use it by the way as a 7 seater and it is very easy to use.


    We got one of the older 04 diesel ones. Engine seems good and runs lovely, filters DMF etc to do with diesel not so good. It has done 120000 miles now though. Engine management light comes on a lot, but brother in law owns a garage which saves us a fortune.

    Never ones have fiat engines I have heard. The engine being the only reliable thing in ours, we have decided not to get a newer Zafira. Sadly it is still the most practical and roomy part time 7 seater on the market. We just went on skiing holiday with a family of 4 incl 4 pairs of skis and 2 snowboards plus luggage and we did NOT use a Roofbox, the seating is just so flexible…. I do love my Zafira, but my brother in law told us not to get one of the newer ones. We are going to get a Toyota VERSO when the time comes.

    Do you really need a diesel? Newer Diesel engines are prone to all sort of problems: erg valves (£250 parts only, we’ve had 2 in 3 years), dmf flywheel (£600 in parts incl clutch, but more like £1200 ish fitted at dealer). Our older diesel has these, but newer diesels also have dpf filters that can give all sorts of problems, especially when used on mainly short journeys, just google it. They are also very expensive.

    We do 18000 per year in our Zafira, but are now considering petrol. Not as mad as it sounds. On last weeks local fuel prices, comparing a new 1.8 petrol Toyota verso with the diesel (on combined consumption), doing 18000 miles would cost an extra £500 in the petrol car. However, the diesel at a few years old costs an extra £1500 ish to buy. 3 years just to break even. Ad a few valves/filters…… We also do lots of short journeys and only a few VERY long ones. Short journeys at low speed are not good for modern diesels as they need to get hot to clear the filters.

    I think diesels are not what they used to be, they used to keep going forever! It’s trying to make them cleaner that has caused all the problems.

    I’d say, I love my Zafira, but I would get a Toyota verso (not the older corolla verso though).



    we’ve a 2.0TDi ’08 Zafira..

    It’s ok, as above – the petrol versions are apparently better value these days

    We get about 37mpg, the rheostat on the heater matrix is badly designed and suffers from condensation.. we’ve gotten bored of getting it replaced and now just have the heaters off/on full..

    The power steering unit packed up recently.. Vauxhall wanted internal organs and the rights to our first born child, as well as a big chuffing bag of unmarked bills to fix it.. so we got matey who lives round the corner to fit a reconditioned unit..

    other than that it’s got that pretty comfy, naff vauxhall feel to the finish.. the engine is punchy enough but I still find myself often wishing we’d gone for a Touran instead, if only for the better seat removal solutions and more cupholders..


    1.9 16v Cdti 150bhp here. Plenty powerful enough even fully loaded, 50+ mpg at a steady 70, but falls away quickly if you drive above the limit.
    Top spec models have comfortable seats. Hertz rental base models don’t. Pedals are unfortunately a little offset from the wheel on all of them. Visibility out the front is pretty poor compared to modern alternatives (stay well clear of zafiras when your on the bike)
    Ours has been reliable over 5 years, other than servicing (which is cheap) its had an alternator (which wasn’t cheap) and it has an appetite for springs (they sit in a cup which collects water so they rust) and the wiring to the offside rear door is a little short causing some of the wires to break (easy DIY fix)


    1.8 petrol here, had it for three years and would quite happily get another one. Only problems we’ve had is the mass air flow sensor and lambda sensor died and put the car in limp mode. Fixed quickly enough though.


    Hired one once and nearly died. It was so dull and disengaged I turned narcoleptic.

    I thought it was a one off then I hired an Astra.

    Staggers me still that a design team somewhere can get things so wrong. The Astra was a strangely disjointed driving experience and had some weird auto clutchy thing thg freaked me out when it ‘assisted’ me on a hill start.


    We had a Sri 150 1.9 cdti thingy. It was fine and nice to drive with loads of power. Great for about 3 years but at about 5 year old it all started.

    Dmf +£1k
    Egr x3
    Alternators x3
    Glow plugs
    Swirl flap meaning new inlet manifold +£1k
    New ac compressor
    No central locking and rear electric windows in rear due to snapped wires at door joint.
    78k and the upholstery on passenger seat gave way and split in middle
    No spare wheel – more an irritation
    Cracked alloy wheel due to pothole but apparently tgeyre cheapo crappy wheels (18″)


    Hired a new, fully loaded one recently for a couple of weeks, it was a 1.8 petrol.

    The controls seem very over-assisted, brakes lack feel, steering dead etc. No joy to found in driving it. Plus the odd indicators and handbrake are a little annoying. The layout of the dash is poor, hundreds of small buttons with indecipherable icons. Heated seats ace though, pretty comfy too.

    The engine pulled well for a 1.8 NA in such a large car, I would not want anything smaller though. And it was not at all refined, much noisier than my much older Focus despite only having 4,000 on the clock.


    If they are anything like the corsa or astra youll be replacing steering racks, gear linkages, cam chains, instrument clusters, and more before youve done 50k miles!! (I have had 2 of them!! never again!)

    Vauxhalls are not designed or built very well atall! my money would be on something german (not Opel) or japanese.


    Vauxhall Zafiras in general. Are they terrible?


    Premier Icon RichT

    Had a older Zafira, which I quite liked, but when this went I got a Touran instead of the new Zafira. Just feels nicer to be in and drive.


    I’ve had a few as hire cars. The 1.6’s are completely gutless but Vauxhall make nice strong diesel engines so the 1.9 cdti one pulled nicly. Big inside, you know, like a big echoey room. Drove OK I guess, didn’t like that high up feeling that you sometimes get with people movers and jeeps.


    Average in all areas but the underpowered petrols are available new for < £10k which is an ABSOLUTE BARGAIN if you fancy one….


    One of my colleagues has a 58 plate 2.0D
    Has done 130,000 miles so far (company car) the engine is great but he had some problems with cooling system components failing, and the clutch/flywheel assembly failed last year.
    the interior is a bit ‘low rent’ but functional.

    Premier Icon twinklydave

    Got the 1.6 petrol at the moment. It is a remarkably uninspiring car, and the engine in mine is woefully underpowered when the car’s packed to the rafters with heavy things (ie. people) but…

    …it’s been very reliable (until last week when the emissions warning light came on, damn it!).

    …it’s quite comfy – happily driven 400 miles in it without any aches and pains.

    …you can put a lot of stuff in it – me, Jase and Phil went to France in it, with 3 bikes, all our riding kit and camping kit for a long weekend without any problems. It still gave us 40mpg on that trip too, which was pretty good AND once up to speed it seemed to sit ahppily enough at 80 on the French motorways.

    I’m still getting a Berlingo once the Zaffy dies though.

    From the outside, for what they are, I think they look pretty good.

    Unfortunately, like most Vauxhalls the interior of a coffin would be a nicer place to be. That said, if you’re driving a Vectra now then you’ll be numb to it so I’d say go for it!*

    * all that said, I’d have a Zafira VXR for my next car!


    i had a zaffira for 5yrs, it was ace
    i now have a astra, it is shyte

    Interesting, the Haynes service manual cover both vehicles in the one issue, ie they’re the same. My wife’s got an Astra, won’t have another. She wishes she never got rid of her Alfa.

    Avoid the 1.9 cdti, huge number of faults. If its for sale, its probably started developing them.

    If you press the accelerator and brake together, then swith the ignition to position two, it will show up all the logged error codes.

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    i quite like ours.

    (2007, 1.8petrol, cost £5k with 50k on the clock, in vgc)

    *loads of space for a normal ‘footprint’
    *seems well screwed together
    *driving seat adjusts to suit me (6’1″) and her (5’1″) – nothing else came close.

    *dull to drive (most cars are – i used to own a mini, every journey was an Odyssey, i quite like dull cars now)
    *juddery clutch when cold
    *no cup holders
    *thirstyish (40mpg on a motorway run, 30mpg mixed)
    *runs out of gears at 70
    *sodding solid roof-rails, forcing you to spend £100 on a the right clamp-kit
    *auto-intermittent windscreen wipers are the work of satan
    *thick A pillars
    *electric boot release, it works, but i really cannot see the point in it

    spence – Member
    My wife’s got an Astra, won’t have another. She wishes she never got rid of her Alfa.

    chap at work sold his creaky old Alfa, for a much newer Audi, he’s had to learn how to use buses as the Audi’s such an unreliable heap of crap.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Thanks for the input. I think I’ll have a look at one of the larger engine variants when the time comes. I actually quite like my Vectra and the damn thing keeps on going without any terminal repair bills.

    The issue is that as the grandparents get older I’m going to need 6 seats to freight everyone about. I need something where the back row of seats can be stowed in the floor rather than removed. They’ll only be needed once in a while and I’ve got nowhere to store them if I have to take them out for bike carrying duties.


    We are in the same boat, need more seats, but only sometimes and nowhere to store spares. Like I said, I love my Zafira, it is just developing too many faults and I have been recovered too many times lately.

    Take a look at the newer Toyota Verso…. Much the same as the Zafira, maybe a tat smaller, but without getting to know your recovery man as well.



    They’re all right, but the driving position is terrible. Some clot at General Motors decided that the steering wheel should not go directly in front of the driver and instead should be shifted to one side.

    I had back ache within twenty minutes of getting behind the wheel.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I spent a bit of time looking at the quick ones… Was a wee bit put off by the bench seat arrangements, front seat folds up but not very far, I’d have wanted it out for cycling use. I just thought it’d be quite fun to have a 190bhp people carrier, really 🙄


    Northwind – Member

    I spent a bit of time looking at the quick ones… Was a wee bit put off by the bench seat arrangements, front seat folds up but not very far, I’d have wanted it out for cycling use. I just thought it’d be quite fun to have a 190bhp people carrier, really

    SMAX with the ST’s 5 pot turbo then? 🙂


    I’m considering a zafira but you lot are putting me off! Anyway, my ten pence: we used them as rrv’s for a few years, 1.9td sri’s. Good stereo, loads of space, plenty fast enough, comfy enough for a 12 hour shift. Against, poor build quality, poor in the snow (though driven fast with a lot of weight in the boot), some didn’t like the seats. Reliability was an issue, but they were high milage abused emergency vehicles so that comes with the territory! That said, skoda Octavia scouts we have now seem much better.


    Just had a brand new hire one (320 miles on it but the last model) delivered whilst my Sharan is in for some work doing.
    It is absolutely dire.. No wonder Vauxhall have been left in the dust by Ford if this is and indication of the quality they are turning out.
    It just feels incredibly cheap after my 61 plate Sharan (latest shape same as the Alhambra car of the year) and 2 Galaxy’s and an S max.

    I wouldnt consider one if i was looking to send my money.!

    Premier Icon jonke

    Agree had a1.9cdti. And was very unreliable. Seemd to develop a new fault every 6months. Mostly dpf related and also alternator failed. Started to go wrong regularly at about 3 yrs old. Glad i got shot of it after reading above.


    I have an 56 plate 1.6 zafira. Got it for the 7 seats which have proven useful but usually in the scenario when friends/relatives leave their car on our drive and everyone piles into the zafira.

    For load space, I felt my old focus estate was better. The rear seats fold under the floor which means you get less height = cant leave wheels on bikes. Ended up with roof bars which was a pain due to the solid rails and a zafira specific foot pack.

    Had a few electrical faults which means I no longer trust the car – no mechanical issues though.


    I have an 06 1.8 petrol, air con needs filled every year, glove box latch gives up, a common problem. The turning circle is dire, on par with a super tanker.
    Would I get another one? no chance.


    Oh, my glove box latch has given up too.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Hmmm… not great reading.

    I think I’ll have to spend a few quid more and get a Ford S-Max.


    Had one as a courtesy car for a couple of weeks after someone rearranged the front of my Golf. 1.6 unleaded. Shockingly bad.


    I had one of the older ones, rubbish in a word. Poor finish, poor fuel economy, turbo broke, flywheel fell off, underpowered, started blowing black smoke when cold from about 50,000miles, worst car I’ve ever had, was glad to see the back of it.

    I’m now on my 2nd C4 Grand Picasso (total of 140,000 miles in <4years, 113,00 in the first one).
    It’s the best of the occasional 7 seaters, I’ve had or test driven all the others (except an Smax, too dear!), it has the most space inside, the rear folding seats can comfortably take an adult which all the others struggle with. I’ve had the DSG diesel and love it, can’t recomend it highly enough.

    Toyota is over priced imo.
    VW too cramped.
    Multipla too ugly.
    Honda FRV I had was great but the boot was a bit small and they stopped making them about four-five years ago.


    Got a 1.9 tdi design 2006. Had it from 6 months and wont be getting another one.
    50 k miles. New starter motor after 2 years. New washer motor. New turbo waste valve.. Alternator. Rattly dash.
    Watch out for rear door looms as they break after a while.. Vauxhall want £400 to repair so soldered myself for now.
    Does cruise well though.. Not a bad car by any means but better out there… At a cost..
    Brother in law has an s-max 2008.. Power steering went and ford wanted £750 to replace, glass roof cracked, boot lock stopped working, new clutch.. So not that much better

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