Frankfurt Show 2011 Highlights: 2012 Opel/Vauxhall Zafira


Vauxhall’s all-new Zafira Tourer, unveiled at Frankfurt motor show this week, is to be priced from £21,000 for the entry-level ES 1.8.

Vauxhall has aggressively priced the seven-seat MPV against the class-leading Ford S-Max, which it undercuts by £1200 on list price.

Retaining the seven-seat interior configuration of the Zafira MPV, the Tourer is 190mm longer, with 57mm more wheelbase, while track is up by 96mm at the front and 78mm at the rear.

The larger footprint is underpinned by a new chassis set-up, the interior benefits from added seating flexibility and quality, new electronic driver aids are introduced, and two more engines are added to the range.

Boot space is up 65 litres to 710 litres in five-seat configuration, with maximum load capacity reaching 1860 litres when the rear seats are stowed – bettering the Zafira by 40 litres.

Flexibility is increased by the second row that now comprises three separate seats rather than a bench, with the central chair back folding and rotating away to provide additional space for the outer-seat occupants on some models. Up front there’s a new storage unit between the seats and flexible armrests.

The Zafira Tourer’s front suspension shares its isolated subframe and MacPherson strut arrangement with the Insignia, while the Zafira’s solid rear axle is supplemented by a Watt’s linkage to improve stability. Vauxhall’s FlexRide reactive adaptive damping is an option, and can also be toggled manually between Standard, Tour and Sport modes.

Engine options will include the Zafira’s 1.8-litre, 138bhp petrol unit, joined by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing the same power and three variants of the 2.0-litre CDTi from the Insignia. The diesel workhorses will produce 109bhp, 128bhp and 163bhp.

Sitting above the basic ES trim will be Exclusiv, Sri, SE and Elite versions. The petrol 1.8 gets a five-speed manual ’box only, while the others are governed by six-speed manuals or an optional six-speed automatic gearbox on certain models. Start-stop will also be available on some cars.

A new range of available driver aids includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot alert, lane departure warning, and a parking aid that identifies suitable spaces then guides the driver in.

The Zafira Tourer will initially sit alongside the existing Zafira in Vauxhall's model range, but with two very different Zafira models in the Vauxhall line-up, the company could be accused of confusing buyers.

However, the older Zafira is likely to fade away in the next few years, leaving space in the range for a couple of new models. One will be a Corsa-derived SUV, the other possibly a Peugeot 3008-style soft-roader to replace the slow-selling Antara. ‘We wouldn’t just name the Zafira Tourer in isolation, not knowing what else is coming along,’ says design chief Mark Adams.

Sales of the Zafira Tourer will begin on the Continent in late 2011, with UK sales starting early next year.

Thanks to: Autocar

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