Gone are the days when seven-seaters had names that reflected their carrying capacity and usefulness for long trips, such as the Holden Odyssey or the Hyundai iMax. Opel has picked out something that sounds like the main character in a cheesy fantasy fiction novel or a professional belly dancer in naming the Zafira. It’s a fun-sounding and rather exotic name that hints at “Sapphire” and “Zephyr”. It’s the sort of name that would suit a sports car. And it goes to show that people-movers can have their share of flair. After all, if you have a family of the size that requires a seven-seater, it’s obvious to everybody that you have had quite a bit of fun already in order to get all those kids.
Moving right along now… The Opel Zafira is due to hit Australian shores at about the time of writing, in spite of Opel deciding that it is planning on leaving the Australian market. The Zafira has been part of Opel’s master plan for some time, although the company is keeping a bit hush-hush about the exact specs of the Opel Zafira we’re actually going to get. For this review, as we haven’t been able to get our mitts on the car or on the list of Aussie specs, we’ve taken what’s on the Irish version (the UK version is confusingly called the Vauxhall Zafira – Opel/Holden/Vauxhall vehicles seem to have more aliases than a double agent). There are older Holden Zafiras around the place, but the third generation Opel Zafira has had quite a few tweaks as well as a shift from Opel to Holden for the Aussie market.
The latest Opel Zafira certainly looks like a good modern vehicle, with nicely shaped headlights, a smooth side-on profile and front air intake that look a wee bit sporty. At first glance, the Opel Zafira doesn’t look like an MPV, but looks more like a regular stationwagon, albeit a slightly bigger one. And I like those 16-inch alloy wheels that come as standard on the overseas models. The interior design is also quite striking. The designers seem to have gone for a chunkier look to the dials, buttons and displays, making everything easy to see and use.
There are two possibilities for the engine that we’ll have inside the Opel Zafira. We might not know for certain exactly what we’ll get but to judge from overseas models, it’ll be powered by diesel and it will have a 1.7-litre capacity. The difference between the two overseas options is in the power output, with the 110-PS Ecoflex engine popping out 81 kW at 3800 rpm and the 125-PS managing 92 kW at 4000 rpm. This doesn’t sound like much, but the torque figures are a lot juicier, as you would expect from diesel engines: 260 Nm at 2300 rpm in the 110-PS Ecoflex and 280 Nm at a low 2300 rpm in the peppier of the pair. It also looks as though six-speed manual and six-speed transmission are going to be available.
The Opel Zafira also looks like it’s going to get a good dollop of bells and whistles, too. Some of the ones we’re most likely to see on Australian models include: steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a leather steering wheel that’s fully adjustable, electronic climate control, an audio system with auxiliary input a multi-function trip computer with a 5-inch display screen, fog lights, remote locking, ABS brakes, roof rails, parking sensors front and back and Bluetooth connectivity. With any luck, we’ll get a navigation system as well, like the overseas ones do. The FlexOrganiser system also looks like the sort of thing I could do with in my car. This isn’t some electronic gadget but is a collection of boxes, nets, dividers and hooks for the rear space (either the small space if all seven seats in the Opel Zafira are used or the larger space needed if you flip the third row of seats up). This will make sure that the bottle of juice for the picnic isn’t going to roll onto the dirty football boots, and that the dog riding in the boot doesn’t get hairs all over the raincoats.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Opel Zafira, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Opel dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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