Opel reinvents the Zafira
Opel's Zafira people carrier is making a comeback, but not perhaps in the form you were expecting it. The original Zafira (which ran for two generations, and a spin-off Zafira Tourer version) was a compact family seven-seater, based on the Opel Astra and Insignia chassis. The first-gen Zafira was quite the trailblazer, back in 1999, as it was the first compact MPV to include not only seats for seven, but a third row that folded flat into the floor.
Now, the Zafira name is returning to our roads, but instead of a new MPV based on the current Astra or Insignia, this new version is actually a van. It's based on the same body and chassis as the new Opel Vivaro (and therefore is also shared with the Peugeot Traveller, Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota Proace) so while it's maybe a little less sophisticated than before, it's certainly going to be spacious.
It'll be available in two body lengths; a 4.95-metre long 'Medium' chassis and a 5.3-metre long 'Large' version. With either length, you will be able to squeeze as many as nine people in, which is two more than the old Zafira ever managed. In fact, you can choose from five-, six-, seven-, eight-, or nine-seat layouts, all of which can be slid around and adjusted on aluminium floor rails - and leather seats will be optionally available.
Practicality is, obviously, high on the list of priorities. This being a van (in its essentials), if you remove all of the rear seats, then there's a whopping 3.4 cubic metre space to load stuff into. Should make trips to IKEA a bit of a breeze.
In spite of that size, Opel points out that the new Zafira Life is under 1.9 metres tall, so dealing with multi-storey car park height restrictions shouldn't be a problem.
There are two diesel engines on offer - 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre BlueHDi units, shared with the Peugeot and Citroen models, and power outputs range from 100hp to 180hp, with an optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. By 2021, there will even be an all-electric version.
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