Vauxhall’s Zafira Tourer

The countdown is on to the launch of Vauxhall’s Zafira Tourer, with the model due to land in showrooms in October.

And ahead of its launch, the car-maker has been keen to stress how current owners will not see a great deal of major changes, with the new model carrying forward a range of trendsetting features.

These include the Flex7 seating system, ergonomically-approved front seats, and the previous car’s adaptive suspension damping, designed to give a smooth ride over all road conditions. The car also looks lower on the road, thanks to the wheels having been more widely spaced, and housed under extended wheel arches.

These new design touches are the work of a Briton, who has led the design team given the job of re-inventing the seven-seater Zafira for a new audience. Mark Adams says he aimed for “a new level of sophistication”, and said buyers should particularly be attracted by the car’s totally re-designed instrument panel, which he said was “purer, clearer and easier to use”.

A ‘first’ for the sector being claimed by Vauxhall is LED headlamps with a so-called adaptive forward lighting facility. So, for instance, the lights will adjust according to the driving conditions, and whether the car is being driven in regular traffic or performing a manoeuvre.

All The Entertainment - And On-Board Help - You Could Need

In-car entertainment has come a long, long way since the best you could hope for was an AM/FM radio and cassette player (ask your parents…).

The Zafira Tourer will have compatible interfaces with Apple and Android devices, while you’ll be keep well informed on your journey courtesy of Vauxhall’s patented OnStar system, which makes your car a mobile internet hotspot, capable of having up to seven devices connected to it at once, and through which it offers a range of valuable connected services.

These include automatic crash response, which is triggered when an airbag is deployed and instantly connects you to a trained advisor who can summon the appropriate help, and also reports details of the crash, including your location, to Vauxhall’s own service centre. There’s also an SOS button in the car, which can be used to summon help in the event of a medical emergency.

Given that so many of its potential customers used them day-in, day-out, it’s not surprising that Vauxhall draws a number of parallels between its Zafira Tourer’s various controls, and smartphones and tablets.

It says the seven-inch touchscreen interface through which all these features are accessed is “inspired by top-of-the-range tablets”, while the company is also keen to stress that its on-board controls can also be linked to Apple or Android smartphones, to enable them to be used to also let drivers stay in touch and connected - hands-free and legally - while on the move.

Vauxhall Puts Comfort In The Front Seat

The front sport seats which are adjustable six ways, large storage box, and cup-holders which can slide on metal rails to their required position are all ‘little extra’ features which emphasise the versatility of the Zafira Tourer. In the same vein, the centre section of the middle seating area can be folded down and rotated to offer comfortable armrests if only one or two passengers are travelling in them.

But the biggest party trick lurking inside the car’s spacious interior is the panoramic sunroof, which keeps the interior light and airy in almost any conditions (maybe even a typical English summer…). Enabling the glass area in front of and over all occupants’ heads to flow smoothly all the way from the top of the bonnet to the back of the vehicle, it’s designed to create a feeling of light and spaciousness.

Vauxhall claims the wealth of interior storage space offers as many as 30 different areas, while, in a concession to the growing numbers of people who want to take their bikes with them on their travels, its Flex-Fix rear carrying system offers a support base which slides out from the back bumper and can carry up to four cycles - all this while still allowing the tailgate to be lifted.

Lighting The Way

The Zafira Tourer’s Adaptive Forward Lighting is claimed to be a first for this type of vehicle, and means that the front lights adjust themselves automatically according to the type of driving being done.

So, for example, it will adjust the level of light emitted and the pattern of the lights to one of nine different settings according to the level of darkness. The aim, says Vauxhall is “so that optimal light performance is given without dazzling other drivers”. The basic principle behind the system is to give optimal light coverage while cornering, while the lights are also linked to the car’s front camera, to allow it to detect when it is safe to switch to high beam.

Distance Learning

That same camera is also integral to the car’s safety, as it detects the distance between the Zafira Tourer and the vehicle immediately in front. The information this receives also feeds information to the vehicle’s computer so that it can detect how far ahead the nearest vehicle is.

If it senses that the distance between that vehicle shrinks rapidly, it will automatically carry out an emergency brake application. The same Forward Collision Alert system also sends visible and audible alerts to the driver. Similar sound and vision signals are triggered when the car is travelling at more than 37mph and its Lane Departure Warning system senses when the car has either crossed into another lane without signalling.

Relaxed long-distance journeys should also be made possible with the help of the car’s Adaptive Cruise Control which, in addition to maintaining a pre-set speed, will also ensure that it stays a certain distance from the vehicle ahead.

And The Price Of All This Luxury and Technology Is…

Vauxhall had just announced the pricing for the Zafira Tourer at the time of writing, revealing that, when it goes on sale in October, prices will start at £18,615 on the road.

The entry-level Design model will be fitted with the lower-powered of the two engines to be made available, a 1.4i 140PS turbocharged petrol unit. It will also be offered with a two-litre diesel engine, which Vauxhall is claiming will offer economy of up to 57.7mpg.

There will be eight different trim levels running through the range, with SRi models especially appealing to sportier drivers, and the flagship models carrying ‘Elite’ designations.

At the top of the range, buyers get the aforementioned panoramic sunroof as standard, as well as heated leather front seats, dark tinted rear windows, electronic climate control, and front fog lights.

Find lots more details about the Zafira Tourer here, then if you want to learn even more, get in touch with your nearest 06Vauxhall dealer. You’ll find us in Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.