What Car? Used Car of the Year - MPV

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  • UK's best used cars
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Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 Club AC
Year '06/06
Price £6000

In a time of ups and downs in the used car market, the Vauxhall Zarifa remains as solid as a rock.

This is the third straight win for the Zafira and, at the moment, it's hard to imagine another people-carrier stealing its crown. Seven seats, low running costs and a bargain pricetag of around £6000 for a three-year-old car make it a must-buy MPV.

Its flexible folding-seat system means you can handle everything from a five-a-side team to moving house. There's lots of passenger space for five people, although the third row of seats is best for children, because legroom is limited.

Buyers who cover high annual mileages can consider the powerful, frugal diesel models, but we still think the 1.6-litre petrol model is best for most people.

Judge's view
Name Matt Sanger
Job Used car editor, What Car?
Verdict: 'If you want an MPV that's really cost-effective, there's no better bet than the Zafira. Rivals might be slightly better to drive, slightly bigger or slightly more refined, but they can't trump the Vauxhall for all-round ability or value.'
No, it's not very fast, but it's much cheaper to buy than the diesels, it's still economical and keeps insurance and road tax bills down.

The Club AC model comes with air-conditioning, remote central locking and ISOFIX child-seat anchor points. Look out for cars with the optional curtain airbags fitted, too.

A constant stream of lease and hire vehicles into car supermarkets and large independent dealers make these the best places to pick up a Zafira.

There are some very high-mileage examples around, but with so many cars for sale you can afford to be picky.

However, make sure that the service history of any car you look at is complete, because lease companies sometimes skimp on maintenance.

Buyer's Guide
Power 104bhp Fuel Economy 39.0mpg (average) 0-60mph/Max 15.2sec/107mph Insurance Group 5 CO2 Emissions 175g/km Road tax £175 a year euro NCAP Rating 5 stars Reliability Rating 3 stars Service Intervals 20,000 miles


Runners-up
Citroën Xsara Picasso 1.6 SX
Year: '03/03
Price: £3400
Cheap and cheerful, but still great for transporting five. Low-mileage private sales offer best value.
Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec
Year: '06/56
Price: £12,500
This seven-seater is great to drive, and its smooth diesel engine blends impressive pace and economy.
Volkswagen Touran 1.9 TDI SE 7st
Year: '05/55
Price: £9100
Desirable and dependable, the Touran is a comfortable and classy way to transport seven people.

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