I have owned a 1.6 Zafira Club for 13 months and have done 12,000 miles in it.
It has broken down on me eight times. Each time the AA has associated the problem with the exhaust gas recirculation valve, this has been replaced twice since January alone. The dealership is now exchanging the vehicle on a like-for-like basis due to the problems I have had and only after pressure from Trading Standards making a legal case of it.
I am about to collect the replacement car, which they would only give the same year/model, with a charge to me for the new warranty.
I would like to say to anyone considering buying a Vauxhall is do not buy one - in my opinion, they don't hold their value and offer very poor for performance and reliability. In my experience, Vauxhall will not want to know about your problems - you will be on your own.
I purchased the New shape 1.6 16v Life in Nov '05. It was pre registered (10 miles on clock) by the dealer and had extras fitted. These were Cruise Control, Climate Control, Alloy Wheels and Metalic paint. I saved over 2K on the list price so was very happy.
I have now had the car for 7 months and a few problems have arisen.
The engine cut out on a number of occasions ( now seems to be OK after 4 visits to the dealer). Lots of irritating rattles and noises, some sorted out.
The car handles very well round corners but the 1.6 engine is under powered especially with the A/C on. The average MPG since new is 30, not what Vauxhall claim.
Very practical car for 5 people and luggage. Rear seats really only suitable for kids, and that leaves no room for any luggage.
Having owned two earlier model petrol automatics and been satisfied with them I was looking forward to owning the latest state of the art refined CDTI automatic. What a disappointment. Service from the dealer and Vauxhall Customer service has been disgusting.
Faults include Alarm system (three months to get fixed) Body panel and rear door out of alignment by up to 6 mm (5 months to get fixed and the paintwork was damaged in the process and had to be resprayed). The Column Integrated Module (steering column switchgear) had to be replaced, Plastic panels inside and outside the car are loose, soundproofing panels in the engine bay were missing, leather panels on the seats are baggy, etc. etc.
It is so easy to find fault with the car. Worst of the lot is the engine which chugs, knocks and rattles constantly. All 'characteristic say Vauxhall, but the 'demo' car they provided for comparison was quieter, smoother running, more responsive and did not have the annoying rattle when maintaining constant urban speeds. Now Vauxhall say no two cars are the same. The dealer says see a solicitor if you don't like it. I can't afford to loose the money to get rid of the car or go 'legal' If anyone still wants one of these things - go for at least a three day try and buy or you can have mine, cheap.
I had this Zafira 1.8 Active (Special Edition) for a day's test-drive. I was taking advantage of Vauxhall's excellent 3 day test-drive, but the car was only available for one-day. A full day was quite sufficient to get a good sense of the car's capabilities, however, and much more useful than the usual half-hour round the block.
The New Zafira is a far better-looking car than its somewhat bland predecessor, and I found the 1.8 great to drive. The driving position is comfortable and the height of the car means there's an excellent view of the road ahead. The cabin is well laid out and conveys a sense of quality. I really liked the unusual hand- brake.
The main problem with the car is the second row of seats: whilst there is plenty of leg and head-room, there just isn't enough elbow-room, and with our two-year old daughter in her ISOFIX seat, my parents were squashed in beside her and were not at all comfortable. It was a totally different matter when I had use of a VW Touran for the day recently: though the car seems smaller overalll, the three separate, generously sized seats made it a much more comfortable ride in the second row.
Why did the Zafira designers make the second row seats a bench? You basically have to evacuate the second row to get anyone in or out of the third - especially inconvenient if you have children's car seats in place. For a "clever family car" it seems a case of really bad design to me, one that Vauxhall need to address.
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