2013 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Biturbo
* Most powerful Zafira Tourer driven in UK * Twin-turbo diesel gives 192bhp and 50.4mpg * On sale now, priced from 27,690...
The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Biturbo is the most expensive version of Vauxhalls big seven-seat MPV, and uses the same twin-turbo diesel engine as Biturbo versions of the Insignia and Astra Sports Tourer.
The 2.0-litre engine produces 192bhp and a healthy 295lb ft of torque, yet still manages a reasonable 50.4mpg and emits 149g/km of CO2.
The new Zafira Biturbo is available in SRi, SE and Elite trims, with prices starting from 27,690.
Whats the 2013 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi Biturbo like inside?
The Biturbo gets the same practical seven-seat layout as any other Zafira Tourer.
The middle row of seats is made up of three individual chairs, which each slide back and forth independently.
This system which is found in most modern MPVs allows all three passengers to set different amounts of legroom, and means only one person needs to get out to give access to the two rearmost seats.
Before you can access the third row, though, you need to pull a lever on one of the outer second-row seats, which collapses the seatback and allows you to slide the whole assembly forward. Its simple enough, and it leaves a sizeable gap to clamber through.
Once youre in, though, things are far more cramped than they are in a Seat Alhambra. In fact, anyone over about five-feet tall will find their knees pushed up under their chins unless passengers in the middle row are prepared to sacrifice some legroom.
Fold down the seats in the second and third rows and you get a van-like load bay, although theres a large gap in the floor that you have to cover by unfolding a loose piece of carpet.
In the front theres a smart if slightly complex dashboard, and comfortable and supportive seats for mum and dad. However, there isnt as much front storage space as there is in some rivals, including the Seat Alhambra.
Forward visibility is good thanks to the Tourers thin windscreen pillars. However, over-the-shoulder visibility could also be better as the thick rear pillars obstruct the view.
Whats the 2013 Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi Biturbo like to drive?
Theres no shortage of torque; the smaller of the two turbos spins up quickly so power arrives low in the rev range. Theres a wide power band, too, because the larger turbo takes over at higher revs to ensure 0-62mph is dealt with in 8.5 seconds.
Despite all the torque being channelled through the front wheels, the steering wheel doesnt writhe around in your hands when you put your foot down.
The steering itself is relatively light, which is great in town and when parking. Its a little vague around the straight-ahead, but the weighting is mostly consistent.
Turn into a corner and the Tourer controls its tall body well, although the fairly stiff suspension does means the ride can become unsettled at low speeds over broken surfaces. This trait wasnt helped by our test cars optional 19-inch alloys.
Most noticeable from the drivers seat, though, is the engine, which is gruff under acceleration and sends quite a lot of buzz through the pedals. It remains noisy at motorway speeds, too.
Should I buy one?
Vauxhalls Biturbo diesel engine works well in the Zafira Tourer. True, its pretty noisy, but its more flexible than other diesels in the range and yet remains reasonably affordable to run.
However, its simply too expensive to recommend over cheaper versions of the car especially for company car drivers, who wont be able to take advantage of any dealers discounts, so will pay tax on the full list price.
The Biturbo looks poor value when compared with its competition, too. A Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI 140 Ecomotive has more than enough power to haul around seven people and bootfull of luggage, is just as efficient, is much more practical and even in well-equipped SE trim is nearly 800 cheaper to buy.
What Car? says...
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Price from 27,685
Torque 295lb ft
0-60mph 8.5 seconds
Top speed 135mph
Fuel economy 50.4mpg (official combined)
By Rory White