Fleet News

Vauxhall Zafira 2.0 DTi Elegance



ANYONE who has moved house recently will have sympathy with me. It is a nightmare that no-one deserves and should under no circumstances be undertaken unless absolutely necessary.

My particular nightmare has been going on since last September, but finally the day arrived when my little family upped its roots and re-planted them in a different part of town.

Some furniture removal men are renowned for their less-than-delicate handling of family treasures, so despite the fact that I was only moving about three miles down the road, there was no way I was going to leave certain of my possessions in their hands.

My trusty computer, for instance - a tool without which I would be unable to bring you reports such as this - was staying firmly within my sight. And treasured portraits of my grandmother and grandfather taken at the turn of the century deserved better than to be chucked in the back of a lorry. What I needed was a nice little load lugger.

And what better do we have on the long-term test fleet at present than the Vauxhall Zafira? Thus I found myself behind the wheel of this car for an unprecedented third spell (we normally only get a maximum of two 'goes' in each vehicle).

One of the great things about the Zafira, in case you didn't know, is that all the rear seats fold away inside the car, leaving acres of good useable luggage space. With most MPVs, you have to take the seats out and put them somewhere else while you are lugging your loads about. So while the big stuff went aboard the pantechnicon, my son and I put all the smaller stuff in the back of the Zafira and even the removal men were amazed at how much junk it swallowed up.

Of course, the sheer usefulness of such a vehicle has a downside. Everyone on Fleet News has been blagging the car for their various lifestyle activities and the inside is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. It is amazing how many scuffs and scrapes accumulate when you actually put a vehicle to hard use. In a bid to keep things from going too far, I will be having a word with our trusty wash 'n' brush-up man Sammy the Chamois, who I swear has the capability of turning a dustbin into a penthouse suite. He will soon put our Zafira back to rights.

So what about complaints? For starters, the car seems to be drinking oil at a phenomenal rate. Vauxhall has apparently heard of other similar models using excess oil and is rectifying the problem as they come in for servicing.

The other problem is that the car's alarm has a nasty habit of setting itself off for no apparent reason at 3am outside my city centre home.

It is a problem not only for me, who has to rush out into the road in slippers and dressing gown to switch it off, but I have noticed the neighbours giving me menacing looks too. Maybe it is a good job I was moving or Peterborough could have witnessed its first lynching!

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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