Three levels of turbodiesel power are offered in the new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
Tuned to provide outputs ranging from 110bhp to 165bhp, the 2.0-litre compression-ignition motor developed for the Insignia should boost the appeal of people-carrier mobility with motorists who want their practical transport to come with greater luxury.
But Ecoflex technology promises to be the key factor in opening fresh doors on user-chooser sales for the Tourer, the model designed to drive the Zafira into more upmarket territory. Available only on the 130bhp, mid-range version of the engine, it comes with the stop-start gadgetry that slashes tailpipe emissions to just 119g/km for lower BIK tax liability.
Vauxhall officials believe Ecoflex technology will feature on most of the 6,000 examples of the Tourer that are likely to be registered this year alongside the regular Zafira, the UK’s most successful compact sector MPV that will continue in production for the foreseeable future.
There are other reasons to like this version of the car, however. With nippy acceleration and greater visibility thanks to slimmer A-pillars, the car feels more like a saloon than its predecessor and the ability to sweep to twice the speed limit gives its motor all the power it needs for effortless, high comfort travel.
Muted at all speeds, GM’s most recent diesel unit is particularly impressively quiet during main road cruising and has plenty in reserve for safe overtaking.
A high-standard interior finish complements the upper-grade feel of the Tourer, which has ample space for seven occupants, 30 compartments for oddments and is easy to convert into an 1,860-litre volume load carrier.
Thanks to an extensive engineering programme, right-hand drive examples of the car have been made more rewarding for the keen driver.
Such is the significance of the UK market – GM’s biggest sales territory in Europe – that British cars boast sharpened steering response and added weighting for increased road feel at more than 30mph, despite the fact that extra assistance at low speeds means they are also easier to manoeuvre and park than left-hand drive models.
Though only one up on the entry-level ES, Exclusiv trim includes ESP, six airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, DAB stereo radio, a multi-function trip computer, steering wheel audio controls, ambient roof lighting, front and rear power windows and front and rear parking sensors.