The Opel Zafira has been a common fixture of Irish roads since its launch in 1999. The latest generation of the popular MPV got an update at the end of 2016, with a refresh to interior design, exterior styling, infotainment and equipment.

At the moment Opel is getting ready for a major SUV offensive that will see the launch of the Crossland X this summer and the larger Grandland X in the autumn.

But there will always be demand for seven seaters like the Opel Zafira Tourer because they are very practical for large families.

Pricing starts at €29,995 for the Opel Zafira Tourer, and seven seats come as standard. In styling terms, the Zafira Toruer has been given a refresh around the nose area to keep it in line with the rest of the Opel range. The small changes actually make a big difference and the Zafira Tourer is easily one of the best looking large seven seat MPVs on the market.

2017 Opel Zafira Tourer Review Ireland
The interior of the Opel Zafira Tourer

There have also been some welcome changes inside. The new dashboard design is built around the Intellilink infotainment system, now compatible with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. It’s stylish, well-built and easy to navigate. As you would expect from a family car, there are lots of storage spaces.

This is a very spacious family car and occupants in row 2 are well accomodated for. It should be no problem to seat three back here. There are three individual seats and they can be slid backwards and forwards. This is good because it means that when the two seats in row 3 are in use, more legroom can be made available. Row 3 is tight and will only suit children, but that’s common in this segment.

In five seat mode, the boot will accommodate a very generous 710 litres, but in two seat mode there is only 152 litres.

There are three trim levels for the Opel Zafira Tourer in Ireland: SC (from €29,995), SE (from €32,510) and Elite (from €37,050).

Opel Zafira Tourer Review Ireland
The Opel Zafira Tourer has flexible seating for seven

Standard equipment includes Opel OnStar, 7” touchscreen, air con, cruise control, four electric windows, 17” alloys and parking sensors. SE adds electric parking brake, climate control, navigation, front fog lights, auto lights and wipers, and a choice of 18” or 19” alloy. Top of the range Elite models have 18” alloys, leather seat trim, driver’s electric lumbar support, heated front seats, panoramic windscreen and sunroof.

Engines for the Opel Zafira Tourer include a 1.4-litre turbo petrol (140hp), and 1.6-litre (134hp) and 2.0-litre (170hp) diesels. My test car had the 2.0-litre diesel and it’s really excellent. The 400Nm of torque means that it pulls hard from low revs so will be well capable of carrying all the family on board and it’s refined too.

Behind the wheel, for a large MPV the Zafira Tourer is easy to drive with light controls. It feels agile around town and the steering is well weighted with lots of grip from the front end when you are pushing on. It feels firmer set than some other MPVs, which seems to be where the tight handling comes from, but it’s still the large, comfortable vehicle you would expect.

MPVs are not fashionable anymore and suffer a bit of an image problem but for families they still make a lot of sense and the Opel Zafira Tourer is a good example of the genre. Aside from the cavernous cabin and flexible seating, the Zafira Tourer is nice to drive with a pleasant cabin ambience. You wouldn’t really expect any more from a seven seat MPV.

Opel Zafira Tourer Review Ireland
MPVs are not fashionable anymore but the Opel Zafira Tourer is a good example of the genre

Model tested: Opel Zafira Tourer Elite 2.0CDTi 170hp
€37,050 (Range starts at €29,995)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 400Nm
9.8 seconds
Top speed: 208km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€280 per year

Caroline Kidd

If you are looking for a seven seat MPV you might also like this review of the Ford S-MAX.