Vauxhall Zafira VXR – The Worlds Fastest People Carrier?
Want to scare 7 people all at once, well in Vauxhalls super fast people carrier, the 240BHP Zafira VXR you can do just that. Vauxhall claims that the Zafira VXR is the worlds fastest MPV, taking just 7.2 seconds to hit 62mph and running on to around 144mph.
The Zafira VXR uses the same engine transmission set up as the Astra VXR, which is a wee bit faster than its bigger brother, but then if you buy a sporty Astra, you kind of know what you’re looking for in the car and what you expect to get, with the Zafira, its all very different.
Fact is during our time with the Zafira VXR just couldn’t get its power down. Scrabbling front wheels and horrendous under steer were the most memorable features of our time with the car. Now whilst that’s all great fun to play with for a while, if your going to drive the car hard for 3 years, its something you are probably going to get very tired of.
You won’t however get tired of sitting at the traffic lights alongside some pretentious Jack the Lad in his BMW with all the “I’m going to blow you away body language” for when the lights change, (most times) he’s history.
In terms of appearance, Zafira VXR is moody, but it’s kind of discrete, hiding its hardcore heart beneath its beautifully subtle bodywork. Big bumpers and huge alloys that allow you to see the bright blue brake callipers through, plus a couple of trapezoid shaped tail pipes are the main points that say this car is something very different.
So lets take a look Inside the Zafira VXR, and there’s everything you would get in the normal version, its still got the fabulous flex7 seating system and is still comfortable no matter in which of the 7 places you are put.. Our car had satellite navigation and there are some nice little racy VXR touches, but it was still pretty standard. This is a good family car, but you’re going to have to expect your kids to be grabbing for the in-flight sick bags on a regular basis if you decide to use just a part of this cars darker side.
It might seem like we are panning or hitting the car, but we really are not. If you’re looking for a sporting car, this isn’t it, but it is fast, very fast, (too fast in fact) and it was fun and importantly, we thought it looked great, looked a bit special. The cars handling in normal conditions was composed and predictable, although powering it into a roundabout in the damp produced huge amounts of disconcerting under steer and yes, I guess it was good fun, and may have some medical benefit as doctors tell us its always good to get your pulse rate up occasionally.
We tested the car for around 2 weeks and with some reservations, we loved it, but then, we really like the standard Zafira, as it is a very good car. Fuel consumption of the VXR was fairly bad (to be honest) with around 20 – 24mpg being the maximum we got out of it, although driving it with a light right foot would improve this, but it kind of defeats the object of having the thing in the first place.
On the green side of things, you are going to kill tree’s as you drive by as the CO2 is a massive 230g/km, which to put it into perspective, is the same amount as two (yes 2) Ford Focus 1.6 ECOnetic’s produce.
The Zafira VXR is just short of £23,000 which looks expensive comparing it to a Zafira 1.6 Expression which is almost 10 grand less at £12995. Our car had options as well, which came to almost £4000 so we are looking at around £27,000 and you get a lot of choice of car if you’re going to spend £27,000, so you need to love this car lots, or have a very good reason to want to move 7 people around fast before getting out the cheque book.
What’s our verdict? Well If you’re looking for a sporting car, this isn’t it, but it is fast and we thought it was hell of a lot of fun and we thought it looked great. We liked its size and versatility (all things that the normal Zafira offers) and we liked its uniqueness as there just are not many around. We also loved the traffic light drag race and the look on peoples faces as they tried to make you eat there dust.
We couldn’t figure out who exactly the Zafira VXR was really aimed or who was going to buy it at as its just too fast to use sensibly on a day to day basis and using it any other way kind of seems a waste to have paid for all that power and you are not taking advantage of it.
If we had to part with our own cash, we would probably choose the more basic diesel car and save ourselves a few grand and get at least double the fuel economy. If however money isn’t an object or if we were getting the VXR as a company car, we would snap your hand off to get into the entertaining Zafira VXR.
So if you want a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a mega fast MPV that in terms of sheer performance, leaves most other cars in its wake, whilst allowing your kids to throw up regularly and if you can afford to drive it as its meant to be driven and afford the 22mpg, well we have found the very car for you.
For a quotation on the Zafira VXR or any other car or van in the Vauxhall range, please contact us.