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Zafira VXR review

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  • Zafira VXR review

    The Zafira VXR is available in Arden Blue, Flame Red, Black Sapphire and Star Silver, although each VXR model has its brake calipers finished in Arden Blue (which will probably be the first choice of many VXR customers as it is unique to the VXR range).
    The Zafira looks good with it’s 18” alloys, but the optional 19s will look awesome.
    It features the new trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes – one at either side which creates a balanced and purposeful look.
    The ‘Sport’ switch is useful, as it has the noticeable effect of firming up the steering, suspension and throttle settings to make for a truly sporty driving experience. I like this feature as it gives you the best of both worlds as it allows for a family-friendly ride when you’re loaded up with the kids, and more of a sporty experience when you want to make good progress or feel like taking the car around a circuit.
    Having driven a Zafira GSi very recently, I was able to make a good comparison between the two cars. With a power output of 240 PS, the VXR has a 40 PS advantage over the GSi, combined with 70 Nm more of torque (320 Nm compared to 250 Nm).
    Even though the VXR is only 0.4 seconds quicker from 0-60, the difference can be felt in the in-gear acceleration which is a bit more ‘kick in the back’ than the GSi. Fuel consumption is comparable between the two cars, although I don’t think this is likely to be high on the list of key requirements for a VXR customer.
    The brakes are also more effective, having a front disc size of 321 mm (an increase of 13 mm from the GSi) with the rear discs being 14 mm bigger at 278 mm. The VXR also features IDS-plus with Continuous Damping Control which makes for more stable cornering.
    The Recaro interior provides excellent support, and the driving position is very comfortable. It does feel sturdy on the road, although having that much power available in a car with quite a high seating position still feels a little odd – for that reason I don’t think it could ever be described as a sports car, but then that is not why people would want to buy it.
    As with the Zafira GSi, if you need the benefits and practicality of an MPV and also want the performance under your foot when the kids aren’t in the car, then there really is nothing else on the market that provides the same combination of the ‘best of both worlds.’
    There is no doubt that VXR means so much more to a Vauxhall model than just a performance moniker, such as GSi, SRi, etc. It is an ethos that extends to a range of VXR accessory parts, such as body styling accessories, for the more mainstream models.
    The aftermarket VXR parts are, however, not the same as those fitted to production VXR models, although they are of course similar. That guarantees an element of exclusivity. With VXR, the compromise is balanced in the favour of performance rather than a general ‘all-rounder.’ For example, each VXR model comes with a temporary tyre inflation kit rather than a spare wheel - there are no space-saver spare wheels big enough to fit around the front brake discs, and a full-size spare wheel would be too big for the spare wheel well.