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Zafira VXR v GSI - First impressions...

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  • Zafira VXR v GSI - First impressions...

    Apologies to all for this late post - having waited months for delivery, I conveniently went on holiday and the Zafira then spent its first two weeks in the Pink Elephant car park at Heathrow!
    First impression is that the VXR is a completely different kettle of fish to the GSI - it's feels slightly larger inside and seems to have greater visibility from the inside but feels to be a smaller overall size outside when seated. It is far more comfortable with the controls all ready to hand - you can reach the gear stick now, but the real noticable difference is the ride and performance.
    1st gear is practically redundant and mid range performance is something else. I know my GSI had finally done 60k miles but the ride of the VXR, even on 19's is so much smoother and B road blasts are just that - a complete blast. Cornering is much flatter - hell it's nothing like the GSI. It also has brakes - you need 'em!
    The Sport button is an interesting concept and noticably changes the ride and throttle chararcteristic - personal view on this is to never switch it on in town - the throttle response is so sharp and moving your toes results in frequent close inspection of the boot contents of the car in front!
    Overall, the VXR is a huge improvement all round compared to the GSI and I'm absolutely delighted with it - well worth the wait. Having owned a couple of M3's and TVR's before having kids, for the size, cost, and did I mention the huge leap in quality over the GSI, I don't believe there is another vehicle on the market to offer so much all round space, load carrying versatility, comfort and performance.
    The thing that makes me smile the most is that it is after all a people carrier, but will out-perform a large number of prestige and 'high performance' brands. Now I wonder what a Stage 1 would be like....
    If the damn weather improves I'll get some more decent photos posted but at the moment it's filthy - watch this space.
    Marc

  • #2
    Great report and good to see your comparison from the GSI to the VXR. I still very much lke the looks of the GSI, feel it looks a tad more aggressive for me, but really do prefer the interior and of course the hike in performance on the VXR. I have a Zafari SRi 1.9 (150) CDTI at the moment for a couple of weeks and really don't want to go back to the Corsa. Keep us updated.

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    • #3
      Good report. I like the look of both the VXR and GSI, but when you look inside the GSI its like being in a Maxi or Allegro. Been trying to buy the wife a Zafira to replace her meriva and fancy a GSI, but the second I open the door my heart sinks.

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      • #4
        I've managed to clock just over 1,000 miles in the VXR so now, feel more comfortable in exploring up to that little red triangle area on the tacho.
        However, with the level of traffic on the roads, this is soon followed by an equally rapid demonstration of the effects of stamping on the middle pedal. At first, it almost doesn't feel any quicker than my previous GSI until you take a brief glimpse at the speedo! 90 – 100 is so easily and reached (allegedly officer!) without any effort, with minimal drama and is remarkably civilised.
        I took the long route to work last week and clearly I'm very pleased with the VXR, with the GSI now seemingly a distant memory - the ease at which you can cover ground and in comfort is far cry from the GSI. This journey also gave me a chance to compare the Sport setting a little more - I think I have a better understanding of the benefits and effects of pressing this button - just be prepared to keep your teeth gritted – the throttle response is quicker, definitely more challenging and the handling is most definitely flatter through the bends. The real noticeable change is the increased pace that you can ‘chuck’ the VXR around with total confidence of coming out the other side and without any fuss or embarrassing after effects.
        I have to agree with ChinsVXR - the interior of the GSI isn't the most inspiring - the VXR is sooo much better. The only slight disappointment is that the VXR doesn't have the small orange light glow from the bottom of the rear view mirror that lights up the gear stick area at night that was fitted to the GSI – call me fussy. Perhaps the fact that you can readily reach the gear stick with minimal fumbling around in the dark in the VXR had something to do with this.
        A real delight and marked improvement is having the leather gear knob as opposed to a ball of steel as fitted to the GSI - I could never face changing gear first thing in the morning in the winter in the GSI.
        On the basis that Spring is nearly upon us, I might take the risk and clean the VXR this weekend, take some better shots and post them on the site.
        I’m off to put the taxi signs back on the VXR as it’s Saturday again and the kids are up to their usual weekend pursuits….
        Marc

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        • #5
          nice one how much are your fares. Do you do airport trips?!!!

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          • #6
            Nice report.
            Do you think the car would cope with another 30bhp and a dumbed down throttle response with the Sports button pushed?
            Jonathan

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            • #7
              I believe the Zafira could definitely cope with another 30bhp, however, I'd be really interested in upping mid-range torque.
              I'm very unlikely to ever put this thing on the track and using the upper end of the range is pretty much limited and unsafe on today's crowded roads, but a serious increase in shove between 2,500 and 4,000 would be highly desirable and a great deal more usable on my daily 150 mile motorway journey.
              Anyone on the case?
              Marc

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              • #8
                GSi v VXR - chalk and cheese!

                I took delivery of my Zafira VXR on Thursday and what an improvement on my previous GSi! Although externally it hasn't altered radically (I bought the same colour - Arden Blue) the rest of the car is chalk and cheese. The ride is much smoother, the roadholding is incredible and the performance - wow! Being a big guy, I was worried about the new hugging Recarro seats, but after a while your bottom gets used to them. I'm still figuring out all the computer controls and the quirky indicator stalk, but the new 6 speed gearbox is smooth although I have forgotten about 6th gear a couple of times. Fuel consumption according to the computer is 27.6mpg compared to 30.7 for my GSi, so I'm hoping that improves a bit as time goes on. I'm not convinced about the airline handbrake, and for me I would have liked a bit more storage and cubbyholes. I do miss cruise control (not fitted on the car I bought), and I'm not impressed by the rather cheap sound coming from the stereo system. I went to see the new Ford S-Max today to compare it and I must say if you are looking for a well-specced, good looking car to rival the Zafira it hits the mark. It will be interesting to see how their 2.5 turbo version compares to the VXR. I have driven Vauxhalls for over 25 years and my same complaints remain, namely poor heating and ventilation, and the plasticy interior. Why Vauxhall don't take a leaf out of other manufacturers' books I don't know. I've been a touch critical of my VXR, but overall these are only minor niggles and I am looking forward to testing out the sport mode this week. I feel that the VXR is a great car which I am sure will be tweaked in a couple of years to make it even better.

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                • #9
                  Having driven both myself a bit I do think the VXR drives better. However I think the GSI has a far better road presence. The body kit looks so much more agressive and chunky. Also the GSI seems to have more storage space. I prefer the VXR seats and cloth trim but the dash is a little too busy with alot of different angles all over the place. VXL should have really kept the CC and the night lighting/mirror as standard.
                  VXR overall better too drive but not as convinced about looks expect from certain angles.

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                  • #10
                    I'm surprised the Meriva VXR get cruise yet the zaffy doesn't. I would imagine cruise would be a fairly easy job to do if it were still via the indicator stalk. Am I correct in thinking that it's similar to the Vectra now where it's controlled from the steering wheel? Can it not be configured via tech2 or would it require different buttons on the steering control?
                    Paul.

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