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View Full Version : Decision: Vauxhall Zafira / Mazda 5 / other 7-seater?



LuckyFrankie
7th April 2011, 09:25
Hi all,

Due to currently being pregnant, I have just sold my trusty old Ford Ka and am now in the market for a new (well, second-hand) car. Probably looking at about 3-4 years old and up to around ?9000 max to spend (although obviously it would be great to get one for less!)

I'm hoping to get a 7-seater as we're hoping this first child won't be the last, and in addition we like to go away camping, etc.

I did have my heart set on a Mazda 5, but have read bad things about tyre wear problems and fuel consumption. So I'm now looking at alternatives and have provisionally reserved a Vauxhall Zafira but can't decide whether to go ahead with the purchase. I'm not good at making decisions and hubby is being no help whatsoever, he just keeps telling me I have to choose as it'll be my car.

Does anyone have any experiences to share or advice to give? The main differences between the two cars I have been looking at are that the Mazda 5 is a 1.8 engine and costs approx ?7500, whereas the Zafira I have seen is a 1.6 engine and is cheaper at approx ?5800.

Other cars I have considered are the Mitsubishi Grandis, Toyota Corolla Verso and Volkswagen Touran.

Any advice/opinions greatly appreciated!

tyroleandancer
7th April 2011, 09:36
Hi Frankie
Have you looked at the Picasso? I believe they do a 7 seater.

LuckyFrankie
7th April 2011, 09:39
Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately hubby's only stipulation is that the car can't be French!

He drives a Renault Megane at the moment and really hates it. So many things have gone wrong with it, even though he bought it brand new and it has only done around 30,000 miles in total.

So French cars are out of the question I'm afraid...

tyroleandancer
7th April 2011, 09:40
Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately hubby's only stipulation is that the car can't be French!

He drives a Renault Megane at the moment and really hates it. So many things have gone wrong with it, even though he bought it brand new and it has only done around 30,000 miles in total.

So French cars are out of the question I'm afraid...

Thats fair enough :)

hippygirl
7th April 2011, 09:50
I have a Zafira and it's been great - bought second hand about 5 years ago, I think - its now nearly 11 years old and no major problems - I had to put a new battery in in the winter - but I reckon 10 years battery life is acceptable!
Just had it's annual service and the only additional 'spend' was a new coil spring.
I like the fact that the 2 rear seats fold flat, so its great for transporting big things/dogs/lots of luggage. However with teenagers and big dogs we also need a roof box (and sometimes a trailer! - for camping trips etc)
My only bugbear is that the pillars between doors and windscreen are really wide, which can reduce visibility - but they may have reduced the size on newer models?

suzie3441
7th April 2011, 09:52
7 seaters usually have a very small boot once all the seats are up and in use. We find With our Espace that for us all to go away we stuggle to squeeze the luggage in. I have 4 kids.
Initially not going to be a problem for you but food for thought.
I would say stick to the zafira personally. I have an astra and really like it and they are similar I guess.
A friend has a toureg and although nice they have had a few problems with it and they seem so big particually for lifting prams etc into.
Just my thoughts. x

hippygirl
7th April 2011, 09:58
Yes, Suzie's right - tiny boot (practically non-existant) with all 7 seats in use, but rear seats fold down individually, so we have sometimes used 6 seats and folded the other one to use as luggage space.

johnnyr
7th April 2011, 10:00
I had a zafira up until a month ago and it was a very reliable car, never any problems with it. The boot space is great and still good enough leg room when the rear seats are up. I also like how easy it was to get the rear seats up when needed.

Unfortunately it was written off in an accident and I have bought a renault scenic, which although a 7 seater doesnt have the same room. I do love all the extras it has though.

I will be watching this thread with interest as im also looking to purchase a 7 seater as the scenic was really only purchased hastily until I could find a decent 7 seater I wanted to keep, but im having problems deciding between a galaxy, another zafira or 4x4.

MrsSavvy
7th April 2011, 10:04
I don't think you can go too wrong with a Zafira taking value for money into consideration etc. I had a Zafira and still miss it a bit. The bench seat is less flexible than individual seats so is an issue for some. I now have a ford s max which is that much bigger but then so are my kids these days. It has three full sizes individual seats in the middle but still has the fold down seats in the back. It's quite a bit bigger than my Zafira great for passenger space not so great for manouvering in small spaces. The s max was the right choice for us but I'd recommend the Zafira in general. We looked at all the other makes and narrowed it down to these two.

Mamzie
7th April 2011, 10:30
Is it a new or secondhand one you are looking for??? We've just been doing the rounds of looking at 7 seaters.

We have a 04 7 seat Zafira, but I have refused to let anyone use the rear seats since an unkind (caring) friend sent me a rear end crash test link on them late last year :( I had never noticed that when the rear seats were up, there was very little space between the rear head rest and the window. Basically they are not illegal but there is no real crumple zone at the rear if you were ever in a crash :( We also have a 7 seat LPG Landrover, but that will be going in the summer, once it has its new MOT.

We are getting a new Galaxy next week, but I did look at the New Citroen Grand Picasso, and they had added a 4" crumple zone on their boot door. The new Seat Alhambra is fab, identical virtually to the VW Sharen, and I wish we had seen it before ordering the Galaxy. Another very reasonable car is the new 7 seater Chevrolet Orlando, and they also give you a 5 year warranty.

Have a really have a good look around, and with the seats up and down.

Mamzie
7th April 2011, 10:34
You can cheat to find out what 7 seaters are available by using the motability search engine - just search on general car details, and then select to refine for 7 seaters...

http://www.motabilityonline.co.uk/carsearch/carSearchByDetailForm.htm

We picked up our Zafira at an British Car Auctions Motability auction for around 2/3 of the the garage cost - 3 years old, full service history, hth.

kooger21
7th April 2011, 11:06
Other 7 seater :-)

clarer0110
7th April 2011, 12:07
H

We bought a VW Touran last summer and it is fab. It doesn't look or feel like a people carrier, more like a bigger Golf. There are 5 seats with 2 which fold down in the boot and we only use these if we are taking the boys and their friends out for the day. The boot space is huge but quite limited when the seats are up and there is loads of secret storage space in it - floor boxes etc. It is sooo lovely to drive and is actually quite nippy, we have the 2.0tdi version, diesel consumption is quite good. The furthest it has been is to Liverpool last September and it flew up the M6!!

I would def recommend one of these, we paid ?13k and its nearly 4 years old.

Siaron
7th April 2011, 12:38
We are getting a new Galaxy next week, but I did look at the New Citroen Grand Picasso, and they had added a 4" crumple zone on their boot door. The new Seat Alhambra is fab, identical virtually to the VW Sharen, and I wish we had seen it before ordering the Galaxy. Another very reasonable car is the new 7 seater Chevrolet Orlando, and they also give you a 5 year warranty.

Have a really have a good look around, and with the seats up and down.

I was going to suggest this one as well as I'm looking for a new car under the motability scheme. My dad has persuaded me to have a diesel as I have to have an automatic, this was one of the lowest mpg in the automatic but the car itself looks lovely - hoping to go for a test drive this weekend.
xx

Mamzie
7th April 2011, 13:09
Its looked lovely, but smallish boot.

Mine will be an Automatic as well, but with a left foot accelerator and steering knob as my right side is weak and sometimes has spasms/freezes.

LuckyFrankie
7th April 2011, 14:09
I now have a ford s max which is that much bigger

I think the S-Max would be top of my list if price wasn't an issue, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be achievable within our price range.

Good to know that some of you have good things to say about the Zafira though. Food for thought...

myajane
7th April 2011, 14:13
Hi

We have the Renault grande scenic 7 seater and I love it we've had no problems what so ever. I also have the renault clio and I am a driving instructor, this is the 2nd clio I have had and I have never had to take to garage for problems so I think your hubby is unlucky. The scenic is a 1.8tdi and great on fuel and has many compartments and has a massive boot when seats down. I wouldn't rule this out!!!

Mamzie
7th April 2011, 22:36
I think the S-Max would be top of my list if price wasn't an issue, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be achievable within our price range.

Good to know that some of you have good things to say about the Zafira though. Food for thought...

S-Maxs come through the British Car Auctions (http://www.british-car-auctions.co.uk/) (BCA) Motability auctions as well.

You really need to have a lookie at one, if you have any near you. Its where Ford, Vauxhall, etc dispose of their excess Motability stock after the in reg/special motability auctions. Motability cars are renewed every 3 years you see.

You'll see lots of independant garages there buying forecourt stock, that they can label as Ex-Motability cars, and they need to get enough room in the price they pay to make a profit. Which means you can pick up cars at a much better price there.

YooHoo
7th April 2011, 23:26
We've had a VW Touran for 4/5 years now & love it! Would definitely get another

mhoc
8th April 2011, 07:05
Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately hubby's only stipulation is that the car can't be French!

He drives a Renault Megane at the moment and really hates it. So many things have gone wrong with it, even though he bought it brand new and it has only done around 30,000 miles in total.

So French cars are out of the question I'm afraid...

Agree with this, had renaults for years, no end of problems, dealership was useless - and we have heard of many similar experiences eg leaking sunroofs, dealer told the owner not to go out in the wet :confused:

moonriver
8th April 2011, 07:31
H

We bought a VW Touran last summer and it is fab. It doesn't look or feel like a people carrier, more like a bigger Golf. There are 5 seats with 2 which fold down in the boot and we only use these if we are taking the boys and their friends out for the day. The boot space is huge but quite limited when the seats are up and there is loads of secret storage space in it - floor boxes etc. It is sooo lovely to drive and is actually quite nippy, we have the 2.0tdi version, diesel consumption is quite good. The furthest it has been is to Liverpool last September and it flew up the M6!!

I would def recommend one of these, we paid ?13k and its nearly 4 years old.
We have a Touran as well. We have the 1400cc petrol version. You think it would be underpowered for the size of car but not a bit of it. It's amazing! and the petrol consumption is great because it's only 1400cc. Worth checking out IMHO

carismacab
8th April 2011, 08:31
Had a motorpoint mazda 6 (55 plate) and the parts were really really expensive, it was reliable but rust was an issue, kind of put me off mazda's for life. Zafira is basically an astra mk 4 (we have one of these) and parts are really cheap and it's simple to fix , only thing is the lack of a rear crumple zone. Personally, If it was me I would look for a second hand VW Sharen or Seat Alabama and it would have to be diesel.. and I would not buy anything French because of reputation and experience of dodgy electrics.

G x

LuckyFrankie
8th April 2011, 09:03
S-Maxs come through the British Car Auctions (http://www.british-car-auctions.co.uk/) (BCA) Motability auctions as well.


Thanks for the fab link. Definitely interesting and one to keep an eye on. Seems a bit silly that only trade buyers can bid online though. Might have to go and make friends with the local garage owner ;).

Mamzie
8th April 2011, 10:25
:) If you can get to any of the auction sites, anyone can buy in person, hth,

LuckyFrankie
8th April 2011, 11:50
Only one that would be feasible for me would be Edinburgh, but all the cars I'd be interested in seem to be down Birmingham way.

Will keep an eye on it though. Maybe there might be some more cars come up in Edinburgh in the next week or two.

bootsalebargains
8th April 2011, 20:23
We are getting a new Galaxy next week, but I did look at the New Citroen Grand Picasso, and they had added a 4" crumple zone on their boot door. The new Seat Alhambra is fab, identical virtually to the VW Sharen, and I wish we had seen it before ordering the Galaxy. Another very reasonable car is the new 7 seater Chevrolet Orlando, and they also give you a 5 year warranty.
Have a really have a good look around, and with the seats up and down.


I was going to suggest this one as well as I'm looking for a new car under the motability scheme. My dad has persuaded me to have a diesel as I have to have an automatic, this was one of the lowest mpg in the automatic but the car itself looks lovely - hoping to go for a test drive this weekend.
xx

We ordered an orlando last week from motability, won't be ready til june, it's a really lovely car. It's a lot easier to get into the very back seat than my currant zafira. I order the 1.8 petrol as this was only ?349 deposit, the diesel was ?1500.

The other problem with my zafira is the blind spot with the struts on the front windscreen, i've nearly had a few bumps with this.